In a perfect world, your solar reps would spend most of their day selling what is a can't miss-product: affordable, pollution-free energy derived from the sun. But alas, the world is imperfect and your reps' lives are plagued by various time-sucks that keep them at their desk and away from leads.
Here are just a few of these sales time-sucks for solar reps — and how your team can effectively minimize them.
One biggest time-sucks is redundant and/or unnecessary data entry and account management. Don't get us wrong, a sales rep needs to make sure their accounts and opportunities are up to date in the system, but research suggests their time could be better allocated. As we recently noted, a research report from Implisit — who, full disclosure, is a CRM productivity consultant — found that most sales reps spend way too much time in Salesforce and that the time is spent on low-impact “tasks” and not enough time on high-impact “opportunities.”
Regardless of your CRM system, the message is clear: make sure your team is entering important opportunity-related data in your CRM system — things like the content of phone calls to a lead's reservations in a sales meeting — while spending less time updating lead e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. The sales assistant should handle those tasks.
At the same time, massive sales time-sucks for solar reps ensue when CRM systems aren't effectively updated. A rep goes into a meeting not knowing that another rep already talked to the same lead or that the lead was a high-value opportunity 12 months ago. The rep rehashes old material and wastes the lead's time in the process. (And therein lies the irony: finding the balance between too much unnecessary CRM data entry while also making sure you have the right information handy.)
Another time suck ensues when sales reps don't have standardized marketing collateral like close out binders to work from. This may not sound like an obvious problem, but hear us out for a minute. Most leads will pass on residential solar due to one of two reasons. Either they perceive a lack of value or the price point is too high. Does your team address these concerns in a structured and uniform manner? Or does sales rep Jim take one approach while Steve takes another?
Furthermore, does Jim effectively speak to the perceived lack of value? Or does he not fully address the concern? If he doesn't fully address the concern, it will take him longer to “make the case” to the lead: more eBlasts, more calls, more hassling. Whereas if a highly targeted and powerful case can be made, the time to close can shrink considerably.
Another time suck is an inability for sales reps to take complex ideas and present them in a simple manner. Things like warranty information and financing come to mind. While your reps don't want to make them sound “too good to be true,” you also don't want them to overwhelm leads, particularly early in the sales cycle. Confusing leads inevitably lengthens the time it takes to get to a conversion.
Last but not least is a time suck that's familiar to all workers, regardless of title or industry: the Monday morning meeting. Face it, it doesn't work. Push it back to mid-week.
Well, what do you think? What other solar rep time-sucks did we neglect to mention? How do you track your team's productivity? Do you think your team effectively uses your CRM system, or has it too turned into yet another time suck?
Looking to maximize your team's productivity? Contact us for a free consultation.