Listen to our Founder, Jason Loyet, featured on the SouthFound Podcast: Link to Podcast
This week, the President announced a tariff on imported solar panels in response to the Section 201 filing. In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the fact sheet released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
There's no doubt the solar industry has been affected these last six months simply from the anticipation of the outcome of the filing. While we're disappointed (to put it mildly) about the outcome, now we have an answer and can move forward.
Times like these present opportunities to reflect on what your company's value proposition is to the industry. That is, what problem are you trying to solve for the solar industry?
When we started Solar Site Design, we set out to solve the problem of expensive customer acquisition. Personally, our sales team needed a tool to capture data while we were in the field with clients. We also needed an easy way to share this data with our EPC partners. Independent sales professionals continued to approach us wanting to join the solar industry, but didn't know where to start.
So, we built the Solar Site Design platform to train and connect these independent sales professionals to our EPC partners when they had a client interested in building solar. Independent sales professionals now have a way to sell solar to their clients, and our EPC partners have an opportunity to win a qualified project through our Marketplace without paying for the project until it is sold.
As we reflect on more ways to solve customer acquisition in the commercial and industrial space - nationwide - we're continuing to build relationships with professional sales teams in the energy space and are excited about a new partnership with a manufacturer. We're working hard to find a way to close the gap on the commercial & industrial sales cycle, so stay tuned!
In the weeks ahead, as you're strategizing with your team, we encourage you to reflect on your "why", too.
What we've learned this past year from installers who have quoted and built projects they accessed in our C&I Solar Marketplace, it's that the customer doesn't always choose an installer solely based on who quotes the lowest price.
Commercial and industrial customers are looking at the total package when making their decision: they consider the installer's responsiveness and follow-through, portfolio of experience, location and professionalism (including how thorough they are in their presentation) -- in addition to the price. There's been a lot of discussion in the solar industry about a 'race to the bottom' in pricing solar projects, but it seems that most C&I customers understand that the lowest price doesn't always mean the best quality.
Our team adds new commercial and industrial sales-ready solar projects to the Marketplace every day, and with over 240 MW of active projects available, there's plenty to choose from! These projects range from 30 kW to 5 MW in size.
Check out a few sales-ready projects added this week:
What do we mean by sales-ready projects?
We work with professional, consultative commercial and industrial solar agents across the country who are already servicing their clients with energy efficiency, real estate, tax savings, insurance and other industrial sales needs. Solar is a natural next step for most of their clients, and by the time our installers meet them, the customer has already indicated they want to move forward with solar. It's at this point where the installer comes in, presents their proposal and closes the deal!
It's been an exciting, productive week on the road with our originators for in-depth training sessions on the C&I solar projects they're working that are ready to move forward. The business owners are learning so much about solar, and are confident in solar's benefits for their business. One invaluable characteristic of these Marketplace projects is that they all originate from a relationship built on trust. The trust the business owner has established with their agent (our originator) is evident and absolutely crucial to the sales process. As a matter of fact, we've seen evidence of this established trust being an accelerator to the long sales cycle.
We've been entering our project updates into our Marketplace, so be sure to log into your Marketplace account to see what's up!
Also, stay tuned for some helpful new updates we're working on for the Marketplace!
This Week's Hot Projects
C & I Solar Interview with Your Mark on the World
Solar Site Design President & Founder, Jason Loyet, sat down with Devin Thorpe on the Your Mark on the World Show to talk about the future of solar, specifically about commercial and industrial solar. See the interview below!
Have a great weekend!
Be sure to reach out to us with any questions, or if you want a live demo of our Marketplace!
- The Solar Site Design Team -
A week ago we found out we were selected as one of the companies to be featured in the Village 36 pitch competition at the 36|86 Technology conference!
Here's a quick bio about the conference, as listed on their website: "36|86 is the Southeast’s premier technology event for entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders from across the country. It showcases promising growth-stage startups innovating in traditional industries and positioning the region to lead the country’s next wave of entrepreneurship."
To say we're excited to be a part of this is an understatement. We're on a mission to continue building out our Solar Marketplace model, and one of the best ways we can do that is to continue surrounding ourselves with the most innovative entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We have a lot of work to do in scaling solar across the country, and participating in these events can often provide enough exposure that inspires investors and other innovators to learn how they can participate in and contribute to the solar industry. As the only solar start-up company in this competition, we have an incredible opportunity to do that!
So, if you're looking for a dose of inspiration, make the trip to Nashville from June 4 - 7! You'll get to hear from some of our country's top leaders and entrepreneurs, and you'll have a glimpse into the stories of 36 start-ups (including us!) who will be on stage pitching.
