Interest in solar energy for commercial and residential properties has surged over the last decade. In 2010, solar only accounted for about 4% of the U.S.’s new electricity generating capacity. Natural gas dominated energy production at 36%. In 2019, some significant changes have become obvious. Natural gas still leads the pack with 48% growth, but solar has jumped to 36%. The growing interest in solar energy has led to an increase in solar dialing campaigns.
Given the growing interest in solar, it makes sense for solar panel companies and installers to use dialing campaigns. A lot of people out there want solar panels, but they don’t know the right options for their environments and buildings. Reaching out to verified leads makes it easier to start conversations that lead to new installations.
Like most dialing campaigns, though, solar companies face some barriers that prevent them from reaching and converting leads. Your campaign will always annoy some people. Adjusting your approach, however, can lead to better results. You don’t have complete control over how people respond to your call, but you can plan your solar dialing campaign to reach and convert more leads. The following guide will give you some insights into how to reach your goals.
Use an Up to Date List of Leads
People who get unsolicited calls from solar companies will complain. That’s understandable. No one wants their day interrupted by a high-pressure sales rep. These ineffective calls also create problems because they waste time that you could spend talking to interested property owners.
Take some time to review your list of leads before each day of your solar dialing campaign. If someone doesn’t match your target demographic, they shouldn’t be on your list. For example, you should scrub renters from your lead list because they can’t authorize solar panel installations.
Some things you can do to improve your solar dialing campaign include:
- Knowing where the lead list comes from.
- Making sure the list has been scrubbed.
- Checking leads to see whether they’re qualified homeowners.
Qualifying leads and refining your lists make it easier for sales reps to focus on consumers they can convert. Don’t move leads to a list to sell until you’ve reviewed every contact’s information.
Furthermore, you should have a reliable CRM that connects to your qualified lead list. A good CRM can transfer qualified leads to the most experienced agents to increase sales. You can also use the CRM to schedule follow-ups that will nudge property owners closer to buying solar panels.
Useful information stored in the CRM might include:
- The contact’s age.
- Other items that the lead has purchased from your clients.
- The contact’s region, which lets your dialer choose a local number that’s more likely to get answered.
- Other people in the household who might have an interest in solar panels.
The information in a CRM cannot ensure a sale, but it makes the conversation much easier. If nothing else, your call agent can choose a strategy before connecting with the lead.
Assign the Right Agents to Your Solar Dialing Campaign
Every call center needs a training program that prepares agents for the realities of selling to consumers via phone, email, and live chat. Some employees, however, seem to have a natural ability for selling. They just don’t experience the problems that other sales reps encounter. Perhaps they have nice voices that put people at ease. Maybe they have a knack for connecting with strangers. Some people are just talented sales reps.
At the moment, you don’t need to explore the reasons that some people succeed more easily than others. You can take advantage of differing layers of success, though, by creating two teams of reps. The less experienced—or least effective—agents can use cold calling to qualify potential leads. When members of this team reach out to leads, they can gather information about each person’s:
- Homeowner status.
- Location (important because some regions offer subsidies for installing solar panels).
The first team might not have amazing sales talents, but they can position your more experienced agents for success. Have them enter information in your CRM so your top sellers will have the insights they need to convert leads.
A homeowner who seems reluctant while talking to a new call center agency can react like a completely different person in the hands of an experienced agent. Instead of reluctance, they show interest and openness to buying solar panels. Even if they don’t convert on that day, you move them one step further along the sales funnel.
Set KPI Goals and Adjust Your Strategies to Reach Them
Never underestimate the importance and usefulness of KPIs during a dialing campaign! Data-driven decisions will lead to more conversions and brand recognition. Studying your KPIs and scripts can also help you identify changes that lead to improved results.
Some of the KPIs to track during your solar dialing campaign include:
- Average call time.
- Conversion rates.
- Occupancy rates.
- First call closes.
If your data doesn’t satisfy you, start tweaking your approach. You can find that anything from how your agents introduce themselves to the solar panel benefits that you mention influences the way people respond to your calls.
Check Your Dialing Software Configuration
Every call center needs dialing software. Ideally, you have a predictive dialer or preview dialer that makes your campaigns more efficient by dialing numbers quickly and giving agents the information they need to communicate with leads.
If you use a predictive dialer, you need to make sure it has been properly configured. Otherwise, leads could answer the phone to find that no one is there. How can you inform or convert people when you don’t connect leads with call agents? It’s impossible!
To make matters even worse, improper software configuration can tarnish your brand’s reputation and even get your outgoing numbers blocked. Today’s consumers have access to numerous call-flagging and call-block apps. If they suspect that an annoying call is a scam, they will report your number to their apps or their service providers. It doesn’t take long before your outbound number gets flagged. At that point, very few people will answer your calls.
Configure your dialing software correctly before starting a solar dialing campaign. Also, monitor the reputation of your numbers. If they get flagged, stop using them. You should have a pool of other numbers to replace the ones that get tarnished.
Take Advantage of Omnichannel Tools
Phone conversations can take a long time. Unfortunately, it feels like wasted time when your agent fails to convert the lead. Failures frequently happen, of course, but you still wish you could get that time back.
Adopting omnichannel tools can help reduce the amount of time your agents “waste” talking to leads.
Email and live chat stand out as two of the most effective omnichannel tools you should add to your call center’s technology. Text-based communication makes it quick and easy for agents to answer common questions, gather information that will lead to more conversations, and weed out calls that will never convert.
With email and live chat, your call center agent can paste in responses to common questions. It only takes a couple of seconds to respond. If the agent relied on a phone, answering the question could turn into a multi-minute conversation that goes nowhere.
Don’t waste time answering popular questions. In some cases, automation tools can even recognize common questions and send correct responses immediately without oversight from a human. The less work your agents need to do, the more they can accomplish.
Comply With Dialing Campaign Regulations
Dialing campaign regulations are serious business. Regulators often lead with the financial problems that their fines can cause. It’s true that the FTC has collected over $150 million in fines and redress. There are much more important reasons to follow dialing campaign regulations, though.
Call centers and businesses that follow regulations benefit from:
- Improving their brand reputations, making it easier for them to reach consumers and convert leads.
- Reassuring prospects of their intentions by beginning call scripts with introductions.
- Relieving companies of liability.
Before you start a solar dialing campaign, give yourself and your team plenty of time to plan ahead. You need to make sure you have the right tools, lists, agents, and scripts for success. Without a proper setup strategy that conforms with regulations, you don’t have a chance. Conforming from the start makes it much more likely that you will run a successful campaign and improve your call center’s reputation.
Use Call Tools to Make Your Solar Dialing Campaign More Effective and Efficient
Call Tools offers several features that make your solar dialing campaigns more effective and efficient. Call Tools Predictive comes with:
- A predictive dialer that automatically calls numbers and connects leads to agents when someone answers.
- A power dialer that connects leads with the right sales reps.
- A preview dialer that includes information that can help convert the next lead on the list.
- Interactive voice response (IVR) that saves time by letting agents use vocal commands to control their systems.
- Email templates that help agents respond to emails quickly.
- A CRM that contains all of the information agents might need to convert leads.
Not sure whether Call Tools has the features that you need to make your call center more effective during solar dialing campaigns? Sign up today for a free personalized demo. You’ll get to see how all of the Call Tool features work. Then, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right solution for your call center.