In fact, a survey conducted by the B2B Technology Community found that 61% of B2B marketers thought generating high quality leads was the biggest challenge they faced. You might even agree if you have tried lead-gen before.
So how can you go about getting quality leads for your solar power business? For starters, you can turn as many of the casual browsers who are hitting your website into prospects. They have already expressed interest by looking for more information on your site, so why not ask them to subscribe to your list as well?
MarketingProfs ran their own survey to find out the most effective avenues for B2B lead-gen, and declared that company websites rank 6th in getting high quality leads amongst 26 popular methods, right behind emails and electronic newsletters. So there is already great potential in all the web traffic you are getting! The real challenge is capturing their contact details, which brings us to lead generation widgets...
A widget is essentially a piece of code which you can instantly install on a platform, such as your website. It either displays a program or a part of it, and can be tailored to virtually any requirement, including lead generation.
Solar power widgets usually come in the form of rate calculators which allow a person visiting your website to understand how much they will have to spend to purchase a solar power system based on their current energy consumption habits.
These can also help your audience understand how much savings they can expect from a solar power system. The widgets will ask the user to leave their contact details in return for this information, thereby creating a pre-qualified lead for you. Compiled below are 5 of the most popular lead generation tools you can plug into your site, and start getting qualified leads from tomorrow!
By the way, I am not trying to promote the products, and none of the listings below have any affiliate links embedded in them. I am only compiling all the widgets I found in one page with their respective features as a resource, which hopefully will help you find the best solution to your requirements.
OK then, let's take a look at those solar power widgets now...
Geographical area: USA, Caribbean, Canada, Central America
Pricing: Free trial for 30 days, starts at $59.99/month after that.
Provided by Energy Matters, Energy Periscope is a complete sales solution for renewable energy businesses which you can use to both generate leads, and follow up with them.
The widget will also allow you to customize the lead information which you intend to collect ranging from a simple zip code submit, to name, address, telephone number and email address.
Leads which are generated from the widget are automatically recorded into your Energy Periscope user account.
A person browsing your site can use the widget to get a ballpark estimate on the kind of costs and savings that will result if they go with your solar PV system/solar water heater/solar pool/wind turbine.
The best part is it can provide estimates to people living in USA, Caribbean, Canada and even Central America. Most widgets out there only give estimates for mainland USA.
Energy Periscope offers a free 30-day trial, and if you find it worth your time, you can go for one of their subscriptions.
Pricing starts from $59.95 per month after the free trial ends, however their OEM/Distribution modules which come with more features are costlier. You will need to get in touch with their support team and discuss your requirements before being quoted a price.
Geographical area: USA
Pricing: Free trial for 30 days, $2.99/lead after that.
Unlike Energy Periscope, which offers a complete out of the box sales and customer management system, SizeMySolar only has a simple lead generation widget, but don't let it fool you into thinking their product isn't worth your time!
The best thing about SizeMySolar widget is its graphical user interface. Most people aren't really familiar with energy speak such as kW, kWh, feed in tariffs, etc all of which are important pieces of information needed by solar rate calculators to give an accurate estimate.
The widget then extrapolates the savings which will result by comparing the area allocated for solar panels by the user against their monthly electricity bill. The results include both the financial and environmental savings that will result if the user goes for solar power.
Results are then mailed to the user, and the lead generated is provided to you, complete with name, address, phone number, email address, monthly electricity bill and comments made by the user.
SizeMySolar explicitly state they do not share your leads with anyone. While I am reasonably sure none of the other services will share your leads, the fact they have not mentioned it anywhere easily accessible on their sites does leave some room for jitters.
Geographical area: USA
Pricing: Starts at $295/month.
ModSolar is hands down the most holistic online solar sales solution currently available. Not only do they offer a solar lead generation widget which is very easy to configure and install, but, they also provide a thorough backend lead processing service that permits you to develop a proposal in mere minutes instead of hours.
For starters, their widget uses Google Map geo-location API, much like SizeMySolar. However, it takes in more information such as kWh rates as well. ModSolar understand their audience may only know how much their monthly bill is, and not the kWh rate they are paying, so they keep this field at a lower priority.
A person using the ModSolar widget on your site starts by inputting their address with which Google Earth locates their home. They can then zoom in to their property and use the widget's cursor tool to highlight the area where they wish to install the panels.
Furthermore, important user information such as user contact details are asked after they can see the solar panels installed on their property in Google Earth, just before they are shown the savings they can expect.
Again, ModSolar really nailed it here as most people will be uncomfortable parting with their email and phone number on the first step. The widget eases the user into the process by asking for their contact details on step 3, before showing them the "payoff" rather than the beginning.
Once a lead is created, it is automatically recorded into your account. You can log in and create a proposal for the lead using their software. ModSolar can help you perform credit checks on your leads before contacting them as well. Their software comes with a built in seamless solar specific workflow that helps you manage your leads with great ease.
You can generate as many proposals as you like, however the Professional version is not white label, so you will not be able to customize it with your company logo. This feature is available from Enterprise 1 Edition onwards which costs $995 per month.
While all the aforementioned are great tools, if you will like to test the waters before diving in, then here are 2 solar rate calculators you can grab for free. They do not ask for a user's contact details, so they cannot be used for lead generation, at least directly.
But you can still use them to help your audience get an idea about how much they can save by going solar, after which they may contact you via email or contact form on your website for more details if they feel like it.
Solar Guide Calculator
Geographical area: England
Solar Guide's calculator is a good option if you are based in England. You can choose from 3 different types of calculators to install on your site including price estimates, £/kWp estimates, or you can just design your own pricing matrix.
Geographical area: USA
Price: Free and $29.99 (one time)
You can find all types of calculators on Calculator Pro, ranging from those designed for health to finance. Their free version is good enough, but it requires you to link back to their site, and you can only run 100 calculations a month.
The paid version is available at a onetime payment of $29.99, and can be customized with different background, border and text colors, font size, and text.
Your company website is no doubt an indispensable business tool; however giving it the ability to actively engage with the audience via a solar power widget can put it on steroids! The first thing someone hitting your site wants to know is if they can even afford solar power; having a rate calculator permits them to do so quickly and effortlessly.