For a business to thrive and stand the test of time, the directors need to invest in good customer relations. Yes, you may have to take time to lay a master plan, come up with a comprehensive business plan, and source reliable manufacturers to get the best solar products.
But, ultimately, how you relate with your clients determines how often they come back and if they will bring with them referral clients, therefore, growing your solar business, as implicated in this Forbes news article.
CRM is one of the most recently launched tools that are helping companies track their sales progress. This all-rounded software makes communication much easier and seamless. Before you learn how to use this technology effectively, let us get an overview of what CRM is and what it does.
What is a CRM
But what exactly is CRM? In the simplest terms, a customer relations managing system or CRM is a software or technology that companies use to capture their clients’ data, so that it is easier for the customer relations or sales team to brush up on a customer’s details when a repeat customer or a potential lead walks in or calls in for some help.
- Related article: Top 10 CRM Softwares for Solar Sales Reps
A CRM operates using a multi-tier database that gives clearance to an organization’s employees depending on their hierarchy in seniority. Account managers and other senior employees can access sensitive information about the client, while others who contributed to the acquisition of a client may only access their purchase history and other minor details.
In case a customer relations personnel or sales agent needs any transaction details or specific dates when certain purchases were procured, they have to talk to their supervisors or other senior employees in the company for such clearance.
CRM’s do not only track the client’s expenditure in the company. They also save meeting minutes between concerned employees and the client, prospects, call logs, text messages, emails, video calls, among other details. So, when an account manager or salesperson hands over to an incoming employee, the process is much smoother and faster.
Why Solar Sales Should Use CRMs
Customer relationship management software is very important in any production company that produces and sells solar units. This tool helps to make all processes regarding sales smooth and effective. Here are some of the top ways you as a solar salesperson or company can use this technology to your benefit.
Saving critical sales information
One of the common things that take down sales representatives is forgetting something critical about some of their solar products. Unfortunately, in most cases, this usually happens in the middle of a critical presentation. Such a mishap could lead to the loss of a client who would have invested their funds in the organization.
If you use a CRM to store data, you do not have to go through the pains of contacting your seniors in case you need critical information regarding the solar panels. CRMs help you to make a seamless presentation since they give you all the details in one platform.
For extended periods, customers have had to pay for solar panels via direct bank transfer, checks, and other traditional forms of payments. While these options worked in the past, you cannot afford to give a client this window. They may just meet your competition on their way to the bank.
Thanks to the built-in payment processes, this tool makes it easier to generate an invoice for the client once the deal is sealed. It also has the Visa payment option that reduces unnecessary trips to the bank. So, you get to achieve results instantly.
Comprehensive application integration
Gone are the days when you had to toggle from one tab to the next trying to access your emails, dialer, and texting applications. As a solar sales, you get to enjoy app integration that gives you access to all your applications in one tab.
The CRM allows you to view all your conversations with all your clients in one place. In case you want to send an email, create a reminder, send a text, or even make a call, this software gives you all these abilities in just one click.
If you are looking for software that helps you to come up with leads on your next clients, then a CRM should be your go-to tool. This software sniffs through your linked sites for people who may be looking for your services.
Anyone who visits your website or social pages in search of your services is a potential customer that you have to follow up on. Now, some clients are easier to land while others require a little nudging before they can agree to the idea. A lead generation tool helps to follow up on this client frequently through SMS, emails, and calls.
And not only does it make it easy to follow up on leads, but also gives you a real-time analysis of the situation on each lead.
A signature is the most essential part of any contract that solidifies the deal. Without it, a contract is simply a stack of papers. A few years back, clients would have to make their way to offices plenty of times to pick the contract, sign it, and then take it back. CRMs allow you to do all these processes online hassle-free.
The eSignature option makes it even easier for your client to sign the document online, which lessens the movement and waiting period. One-click solves all your problems, bringing you closer to hitting your targets.
Isn’t it a bit tiresome trying to key in all the contacts you acquired into your phone to make calls? I mean, how many of those can you write down in a day? And is this option going to help you hit your margins easily, or you may have to extend your waiting period? We all know the result of using traditional methods in a modern world. Your competition gets leverage over you.
Rather than waste time doing things the old-school way, the CRM comes with a power button that enables you to make calls automatically. This tool queues all your scheduled calls and once you start making calls, it will only stop when you contact the last person on that list.
So, if you want to call all the leads, existing, or repeat clients, the dialer categorizes them in their perfect order so that you have an easy time dealing with each category of clients. Best of all, CRM technology dialers also drop voicemails to all prospects that you could not reach, a feature that ensures you get the highest call-back rates.
