Solar Powered Efficiency: Discovering the Best CRM for Solar Businesses

July 7, 2023

In the rapidly growing solar industry, effective customer relationship management (CRM) is crucial for companies to thrive. A robust CRM solution can streamline your operations, boost your customer’s satisfaction levels, streamline your sales processes, and optimise your project management processes. In this article, we will explain the importance of choosing the best CRM for your solar company and give you a list of the CRM systems that we’ve used and recommend. 

Later on in the article, we’ll also delve into the key features that you should be considering if you are in the market for a new CRM solution for your solar company. We also discuss some free CRM options that you could consider adopting for your solar company. 

Why Every Solar Company Needs to Have a CRM Tool

As you probably already know, the solar industry has experienced a remarkable transformation in recent years, partly due to soaring global demand and the costs of solar plummeting. However, despite this growth, solar companies find themselves facing a new set of challenges like increased competition, lead management complexities, project tracking issues, and the need for effective marketing strategies.

Overcoming these challenges is crucial for sustained success in this rapidly evolving industry. Although there are many ways to skin a cat, one of the most effective ways to prevent these challenges from hindering your solar company’s success is to start using a CRM tool. 

Why is Using a CRM Tool Important For Your Solar Company?

In the solar industry and any other industry cultivating strong and lasting customer relationships is vital. A robust CRM solution enables you to centralise customer data, track interactions, and provide personalised service. By understanding your customer's needs and preferences, you can deliver exceptional customer experiences, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.

It will Streamline Your Sales Process and Manage Your Leads Effectively

One of the common challenges that solar companies often face is ineffective lead management. When I speak with solar company owners, especially start-ups, they frequently express their struggle with managing leads effectively.

As you can imagine, this is a huge issue because efficient sales processes and effective lead management are crucial for your solar company's growth. If your solar company is struggling with this, Chances are, you may not have a CRM system in place, or if you do, your team might not be using it.

Using a CRM tool will streamline your teams’ lead generation, tracking, and nurturing, empowering your sales teams to efficiently manage their pipeline, improve conversion rates, and close deals effectively. It helps you stay organised, prioritise leads, and deliver timely and relevant communication to potential customers.

Using a CRM Tool Will Empower Your Customer Support Team

As you probably already know, providing great customer service can result in positive reviews and more word-of-mouth recommendations for your business which can lead you to get even more business. It’s the snowball effect of business and should be a priority. 

A CRM tool equips your support team with the necessary tools to deliver top-notch service. By integrating customer support features into your CRM, you can track and resolve customer issues efficiently, ensuring prompt and satisfactory resolutions. With access to a comprehensive customer history, your support team can provide personalised assistance, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What are the Key Features to Look for When Looking For a CRM for Your Solar Company

When selecting a CRM for your solar company, it's crucial to consider the following key features within your CRM tool.

Lead Generation and Tracking Capabilities

Your CRM tool should offer your solar company effective lead generation and tracking capabilities. Look for features that allow you to capture leads from various sources and track their progress throughout the sales cycle. This ensures that no potential customer falls through the cracks, maximising your conversion opportunities.

Project and Proposal Management Tools

Efficient project and proposal management tools are essential for solar companies. Your CRM should provide features to streamline project planning, task assignment, and progress tracking. Look for tools that enable you to generate and manage proposals quickly, allowing your team to communicate efficiently with your clients.

Integration with Solar-specific Software

To enhance your workflow and efficiency, choose a CRM that integrates seamlessly with solar-specific software. Integration with tools such as solar design software, shading analysis tools like OpenSolar, or financial calculators can significantly improve your operations and provide a comprehensive solution for your solar company.

Reporting and Analytics Features

Having accurate data and insights is critical for making informed business decisions. Look for a CRM that offers robust reporting and analytics features. This allows you to track sales performance, customer behaviour, and other key metrics, empowering you to optimize your strategies and drive growth.

