Quality salespeople can make or break your solar installation company. Why? Because they are the face of your company. They make up the first interaction with your company for most customers, and they are the go-to contact throughout the entire sales process.
First impressions last. For most customers, the first conversation they have with your salesperson is the impression they will have of your company. No need to worry, we have put this guide together to make sure your sales team is prepared to meet this challenge!
But first, how does training fit into this process? Are the best salespeople born or made? How can you be sure your team is up to your expectations?
Why is training so important
Solar PV salespeople need to know a lot. Both the technical details of the installation project, the details of the financing options, and the logistics of the entire sales-installation process. They also need to present this in a way that is clear and easy for the client to understand.
This is important: it doesn't matter how well trained or effective your installation team is if the salesperson can't do their job. If the customer misunderstands a detail, or your rep can't answer an important question clearly, the contract may be lost.
That second one is especially important in solar. Nearly every potential buyer will have preconceived notions of what solar is and what it can do for them. Your salesperson needs to be able to recognize these and navigate them in a way that doesn't confuse or offend the customer.
Now that we know why it is so important, how can you make sure your salespeople will be able to handle the job? How will you know when they are ready to represent your company?
The Three Things You Should Do When Training Salespeople
Train Them on The Product
Back to basics. You need to make sure your salespeople understand what it is they are selling. This is especially important with new employees, but whenever you bring someone into your company you should give them the time and resources to learn about all your product and service offerings. They should know every product you sell, every service you provide, and the pricing, before they start out.
Check with your distributors to see if they provide documentation that may help with this process. Often distributors have training materials, or will be willing to conduct product knowledge sessions for your sales team. Whether for new hires or current employees, this is a great way to ensure everyone knows their stuff.
It's always a good idea to do some quick quizzing to make sure they retain the information. Just ask them a few questions about technical details or pricing to make sure they're not missing any important info.
How do you train your salespeople? Let us know in the comments!
Show Them Around The Tools
Every employee has a set of tools that are required to get the job done. For installation it's your torque wrenches, pliers, cable cutters, etc. For sales, its a good quote template (see our free checklist for what should be on your quotes), a drawing tool, and the right knowledge.
If you use a solar sales accelerator for your drawing, quotes, and project management like our installers do, then the best thing you can do is train them on how best to use it. Solargraf has a library of short, simple training videos to get your new hires started in 15 minutes.
If you don't use a software designed for the solar industry, you can look into whether your platform has training videos. If so, work with your salespeople to ensure they know how to use it to sell solar PV systems.
Quick tip: to check whether they remember the process, ask them to go through a sale start to finish with you.
Have Them Shadow an Experienced Salesperson
Finally, before letting your new salespeople out on the road to start making sales, a good final step in the training process is to have them shadow one of your more seasoned reps.
Shadowing is the best way to have new salespeople learn the ropes. They will see how to pitch the system, handle questions, and move through the entire process. Not only that, but they will learn it from one of your established employees, so you will get a consistent image and process across your sales force. When it comes to building your brand reputation, this is a step in the right direction.
At the end of the day...
Every salesperson represents your company. Every conversation they have with clients, every email, phone call, or proposal makes an impression on the client. Training your salespeople well is the best way to make sure they will be able to represent your company well, and make more sales.