Automated admin services
How many times have you had to hire an administrator to help you organize your work? Or if you do not have that ability, you may have had to do the work yourself, something that leads to time wastage. Rather than spend time trying to log in details about each client, pair their details with the relevant documents, schedule meetings, and create reminders, you can use CRM software.
It works on all these processes automatically, giving you ample time to focus your energy on following up on your clients.
Enhanced customer support
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you retain your clients is to provide fast and reliable customer support services. Without CRM technology, you may have to juggle between tabs when dealing with clients, meaning that you may miss that notification when a customer sends in a question.
Customer relations management software, on the other hand, gives you all these features in one app. Therefore, whenever a client requires your support, you can easily spot the notification within the platform, giving you ample time to respond to them, most importantly allowing you to make fast responses.
Whether you want to get back to a prospect regarding a solar sale, or you want to remind your existing clients to renew a service, this tool makes it easier for you to set such reminders, making sure that you do not forget important dates.
Scheduling meetings with potential clients has never been easier. Solar sales personnel can use this customer relations management tool to make appointments, and follow up on them. Best of all, you do not have to worry about double booking or missed appointments. The software ensures that each client and other employees within the company do not face such a problem.
Some available CRMs, if not all, double-check each individual’s work calendar to make sure that they are free at a particular time before setting an appointment. The CRM then goes ahead to schedule calls so that you can confirm the meetings with your leads or existing clients.
Quick communication between employees
One other significant perk that you can use to your advantage when you get CRM software is the in-house communication option. You do not have to use your phone or email to communicate with your co-workers or employers.
Simply use the communication options availed within the system for easier and faster correspondences. Not only do these make your work easier, but you do not miss a beat when it comes to memos and other important circulars that may be sent to the entire team. And in case you have any queries regarding work, it is an even faster and more organized platform for effective communication.
As you already know, this software integrates all your communication tools in one platform, making it effortless to correspond with your team. However, it reduces one redundant task when it comes to searching for important conversations regarding key policies or agreements between yourself and the client.
Rather than ravage through all your emails and SMS logs looking for details, you can easily search for a conversation using the keywords and find it within seconds.
Instant document sharing
Again, you do not need to write unnecessary emails to your co-workers trying to send those files and documents essential for a certain process. The document sharing portal allows you to send a file into the system, and anyone who needs to use it can access it. No need to CC or BCC anyone. Everything is transparent here.
What to Consider When Getting CRM Systems
Now that you know how you can effectively use CRM for solar sales, you may want to have a look at some of the most critical features to look out for when you are outsourcing this software.
Your company size – How large your company is determines the kind of CRM software you pick. Desktop, server, and cloud-based CRM software are the options available for startups and established companies. Smaller companies can use either desktop or server-based CRM software. Bigger corporations can invest in cloud software, which makes it easy to handle multiple processes at a go, without crashing the system.
Capital – The amount of cash you have at hand determines how much you spend on such services. Servers may seem cheaper during the initial stages, but the amount of recurring costs that you may have to keep up with can be tedious. Cloud-based software may have ridiculous price tags pinned to them, but the provider takes care of all upgrades and most of its features are easily turned on or off depending on your preference.
Mobile compatibility – Do you want your team to access documents and essential files on the go, or you are comfortable with them using the desktop version of the software? If you have enough money, you can get the mobile integrated version for even faster file access even when your team members are out of the office.
Social media enabled – You know one of the easiest ways to get clients is through social sites. If you have a CRM that has social sites integrated into it, you get to kill several birds with one stone. However, some of these features come at an extra cost. Therefore, you may want to consider your revenue before settling for such an option.
You get plenty of other features when you purchase CRM software, but these vary depending on the kind of platform you choose and the provider.
It is easy to enhance your solar sales online and offline with the help of this tool. You just have to choose the right kind that suits your company’s needs, and you’re good to go. And while you may need some time to learn how the system works, eventually CRMs will save you lots of time that your team can use in reaching out to leads that will turn out to repeat clients.
Remember that CRM alone is not enough to make stellar sales. You have to couple it up with a few other software and hard work if you want to achieve those goals.
The Editorial Team at SolarFeeds is made up of knowledgeable solar industry insiders and experts who have a passion to share valuable, helpful and educational information. Aiming at becoming the best place to learn solar, the publication partners with industry thought leaders, journalists and influencers. If you want to publish your articles on SolarFeeds Magazine, click here.