If you do make the trip, send us an email and let us know!
Have a wonderful Easter weekend!
Did you know that every commercial & industrial solar lead uploaded through our system receives a preliminary Working Model within 24 - 48 hours? Often times, if the utility bills haven't been collected yet, we work with the originator to start a very preliminary Working Model (an estimate with a drawing) and then we update the Working Model once we receive the utility bills.
We believe in treating every project lead like gold. Projects can't be built if there isn't a prospect/sales pipeline to work from, right? We currently have over 160 MW of a prospect/sales pipeline, right at your fingertips. What's even better? Every single one of the leads in our Marketplace have received a preliminary Working Model and have shown interest in solar. Every. Single. One. That's 500 project leads our army of originators are currently working. These are not cold leads; they come from originators who have relationships with these clients. Our installer network is only notified when our leads reach Letter of Intent, but installers can log in to their Marketplace account at any time to see what we're working on. We even write notes to keep installers informed on where the project lead sits in the sales cycle.
Hot Project Highlights
Here's a glimpse of a few of the project leads we've been working on this week. If you're a solar installer in the Northeast and service the New Hampshire area, be sure you click the link below to view the project. After 10 months of meetings, back-and-forth communication and Working Model updates, one of our commercial solar leads in New Hampshire submitted their Letter of Intent this week.
Defining your Service Areas in the Marketplace
We've added a new feature that allows installers to specify their active service areas. Active subscribers can simply log in to their Marketplace account and navigate to My Marketplace > Add Market, where you can add as many markets as you wish! Watch the short video below for a demonstration.
Have a great weekend!
Solar Site Design is so much more than 'just another lead generation service' for commercial and industrial solar. The founding team has been selling C&I solar for over 12 years, so it was learned early on that leveraging established relationships helps solar installers win projects in the commercial and industrial solar space. We wanted to share these tactics with solar installers across the country, so we built our new Solar Site Design C&I Marketplace.
Through the Marketplace, solar installers have the opportunity to connect to our network of originators - many of whom are commercial energy auditors, energy efficiency consultants, former chamber of commerce leaders, and so much more. So, what makes us more than 'just C&I solar lead generation'?
We need an army of qualified solar installers who want access to highly-qualified commercial & industrial solar leads. We invite you to try us out, and subscribe for a 10-day free trial.
Listed below are a few of the Marketplace leads that we have worked on this week. There are over 150MW of C&I project leads now available in the SSD Marketplace.
We have been updating several project leads, and just this past weekend, we received a record number of Letters of Intent. Those of you who are active, subscribing members of our marketplace have already received notification of these projects. In the last 24 hours, we received Letters of Intent for a few other projects, so be sure you log in and check out the opportunities!
When you access the project you're interested in, you have the opportunity to see - in real time - specific insight into where the lead is at in the sales cycle. We update each Marketplace project lead as we work on them by writing the most recent notes in the Important Project Notes section.
If you're not already a subscribing member of our Marketplace, we hope you'll take an opportunity to try it out using our 10-day free trial!
Accelerating the Sales Cycle for Installers
One of our first project leads to be accessed through our Marketplace, a 282 kW ground mount array in northern Alabama, is close to completion!
The infographic below illustrates the timeline of this project's sales cycle. With the Solar Site Design team working this lead for nearly 8 months, we saved the installer nearly 80% of the sales cycle. The installer's only upfront cost was a monthly Solar Site Design membership subscription, as our team only gets paid when the project closes.
The Solar Site Design team is on a mission to help installers reduce the incredibly long (& expensive) sales cycle in the C&I solar space as it pertains to customer acquisition.
Want to chat with someone before signing up? Schedule a meeting with us to learn about the benefits of becoming a Solar Site Design Marketplace member.
Together with our originator, Solar Site Design has been working on design options for this solar opportunity in Colorado. This particular customer has a large amount of land and are considering ground mounts, but they also have plenty of room for a roof mount.
We continue to collaborate with the originator and the building owners to understand their budget, aesthetic, and design preferences to install this system. This is part of what we do to help installers receive only the most highly qualified projects.
Once the client signs the Letter of Intent, we need installers interested in building this Colorado project. This is our originator's long-time customer and has built a solid, trusted relationship with them. Installers will be introduced directly to the decision makers by the originator.
Why do we do this?
Because our originator has already built that trusted relationship! That's where all of Solar Site Design's project leads come from...trusted, professional relationships. We believe that relationship-driven leads are the key to scaling the solar industry; it allows for an educational process for the originator, a way for installers to reduce their customer acquisition costs (and reduction in sales cycle time), and the customer enjoys competitive pricing and the benefits of producing clean, renewable energy for their business.
