The Beacon Leads Blog

Unqualified Solar Leads Polluting the Industry

How did you react the last time you received an unsolicited call from a telemarketer? The answer is probably not something G-Rated; however, this is the exact problem adversely affecting the solar industry. Solar lead generation companies have polluted this iconic, clean source of energy. Solar Industry production promises a renewable, endless stream of energy and resources for use across the globe. California has invested more resources into embracing the solar industry, as specified by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the next few years, the expected revenue from solar power will double easily, if not increase even more. As a result, solar companies need to know how to reach the thousands of potential customers. Unfortunately, many lead generation companies employ the hated, age-old way of generating leads: cold calling.

Outbound Marketing: Turning Leads To Ashes Since, Forever

Lead generation companies survive on the basis of getting customer information and making the connection to you with differing means, such as solar appointments or solar live transfers. Outbound marketing is basically a way of saying that companies call endless streams of customers about solar technologies and products. In California, solar energy is booming, and lead generation companies for solar providers are using automated dialing systems and pushing products on people. For example, a call center may have one hundred employees, and each employee has to meet a quota of leads, such as twenty-four leads.

Although lead generation companies are supposed to provide accurate information, the need to meet the quota is resulting in misinformed customers, irate families, and general dislike for the solar energy industry. Instead of focusing on obtaining strong, pleasant leads, many lead generation companies only have one focus, money. Some customers may even stay on the line to find out how they can report the “cold call.” What could have been a viable lead, becomes an angry, lost customer, and your business suffers from it. Rather than embracing the promise of solar energy, customers are more tempted to keep using fossil fuels, just to avoid these problem companies.

Who Gets the Leads?

Solar companies expect lead generation companies to carefully nurture the leads, answer customer questions, and pass along this information to the solar company. Yet, many lead generation companies are gathering leads by cold-calling and selling the leads to multiple solar companies.

Depending on the terms of the individual contract between the lead generation company and the respective solar company, the lead may be sold multiple times. This problem specifically hurts solar live transfers, as live transfers are often the last step between a lead and a purchase with a company. Basically, if a solar company receives the lead, the lead should practically be a customer. If a competitor also receives the lead, but not the solar live transfer, the first company loses out entirely.

How Many Lead Brokers Are There?

When the internet was young, lead generation companies were few and far between, and telemarketing ruled the streets of lead generation. Cold calling as a form of lead generation was accepted, but all of that changed with the rise of the internet. Lead generation companies gained the ability to let customers contact them after seeing ads online, or by other digital means, but the demand for more leads has brought back the practice of cold calling. While online ads may be slightly annoying, they lead to the solution of the current cold calling disaster—inbound marketing.

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How Is Inbound Marketing Different?

Inbound marketing, which few lead generation companies use, works on getting potential customers to contact the lead generation company. Also, inbound marketing eliminates the skeptical, annoyed customers, who avoid answering the phone when they know a solar lead generation company is calling. Smart phones have given birth to caller ID, and cold calls are a solar company’s invitation for a customer to ignore their products and services. Inbound marketing uses a customer’s own internet movements to determine which customers want more information about solar technologies and products.

For example, an inbound marketing tactic uses automated, online advertisements to catch the attention of potential visitors, which is based on previous search histories and browser history. In many cases, customers will actually reach out to the company on their own about obtaining the product or service. Inbound lead generation companies will, almost exclusively, only call a customer upon customer request. For example, after filling out a form to receive more information online and providing their contact information, the lead generation company will pass this information along to the solar company, or contact the customer, depending on how the solar company wants to receive the lead.

Unethical lead generation companies routinely rely on outdated, cold calling practices to generate solar leads. Even in the solar-rich environment of California, lead generation companies are alienating customers. To add insult to an injured client base, some lead generation companies are selling leads to multiple companies as well. Rather than devoting resources to cold calling and turning the solar industry into a polluted mess, more lead generation companies should be employing inbound marketing techniques. If more companies make this switch, you will see solar energy can be restored to its clean form in customers’ eyes.

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Rob

Executive and Lead generation expert with over 15 years of sales, direct mail, internet marketing, and call center campaign experience. Extensive loan origination experience beginning 2001. Currently Lead Generation Manger with Beacon Leads & Advantage Inc in Orange County, CA.

Rob GoodrichUnqualified Solar Leads Polluting the Industry

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