Mobile Accessibility and Field Operations Support

As you probably already know, in the solar industry, field operations are an integral part of the business. Ensure that your CRM offers mobile accessibility and field operations support. This enables your team to access and update customer data, manage tasks, and collaborate seamlessly while on-site, enhancing productivity and customer service.

What is the Best CRM for a Solar Company?

Now that you’re well informed about the essential features to seek in a CRM tool for your solar company, we are excited to share our top CRM tool recommendations. This carefully curated list is the result of extensive online research, insightful conversations with some of my clients who are solar company owners, and our own experience at 99Solutions Marketing, where we have evaluated various CRM tools to identify the ones that truly excel. So here is a list of the CRM tools that we recommend.

SolarCRM

SolarCRM stands out as a comprehensive solution tailored specifically for solar companies. It offers robust lead generation and tracking capabilities, project and proposal management tools, seamless integration with solar-specific software, advanced reporting and analytics features, and excellent mobile accessibility and field operations support. With its industry-specific focus, SolarCRM is a reliable choice for optimising your solar company’s business processes.

Solar CRM’s Pricing and Plans 

When it comes to pricing, SolarCRM falls within the mid-range spectrum, offering you flexibility with three distinct pricing plans. These plans range from $45/35.25 per month to $195/153 per month, catering to different business needs and budgets.

At first glance, you might find these prices quite reasonable, especially when you consider the value they provide. Let's delve into the specifics. The starter plan, priced at $45/month, covers up to 5 users. If you have a team of 5, this translates to a mere $9 per user, offering an affordable solution for small to medium-sized solar companies. 

Now, if you're planning to scale your operations and have a larger team, SolarCRM's pro plan might catch your attention. Priced at $95/month, it accommodates up to 20 team members. Crunching the numbers, this averages out to roughly $5 per user, presenting a highly cost-effective option for organizations with a team of 20.

By offering tiered pricing plans that adapt to your business size, SolarCRM ensures that you can access the right features and user capacity without stretching your budget. This way, you can optimise your CRM investment while keeping your financial goals in check.

Hubspot CRM 

HubSpot CRM is renowned for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, making it accessible to solar companies of all sizes. Whether you're a small startup or an established industry player, HubSpot CRM provides a powerful yet easy-to-use platform to manage your customer relationships effectively.

Why Choose Hubspot CRM? 

The reason why Hubspot deserves a spot on this list is because of its outstanding ability to integrate with other very useful HubSpot tools, such as the Hubspot Marketing Hub and the Service Hub. This integration creates a unified ecosystem that streamlines your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts. You can align your customer interactions throughout their entire journey, from initial lead capture to post-installation support. With a seamless flow of data between departments, you can provide a personalised and cohesive experience that sets your solar company apart from the competition.

HubSpot’s Pricing and Plans

As of late 2023, HubSpot's Starter plan is priced at $45 per month. It's designed for growing businesses that need more advanced features and capabilities. With the Starter plan, you gain access to additional features like email tracking, email templates, meeting scheduling, and email automation. It's an ideal choice for solar companies.

While the HubSpot professional plan is priced at $450 per month, This plan is suitable for solar companies that require advanced CRM functionalities and have a larger sales team. With the Professional plan, you gain access to features like custom reporting, teams and advanced automation. It provides you with the tools to streamline your processes, track performance, and take your solar company's sales strategies to the next level.

On the other hand, HubSpot's Enterprise plan offers the most comprehensive set of features and is tailored for larger companies with more complex sales and marketing needs. As of 2023, HubSpot’s Enterprise plan costs $1,200 per month. Under the Enterprise plan, you’ll get access to really handy features, like Predictive lead tracking, Forecasting and Revenue Tracking. These features can be useful if you have a large team and you’re working on large-scale installation projects.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive CRM stands out as an exceptional choice for solar companies due to its tailored features and capabilities that specifically address the unique needs of the industry. With its streamlined lead management system, solar companies can efficiently track and organize leads from multiple sources, ensuring that no potential customers slip through the cracks. 

