Customer resource management systems are software platforms designed to streamline and enhance all the customer-facing tasks and operations of sales organizations. CRM, both as a tool and a practice, recognizes the importance of customer data in driving sales and service delivery and puts that data at the heart of effectively all processes. CRM systems also aim to improve productivity by centralizing tasks and putting all the tools a user needs in one place. The ability to improve prospecting, sales, service, and administration through centralization and improved use of data makes CRM tools force multipliers that enable businesses to quickly carve out a competitive advantage over slower, less tech-savvy rivals.
In competitive industries like solar sales, where margins are low and new entrants are constantly emerging, solar CRM software is a mission-critical tool. While solar CRM has the potential to supercharge your sales and save you an enormous amount of time in the process, not all platforms are created equal. To get the most out of your new CRM, there are certain aspects that must be prioritized, both to ensure your system is as applicable as possible to the solar industry and to ensure your employees buy in to it in the first place.
Solar CRM Benefits
Lead Data Automation
The biggest impact a CRM will have on your solar sales is its ability to enhance your lead collection and management through automation. A healthy sales funnel needs a constant stream of new leads keeping the top full, and sourcing, categorizing, and managing those leads can be a full-time job in itself. A good solar sales CRM will relieve that burden while simultaneously improving and speeding up your prospecting in three primary ways:
- Automated collection: Your CRM should enable you to collect leads and generate new profiles in the system automatically from digital sources like web forms and inbound emails.
- Automatic categorization: As leads move through the sales process, your CRM should be able to automatically recategorize them based on certain actions, like phone calls, form submissions, deposits, and anything else you use to track a lead’s progress.
- Omnipresent access: Your CRM should make the important data stored in a lead’s account available within a few clicks from anywhere within the platform, ensuring it can be accessed and utilized with ease by your sales and installation teams no matter where they are or what task they are performing.
Automating and streamlining your lead collection and management will ensure the top of your funnel is always full and that your sales process is more focused and lead-centric than your competitors’ – a huge advantage in a tooth-and-nail industry like solar sales.
Scheduling is important in all sales organizations, but it’s especially important in solar sales. Your installation team in the field and your sales team in the office need to work with not only each other’s schedules, but with your customers’ schedules as well. A good CRM will centralize your scheduling, enabling your employees and managers to access and update individual and master schedules on the fly from anywhere, including the field. A high-end solar CRM will also provide advanced client interaction, bringing your customers directly into the process and enabling them to confirm, cancel, and reschedule appointments directly via email, help tickets, or even SMS messages.
Centralized Invoicing and Payments
Solar equipment is expensive, which is why more and more customers are choosing to spread out the cost by leasing or financing their new installations. Long-term payment plans help you get customers to sign on the dotted line, but they bloat your invoicing and have the potential to be a drain on your receivables when payments are delayed. A good CRM will reduce those problems as much as possible by centralizing and automating your billing and payments, ensuring invoices and payment reminders go out immediately, and enabling your customers to easily pay their monthly bills both online and over the phone. Faster billing is the proven path to faster payments, and allowing your CRM to do the work for you frees up your team’s time by eliminating the need to manually create invoices and minimizing the need to chase after late accounts.
Solar CRM Ease-of-Use
When evaluating potential new solar CRMs, the number of features can’t be the sole determinant in your decision-making. The ease with which those features can be used is of equal importance, because if your new CRM isn’t extremely easy to use, your employees won’t use it, rendering your investment all but wasted. Your CRM vendor should provide you with a demonstration prior to your purchase, and if tasks and features seem convoluted or overly-complex to you, they probably will to your staff as well. But, with that in mind, it’s important to understand that even the most intuitive software has a learning curve, so look for a CRM partner that will provide you and your team with upfront training once your new system is operational.
Taking the time to find an easy-to-use CRM that offers the best possible lead management, scheduling, billing and payments, and overall sales features will ensure that your solar sales company gets the most bang for your buck and the highest possible ROI. CRMDialer checks off all of those boxes and more by including a built-in power dialer with all the features of a full enterprise call center, near-unlimited integration with Zapier, unlimited users, and much more.
If you’re ready to see everything CRMDialer can do for your solar company’s sales and installations, reach out to schedule a demonstration or start your no-commitment 14-day free trial today!