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How best to begin commercial solar sales?

Background in marketing & advertising now in commercial solar sales.
New to hands on, person to person sales.
How best begin: generate leads, cold calls/in person, schedule, coordinate,
best CRM?

17 Replies

Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
that's a big subject. Read "Strategic Selling" by Miller and Heiman" (sp?).
Joanne Jubert
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Joanne Jubert Entrepreneur
Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist
Thank you Rob that's a start.
Farzad Wafapoor
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Farzad Wafapoor Entrepreneur
Video & Digital Media
I also recommend "Book yourself solid"
As for CRM, either salesforce or infusionsoft both are great platforms.
Adam Pressman
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Adam Pressman Advisor
I've helped a number of folks become millionaires. I'd like to do it a few more times.
You won't go wrong with "Book yourself solid". Getting specific to solar commercial sales the biggest reason companies did it was subsidies for doing so. Therefore, if your locality offers them, become an expert in how your prospects can leverage them. If not, perhaps partnering with commercial electric, architecture, facilities management or property management firms will help. Strategically it's always a good move to first court those who already market to your best customers and find a way to increase the value proposition with what you offer and what they offer.
Joanne Jubert
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Joanne Jubert Entrepreneur
Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist
Thank you Farzad. I would like to book myself solid! As for CRM I'm a solo rep not on a large team. Most CRM seem being working for sales teams
Joanne Jubert
0
0
Joanne Jubert Entrepreneur
Solar Marketing & Sales Specialist
Great advise Adam... "court those who already market to your best customers." The challenge certainly will be to find out who those "already marketing" are.
Jessica Magoch
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Jessica Magoch Entrepreneur
Sales doesn't have to be a dirty word. Get more clients without being icky, sleazy, or just plain annoying.
Hi Joanne,
We have a prospecting master class coming out this fall, it takes students through the 13 Prospecting Strategies to test and master to they never have to worry about where the next client is coming from...but that's too far for you to wait, so..
Since this is a B2B sale, who is the person at the company that cares most about this problem? Who is most affected by it? That is person you want to target (a simple introductory email after a LinkedIn invitation works well). What is the value prop? Is it saving money? Being environmentally conscious? Meeting certain regulations? Depending on what you're selling and how you're selling it, it will lead you to different departments.
Specific to your product, there are consulting agencies that exclusively help companies with their social and environmental impact, so they would be great partners for you. Google is your friend for any of this kind of research!
As far as a CRM, we use Solve360. It's very affordable for you as a solopreneur and is easily customized without a developer. Your crm basically needs to keep track of your contacts and conversations, remind you to follow up, hold documents or links to relevant documents, and generate reports of data that is important to you (emails: responses: discovery call: appointment: etc) so you can plan for the future.
Going from marketing to sales are different skill sets, so I would highly recommend getting some formal sales training under your belt, as I'm sure you had some marketing and advertising training in the past.
Good luck on your new venture!
Adam Pressman
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Adam Pressman Advisor
I've helped a number of folks become millionaires. I'd like to do it a few more times.
On the subject of CRM I was on a similar search to find something better suited than Outlook which I use now. I learned two things:
1. Only 2 CRMs work with LinkedIn as of May of this year: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
2. LinkedIn's research and connection management make it a must.

I didn't like the overhead of either product and it's clear that both are written for sales managers not salespeople. I stuck with Outlook.
I have to share the love I have for Contactually and my colleague Zvi Band as his "CRM" is fantastic...for 200 contacts. For managing your most important 200 connections, there's nothing better. It just doesn't scale well above that. Hope this helps.
Max Rosenthal
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Max Rosenthal Entrepreneur
Strategic Sales Professional Harnessing Tactical Fortitude To Capture New Business
Hey Joanne - I made the transition to commercial solar sales a little over two years ago now. The comments above will be helpful but I think what you are asking is not only for a 'sales' process but most importantly a 'solar sales' process? If so feel free to email me directly to further discuss and be happy to talk on the phone as well. [removed to protect privacy]
Gerry DeSeve
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Gerry DeSeve Entrepreneur
President, Climateon
Joanne,

Are you selling solar system installations or electricity generated by solar systems? These are two different sales jobs.

Gerry
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