I’m a fan of Pipedrive’s visual sales pipeline management feature enables a visual representation of deals, allowing solar companies to identify bottlenecks and take proactive measures to move deals forward. 

Pipedrive CRM also offers automated deal tracking, seamless collaboration and communication among team members, comprehensive reporting and analytics, and integrations with solar industry tools, like Solar Monkey and Scoop Solar. 

Pipedrive Pricing and Plans

*Pricing may vary depending on currency exchange rates. 

The average cost of a Pipedrive subscription is $15 per user per month. However, there are various pricing plans available depending on your business needs. For instance, if you have a small team, the Essential plan might be suitable for you starting at $12.50 per user per month. 

On the other hand, if you need advanced features like workflow automation and multiple dashboards, you can subscribe to the Advanced plan at $49.90 per user per month. What we like about Pipedrive is that they offer a decent variety of pricing options so that businesses of any size can benefit from their CRM system without breaking the bank.

Zendesk

When it comes to choosing the perfect CRM for your company, there are so many options available. However, Zendesk CRM stands out as another great choice in the market.

Zendesk is a cloud-based customer relationship management platform that offers businesses tools to manage their customer interactions effectively. It's an easy-to-use platform that allows teams to work together seamlessly while providing customers with personalised experiences.

Why We Recommend Zendesk

One of the key features of Zendesk CRM is its ticketing system, which enables you to manage all your customer inquiries and issues in one place. This feature will help you to resolve your support tickets quickly by assigning them to relevant team members based on their expertise.

Another notable feature of Zendesk CRM is its reporting and analytics capabilities. The platform also provides real-time insights into customer behaviour, enabling your team to make data-driven decisions about how they interact with customers.

In addition to this, Zendesk offers integrations with other popular business applications such as Salesforce, Hubspot, and Mailchimp. This integration capability makes it easier for you to integrate other business applications seamlessly with the Zendesk platform

How Much Does Zendesk CRM Cost? 

Zendesk offers a range of pricing plans to suit the needs and budgets of various businesses. The plans include Zendesk Sell Team, Growth, Professional, and Enterprise.

First up is the Team Plan, perfect for small teams needing a straightforward CRM solution. For just $19 per agent per month (billed annually), you get two customisable sales pipelines, email and calendar sync, appointment scheduling, call and text message logging, built-in sales dashboards, and Core API access.

For growing businesses in need of more advanced features to nurture contacts and analyze data-driven decisions, there's the Growth Plan. Priced at $49 per agent per month (billed annually), it includes everything in the Team Plan plus 10 customizable pipelines, product catalogue creation, custom reporting capabilities, sales forecasting tools, and lead/contact nurturing functionalities.

Mid-sized to large companies looking for even more customisation options will love the Professional Plan. At $99 per agent per month (billed annually), this plan offers all of the features included in the Growth Plan plus 20 customizable pipelines, lead/deal scoring systems to prioritize high-potential opportunities for increased conversion rates, automated workflows/triggers for task creation/assignment to specific users within defined user roles/permissions structures.

Conclusion - Tying it all up 

Choosing the best CRM for your solar company is a crucial decision that can impact your business's success. Whether you opt for a free or paid CRM, it's important to evaluate the features and benefits of each option before making a decision. With the right CRM in place, you can streamline your operations, improve customer relationships, and ultimately drive more sales.

At 99Solutions Marketing, we understand the unique challenges facing solar companies today. That's why we specialise in helping solar companies like yours get more leads and sales through search engine optimization (SEO). Our powerful strategies are designed to unlock the true potential of your website and drive high-quality traffic to your business.

If you're ready to take your solar company to the next level, we encourage you to get in touch with our team today. Simply click here to contact us to get started. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.

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About Author

Bekani Thulani


Bekani, founder of 99Solutions Marketing, seamlessly combines solar energy expertise with digital marketing acumen. Through compelling content, he simplifies concepts, motivates action, and communicates the tangible benefits of solar power.