Note: You must be a subscribing member of our Marketplace to receive a notification on this project. If you're already a member, access this project today and send us a note through your personal dashboard. We'll notify you when the project is ready to move forward
Happy New Year! We hope you have enjoyed a joyful and relaxing holiday season with your friends and family.
We've been busy at Solar Site Design's headquarters this holiday season, adding nearly 14 MW of 'sales ready' C&I solar projects to our Marketplace since Christmas.
With the massive potential for solar in Florida, our originators are motivated and bringing our marketplace some incredible opportunities. Check out this 100 kW preliminary model we've designed for this commercial property on the west side of Florida.
To learn more about this opportunity, access the project below!
Within these last two weeks, our originators have uploaded 5.6 MW of commercial solar projects! That's an average of 350 kW of commercial solar leads uploaded per day (as of this newsletter). Our team of originators are motivated and have completely stacked their schedules with meetings to discuss solar with their commercial clients.
Since launching our marketplace in September, we've had solar projects ranging from 40 kW to 1 MW close all across the country.
If you're reviewing your sales and marketing budgets for 2017, consider subscribing as a member of our marketplace. With our new performance-based contract option, it's more affordable than ever to access our solar leads. Our monthly subscription price increases on January 1, so be sure to sign up before December 31, 2016 to lock in our best price!
New Solar Lead in New Jersey
To highlight one of several commercial solar leads uploaded recently, this is a 130 kW commercial solar lead in New Jersey. The originator of this lead has significant experience selling energy-efficient lighting products to the owners of this property.
A Win in Georgia!
The mission of our marketplace is to help you build more commercial & industrial solar in your local market and all across the country. Being based in Nashville, Tennessee, it's important for our team to show our neighbors a competitive offer to install solar. This solar lead in northern Georgia approved their construction quote and are moving forward with their install!
Who originates our leads?
Our originators are highly-respected business innovators and visionaries with significant manufacturing, sales and finance backgrounds. They are passionate about contributing to the solar industry, and have invested their time and resources into talking to their commercial and industrial clients about solar. With their help, you can fulfill their clients' desire to install solar on their business.
Solar's Economic Impact
Check out this infographic from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot team. Solar capacity has grown 26-fold since President Obama took office! Let's keep up the momentum we've established!
Have a great weekend!!
- The Solar Site Design Team -
Don't forget ... our monthly subscription price increases on January 1, so be sure to sign up before December 31, 2016 to lock in our best price!
This project lead in Virginia is for seven buildings that are part of a large retail facility. This 401 kW system offsets 100% of their energy usage!
A solar lead based in Tennessee, this 110 kW system was designed for a manufacturing plant. Our originator has been working closely with the key decision makers at the property.
For our subscribing members in the western U.S., this is an exciting new solar lead you can access in New Mexico. Our preliminary modeling estimates brought this project lead at a 280 kW potential for this commercial agriculture facility.
So, who originates these project leads?
These projects come from originators who have important working relationships with these business owners. The originators of these particular projects are highly-respected business innovators and visionaries with significant manufacturing and finance backgrounds. They are passionate about being a part of the solar industry, and have invested their time and resources into talking to their commercial and industrial clients about solar. With their help, you can fulfill their clients' desire to install solar on their business.
Greetings, installers! Our team continues making improvements to our marketplace, and we wanted to share with you an update we recently implemented based on the feedback we've received from our paid marketplace subscribers.
You can now see the stage of the project lead! So, in addition to our detailed notes, each commercial/industrial project lead in our system is assigned a Project Stage.
These stages were designed to paint a clearer picture of where the leads are in the sales process. Our goal is to provide all of our installers with leads that are best suited to their business model. Some installers prefer earlier-stage leads, and some prefer leads that have already received a Letter of Intent.
If you have more questions about the project lead, you can send us a message directly from the lead you want to access.
So, what do the different stages mean? Check out our descriptions below:
Letter of Intent: The customer has acknowledged to their trusted sales agent/originator they would like to move forward with installing solar. This is the highest qualified lead you can access.
Working Model Presented: The trusted sales agent/originator has been meeting with the client to review the initial, preliminary drawings and estimate (we call this the Working Model, since it is a fluid document - always changing based on the customer's budget and other circumstances that could change the size/scope of the project).
In Discussion: The trusted sales agent/originator has been meeting with the client to determine their energy needs, budget and to gather 12 months utility bills.
Qualified: The trusted sales agent/originator has determined the property to be a good fit for solar, and are working to contact the decision makers about further interest. This is the earliest lead you can access.
Log in and let us know what you think!
