There’s nothing more fundamental to landing a solar sale than your solar sales proposal. It’s paramount that your proposal is informative and accurate, while also being compelling enough to close a deal.
And while Sales Mode has everything you need to develop great proposals, it’s still up to each company to tailor your proposal to highlight your specific value propositions and speak to the needs and concerns of your specific customers.
With this in mind, what should your company feature in its proposals? To help answer this question, we spoke with Ian Lochore, the Director of Residential Sales at Baker Electric Solar, for his advice on composing solar proposals. Baker is one of the country’s most respected solar installation firms and was twice ranked the #1 Solar Electrical Subcontractor in Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors List. Ian has over 10 years of solar industry sales experience under his belt, so he was the perfect person to provide insights on mastering the “Why Solar” pitch.
Tailor your solar sales proposals to the interests of your solar prospects
With the rapid growth of the solar industry, as a consequence, there has been an expansion of the breadth of solar buyers and an evolution of the types of common solar prospects. This is why it’s important to understand who your solar buyer is, what they value, and what interests them most when discussing the possibility of purchasing solar.
For example, if your solar customer is more interested in the savings benefits of going solar (as many are) than the environmental benefits, be sure to focus your solar sales pitch around how much the customer will save and the long-term financial benefits of going solar with your company. Download our free guide on the 5 solar buyers to learn more about pitching to your specific solar buyer personas.
Highlight instantaneous and long-term savings
“It is more important to focus on the economics: What difference is it going to make to them and their family from a budgeting perspective?” Ian says proposals should stick to the financials. Show your customers compelling numbers that will convince them to make the purchase. “It’s similar to buying a new car.”
Explain the benefits of installing solar on their homes over the entire lifetime of the system. Customers will want to see both the short-term and long-term effects.
“What difference will this make to the client today or in the next year?”
That is an important question to ask. “You should demonstrate the cash flows and utility bill savings over 5, 10, 15, 20 years in your proposal.”
Watch our quick, one-minute video below to see the Bill Overview page in Sales Mode can help you do this.
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Provide information on all solar rebates and incentives available
Part of the more instant savings that come with buying solar include the local and federal rebates and incentives. By including these in your proposal, it may be the extra push they needed to believe in the economic validity of agreeing to your proposal.
Some common solar incentives include
- The federal investment tax credit (ITC)
- Cash rebates
- State tax credits
Offer Multiple Design and Financing Options
“From there, it’s about making sure that the customer understands what’s right for them,” Ian says.
The customer is always right. With today’s technology, creating solar designs and generating solar proposals is faster and easier than ever before. There is no reason a customer should not be able to see various panel configurations on their roofs. Salespeople should be prepared to show multiple solar design options and quickly adjust solar proposals to their needs.
Every solar proposal should include also financing options. The customer should understand what the differences are, whether it’s a lease that’s allowing them to save more money upfront, or a cash purchase where the system is an investment with greater long-term savings.
With Aurora Solar’s Integrated Financing, Aurora makes the solar financing process easy and efficient. With the integration, it’s possible to share side-by-side bill comparisons and apply for financing right in front of the customer. This tool helps close deals faster, reduce change orders and cancellations, and seamless workflow by curating multiple pay off possibilities with accurate loan information.
Yes, we have have a 90-second video that shows more:
Schedule a quick demo to learn about how this, and other Sales Mode features, can help you close more deals.
But don’t force your customer into a decision
Cash, lease, or loan? Your client has options, but the choice is not always simple. You should guide your customer through the financing comparisons and find out what the best solution for them is. “What’s their cashflow situation? Do they want to use their money for a college fund?”
“Different strokes for different folks.”
Successful solar salespeople work with the client to find out what’s best for them. At the end of the day, the client should be able to freely choose between all the solar design and financing options that you have pitched to them. That is the secret to customer satisfaction.
Demonstrate your company’s longevity and reliability
Reassure your customer that you will be there to support them.
“Who’s going to be there in seven years if there’s an issue?”
Guarantees, warranties, and service packages should be included in every proposal.
Going back to the car analogy: “What’s the service plan? Sure I want a car that will get me to places in style. But I also want to know, if there’s an issue with the car, is there a roadside warranty? What’s the history of issues with that make or model?” Building customer trust is important, especially because solar is a long-term investment.
Guarantee that if 15 years down the line, their solar system has difficulties, your company will be around to answer their phone calls. “It’s not just price, but the value of their purchase as well.”
Basics to include in your solar proposal
Keeping in mind everything we’ve discussed so far, let’s look at some key, specific items to include in your solar proposal template:
- Company Profile: This section helps to establish credibility and helps potential clients get to know you and your business.
- Details on the scope of the project: This can be broken out into several subsections, but in your proposal, you want to make sure you include all details around the scope of your project.
- Size and location of the solar system
- Project schedule
- Bill of materials
- Payment terms
- Financial Analysis: This will include details on your pricing for everything involved in the installation process from start to finish, including labor and materials. We know that putting a final number in front of a potential client can be nerve-wracking for fear of sticker shock scaring them off. In this section, it is also a good idea to include any financial incentives and returns on investment (ROI) to help offset that number.
- Terms and Conditions: This will be unique to every business, the same as every other part of a proposal. This section is for legal purposes to protect your business and employees. It should include details of the contract, warranty information, limitations of liability, and more.
- Contact Details: After you have wowed your potential new clients with a detailed and professional proposal, be sure to include your contact information in an easy-to-find place. This could be the first page, past page, or within the header or footer of each page of your proposal.
- Customization: Your proposal should always include the basics, such as finances. Never forget that customizing each solar proposal and making your potential clients feel like you’ve taken the time to put together something just for them can be the personal touch needed to make them feel more confident in choosing you.
Looking for a two-minute video about how to build one of these proposals in Sales Mode that includes a visual display along with the details of the solar project? You’re in luck…
To learn more details, schedule a quick demo to go over Sales Mode live.
Beyond the solar proposal
One way of building trust is to engage in the local community. Baker Solar is engaged with local charities, such as the San Diego Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity in the Orange County area. Partnerships will help establish the presence of a solar installer in a neighborhood.
Word of mouth is the oldest and most powerful marketing and sales tactic. Ian can attest to that: “60-70% of our business comes from referrals.”
Maintaining your company’s integrity and branding is an underlying ingredient of any solar proposal. It could make or break the purchase decision for your customers.
What is a solar proposal?
A solar proposal describes the design of a solar project, its various elements, expected output, contract terms, and financing. Once a proposal is received by the customer, the next step is signing a contract in alignment with the solar proposal.
What should be included in a solar proposal?
- Company information
- Clear, concise language that’s free of jargon
- Project details including size and location of the system, its components, project schedule, bill of materials, and payment terms
- Financial analysis, including sticker price and return on investment (ROI)
- Terms and conditions
- Contact information
- Custom options to fit client’s needs
- Licensing information
What is solar proposal software?
Solar proposal software enables developers and installers to quickly generate solar system designs tailored to individual customers’ needs. Solar proposal software takes the guesswork out of designing a PV system with user-friendly tools that can be quickly and efficiently deployed in the field with minimal training.
What are the benefits of using solar sales proposal software?
- Increased sales
- Improved solar sales management combining quotes, invoicing, and customer management tools into one package
- Clear communication showing customer the benefits of going solar
- Faster turnaround time and greater customer engagement
- Streamlined workflow to draft proposals in seconds, apply for permitting, and automatically generate contracts
Hungry for more tips for top-notch solar proposals? Schedule a customized, no-pressure demo to see how Sales Mode can help supercharge your proposals.
Looking for more information? Download our free Playbook for Solar Proposals That Close.