The solar market is exploding. In a good way. Yes, it’s had its ups and downs, since subsidies and imports have affected residential and commercial installations in different ways. But with the technology itself improving fast, it’s no longer an off-grid option for back-to-nature types.
In the last year, the USA’s solar harvest approached 100 TWh, with over two million buildings taking advantage – and 46% of all homeowners considering a purchase. Backed up by batteries and attracted by lower bills, families across the USA are looking eagerly at solar options.
We know – because we see millions of them becoming leads available on the PX platform. They’re energized. They’re interested. And you’re the expert who could answer them.
You may think you don’t need any more leads – most solar installers, after all, have a full pipeline. But think how much more profitable your business could be if you applied stricter criteria to each sale … and made best use of your capacity by serving only the customers that make most sense?
The PX marketplace lets you do it. Find the demand that best matches what you can supply; filter leads by the criteria that works for you and adjust sourcing based off performance all in one centralized platform. With that in mind, here are the top five things you need to think about when buying solar leads.
1. Shared and exclusive leads: understand the difference
First, consider whether you’re interested in leads shared with multiple buyers, or only those offered exclusively to you. Like a choice to string PV panels in series or parallel, it depends entirely on the situation.
If you’re in a densely populated area with a competitive solar market, it’s worth looking at shared leads. These prospects are probably getting quotes from everybody anyway, and you want to be on every consideration list. Also, shared leads can be much less expensive – “paid for” by the lower probability of converting them into sales.
But if – to take two examples – you concentrate on particular ZIPs, or specialize in a construction type, it may be worth paying for exclusivity. Yes, exclusive leads can cost more. But you’re getting the jump on your competitors – because that enquiry (often the result of a web form being filled in, complete and verified) comes only to you.
In general, the narrower you specialize, the more useful exclusive leads will be to you. And with the sheer number of leads available when buying leads on the PX platform, the premium may turn out to be a great investment.
2. Know your filters, and choose with care
Core to the PX platform is the ability to filter. (More on the PX Dashboard here.) With millions of leads available across various sectors every month (!) applying specific qualifying criteria to your bids is vital. But there are so many filters, and such a variety of ways to customize, that setting criteria must never be an afterthought.
One way to get started is to look at your top customers today. Where are they? What do they spend? What kind of project really makes your CEO smile? The answer will be different for every business – which, of course, is fine: you’re unique. Make sure your lead profile is, too.
3. Treat performance review as an ongoing process
Once you’ve got your filters in place, how do you check on performance? Answer: review them regularly – not just for core metrics like conversion, but for whether those metrics are ideal to start with.
What aids your decision? Data. Perhaps you’re getting leads that precisely match your criteria, but just aren’t converting lower down the sales funnel – either your criteria themselves need to change, or your approach does. How fast is your team calling out on the leads? What is your contact rate or appointment rate? In solar leads for example, a warning sign is a contact rate below 30% and when the opportunity rate is below 10%; your sales team may be making plenty of calls, but final conversion to a sale is low.
So treat criteria as strategic, and critique them at least monthly. After all, performance doesn’t end with the lead; it’s the entire sales process that matters.
4. Use end-to-end data for continuous improvement
Following on, recognize that a successful sales process isn’t just a process, but a loop – and it’s up to you to decide whether that loop improves or decays. It’s surprising how few marketers use their internal data, post-lead acquisition, to make things better over and over.
The PX platform gives you all sorts of tools for judging your overall performance – including data normally retained within your business. Even if all you’ve got is an Excel spreadsheet, PX can apply its learnings to add a critical success factor: not just what type of leads are working out, but where those leads came from. Also known as the lead source.
So however well your leads are performing, never forget improvement is always possible. And remember: you’ve probably got the data to do it already.
5. Centralize lead buying, but maximize the choice of sources
Buying all your leads from one platform carries a huge advantage. You can compare and assess leads on a level playing field; you can amalgamate reports onto a single dashboard. Helping you get a grip on your marketing efforts.
But there’s a twist: you don’t want to centralize if it limits your sources of leads. Which is why PX doesn’t do that. So to make the most of centralizing, buy your leads from a genuine marketplace like PX. One that brings together millions of lead sellers and lead buyers on one platform. You can even bring your current sources into the PX platform using our Private Marketplace.
This breadth of choice gives you options. For ascertaining different profiles of lead sources, different tiers of quality within them, and so on. You may find your hottest prospects come from a source you never suspected. This, ultimately, is how you make your lead buying pay – bidding the right price, for the leads you know will work out, from the sources that work for you. Making the most of your marketing budget.
Solar installers may be experiencing the busiest time of their lives – and millions of American families are entering the market as prospects. But that doesn’t make doing business any easier. After all, successful business is about finding the right opportunities, and making a name for yourself (and a profit) in a specific market.
With millions of solar-specific leads waiting for you, PX is ready to be your partner in that success. Let’s spread some sunshine: Contact us today.