Not a subscribing member? We are currently offering a free 10-day trial through December 31, 2016. Pricing will go up next year, so be sure to sign up now and lock in your price!
Management personnel of this property have decided they want to move forward with installing solar, and they need to talk to installers about the next steps. Our team has been nurturing this commercial solar lead since the spring. We have updated the notes on this project in our Marketplace.
Access this project today, and present your solution to this highly-motivated client!
If you build commercial solar in the San Jose, California area, we have a project for you!
Our originator, who is the trusted sales agent to the decision makers at this property, put in some extra work and due diligence and was able to obtain PPA finance approval through a leading solar industry lender.
You won't find a higher qualified solar project lead than this one! Our team has worked really hard to accomplish a lot of the difficult up-front sales work for you; now we need solar installers who are ready to build this project.
Access this project today! The client wants to move forward as soon as possible.
Then you have a stellar opportunity to meet with the owners of this manufacturing facility who want to install solar. Our originator is meeting with the clients this week to discuss the project with them and to discuss their budget and the preliminary working model. You have an immediate opportunity to gain early access to this lead and be the first to meet with both the originator and the owners!
If you have specific questions pertaining to this commercial solar lead, our subscribing marketplace members have exclusive access to our team to send us questions about any project they see in our marketplace. Subscribing members can email us, access the project and start downloading files all from their Solar Site Design Commercial Marketplace account.
Just added to our marketplace today, this commercial solar lead comes from our originator who has been meeting with the management of this transportation hub in Phoenix. The utility bills have already been gathered, and our preliminary design team dug in and designed a 223 kW system for this property!
If you build commercial solar in or around the Phoenix area, be sure to access this project today!
Then take a look at this new commercial solar lead we received in Pennsylvania for a custom automotive business. You'll want access to this one, as the owners are motivated to install solar AND we have received a letter of intent. The originator is meeting with the owners again the first week of November, and needs a firm quote from a solar installer.
If you're building solar in Pennsylvania, be sure to check this one out. After studying this customer's utility bills, the preliminary design and estimate was calculated to be around 155kW.
Let's get this one in your project pipeline!
This northern California-based business is ready to go solar, and guess what? It's pre-approved for PACE financing! The originator on this project is knowledgeable about solar, and maintains a relationship with the owners. Having already obtained the PACE finance pre-approval, and with the originator already meeting with the owners and discussing their desire for solar, our team is arming you with every tool in the tool shed to sell this deal.
Let us help you get this project on your construction calendar before the end of this year!
Our team has been nurturing this 317kW commercial solar lead over the last few weeks, and it has received PACE approval. All documentation for this approval are uploaded and are part of the downloaded package you receive when you access this project.
Installers, you don't want to miss out on this 1 MW opportunity. Management of this property want to hear from you! Our team has been working hard over the last few months on the early modeling of this project and ensuring the customer's interest in installing a ground mount solar project. The owners are ready to move forward, and they have selected the area in which they want to install the system. This commercial facility has a lot of land, so a ground mount installation is of most interest to them. In our working model, we recommended a behind-the-meter solution for their property, as they are high energy users and will use the majority of energy the solar system produces.
Access this project today to get this project on your installation schedule!
Our Champion SouthEast Originator has received a notice to proceed for construction quote on this 50kW project in Tennessee Valley Authority Footprint. View more details and access Opportunity 126216 in the Commercial Marketplace today.
To our solar installers serving the Seattle, WA area, and all nationwide solar installers, we have a hot, new commercial lead available. The owner of this property owns multiple restaurants and other properties across the country, and is planning to make his properties more environmentally friendly. They know solar is a smart investment, and are ready to talk with solar installers about the final cost to install their first system on this Seattle-based property.
Click the button below to access the details, drawings and working model of this new lead, and to meet the respected originator who brought us this project. Remember - the originator is an extension of your sales team and want to help you close the deal!
The owner's agent on this project received a notice to proceed to move forward on installing solar on their distribution center in Utah. The owners are eager to meet solar construction companies interested in building out the project for them.
Our champion Originator has been nurturing this project lead this summer. When you access this project, our Originator will bring you up to speed on all communication with the owner. You will also receive the owner's 12 months' utility bills, photos of the property, and the initial working model we used to qualify the owner's intent to install solar.
Access this project (Opportunity# 152470) now to get started on building out your construction quote!
Massachusetts Showcase Lead #1
49kW Solar Roof Design (Commercial Opportunity 121715)
Access Project to review notes and meet SSD Commercial Originator Today
Pennsylvania Showcase Lead #2
40kW Solar Roof Design (Commercial Opportunity 150040)
Access Project to review notes and meet SSD Commercial Originator Today