Solar design tips, sales advice, and industry insights from the premier solar design software platform

Our Newsletter

Katherine Burk Cheema is a Product Marketing Manager at Aurora Solar, managing the development of resources to increase awareness and communication of new Aurora features and tools. Previously, she was Head of Customer Success at Aurora Solar. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.


Katherine Burk Cheema

Picture of
Katherine Burk Cheema is a Product Marketing Manager at Aurora Solar, managing the development of resources to increase awareness and communication of new Aurora features and tools. Previously, she was Head of Customer Success at Aurora Solar. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Introducing Battery Storage for Aurora: Sell Storage with Confidence

Posted by Katherine Burk Cheema on Oct 1, 2020 1:53:40 PM

In the past decade the solar + storage market has seen incredible growth. Decreasing costs, along with favorable incentives, have contributed to a swell in demand. 

In fact, according to a recent Aurora Solar survey of installers, over 70% of respondents currently offer storage today. Participants in the survey said that the rise in interest for backup storage is largely being driven by a desire for peace of mind, usually in response to rolling blackouts, natural disasters and emergencies. 

solar installers

But while the demand for storage has grown, solar + storage tools haven’t really kept up. The installers we spoke with, for example, said they were using multiple tools, accounts and subscriptions just to close a single deal. 

While installers already have very refined processes for solar sales, when it comes to selling storage, most installers are still doing back-of-the-envelope guesswork or using Excel for calculations. In other words, installers are using a number of unscalable processes that don’t fit well, or at all, with their solar sales process. 

With this feedback in mind, we knew it would be important for Aurora’s new battery storage solution to serve as a seamless workflow for all solar + storage scenarios. 

And today we’re excited to announce the arrival of Battery Storage for Aurora! Our tool was designed and developed based on feedback and research from our customers and our community.  With the new battery storage tool an installer can:

  1. Analyze load offset
  2. Calculate system price 
  3. Make battery sizing recommendations 

The new tool also includes one of the industry’s most comprehensive databases of inverters and batteries for projects. 

“Our new battery storage functionality will significantly reduce the time needed to design the appropriate storage backup system for the customer.”  

Christopher Hopper - Aurora Solar CEO and Co-Founder 

Introducing: Smart Recommendations 

Battery Storage for Aurora allows you to present a homeowner with a pre-assembled smart recommendation that can be added to your solar design within seconds. 

The new tool comes with 3 pre-assembled smart recommendations: Saver, Average and Power. Each smart recommendation will give you battery sizing suggestions while taking daily storage capacity, backup load percentage, and backup duration into account. 

A few highlights of the recommendation engine are:

  • Fast: It takes less than 10 minutes to develop custom proposals for your customer based on how much backup capacity they desire, and zero time configuring since smart recommendations are pre-loaded in your account. 
  • Simple: Explaining battery backup can be technical and tedious. Aurora’s smart recommendations provide an easy-to-understand format so you can clearly explain the setup to the homeowner. 
  • Scalable: Battery Storage for Aurora is easily added to any existing (or new) solar project you have in your account. 

battery storage options

 

Send Your Customers Human-Friendly Battery Storage Proposals 

In order to sell storage effectively, every installer needs a sales proposal that is simple enough for a homeowner to understand. Our new battery storage proposal compiles the most compelling data that your customer needs to make a buying decision. 

Here are just a few things you can do with the battery storage proposal, inspired by our early beta customers:

  • Add storage to any existing solar project in Aurora and instantly upgrade your proposals to include solar + storage. 
  • Show the financial breakdown of the battery system or overall system cost. 
  • Showcase backup duration as hours, days, or a percentage. 

solar storage sales proposal

Unlock Sales with Customized Storage Configuration

Every consultative solar sale should be built around a customer’s wants and needs. With this in mind, we built our Storage Configuration Page to be flexible so that you can make dynamic changes to your design in real time.

solar storage configuration

Here’s how some of our early beta participants have used the flexibility of Aurora’s Storage Configuration page and how you can use it to close more deals:

  1. First you can kick off the sales consultation using one of Aurora’s smart recommendations based on your customer’s backup requirements.
  2. If a customer decides that the price point is too high, or that they require less backup, you can use the Backup Percentage and Backup Load toggle fields to increase or decrease these values. This will dynamically change the system price in real time.
  3. Finally, you can put the finishing touches by changing the battery and inverter combinations based on your customer’s needs and preferred price point.

“We found that installers are looking for an easy way to assess battery capacity, select the best battery configuration for their customers, and include it in the costs. Using Aurora, installers will be able to do just that. They won’t need to stitch together and pay for different tools to include storage in their design or sales proposals anymore.”

Justin Durack-  Vice President of Product 

Ready to Supercharge Your Solar + Storage Sales? 

If you’d like to see the new feature in action, you can request a demo here, or you can learn more about the feature in one of our live Product Training sessions

Topics: Features

How to Handle the “Now is Not a Good Time” Objection in 3 Steps

Posted by Katherine Burk Cheema on May 4, 2020 11:18:28 PM

How many times have you heard these responses?

  • “I'll get back to you at a better time.”
  • “I'll have to talk to my wife/husband/partner.”
  • “We'll have to think about it.”
  • “...It's just not a good time right now.”

“It’s just not a good time right now.” This all-too-common sales objection conjures up images of front doors slamming shut, phones clicking off, and chat windows closing out. Objections about timing certainly aren’t new, but if you’re working in sales today you may be hearing them now more than ever. As a sales person, you likely have your own specialized set of skills for responding to this objection, but you may not know how to respond during these uncertain times.

As a result of COVID-19, customers today are worried about their health, jobs and the economy. But there’s good news too. As homeowners spend more and more time at home, they may be paying greater attention to their growing utility bills, and be more open to a conversation about how solar could help control household expenses or support utility resilience. And, in many cases, both decision makers are at home now which could lead to a quicker sale.

ebook-li-ad_v2 (1)

The case for solar is as strong as ever, but to close a deal in the era of COVID-19, it’s critical to instill customer confidence. Here’s how:

STEP 1: Get Ahead of the Objections

Try putting yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers and carefully consider why they might think that now is not a good time to install solar. Are there any external factors that might be weighing on your prospects (i.e. major layoffs in your area, school closures, etc.)?

Another way to prepare for potential objections is to consult your family and friends and ask why they would or wouldn’t go solar at this time. Below are some common objections to solar that you may hear in the era of social distancing:

  • “I am concerned about the state of the economy.”
  • “I am worried about me or my significant other losing employment.”
  • “I am concerned I won’t get a quality remote site assessment or solar installation in this current climate.”
  • “If I have to move, I do not know what I would do with my solar installation.”
  • “Too much change is happening right now, and I am weary of making any big decisions or purchases.”

If you are using a CRM like Salesforce or Zoho, you could also review data on your recent lost opportunities and ask yourself: why didn’t these deals close? Now that you have some data, you can probably see some patterns and can prepare appropriate responses to the most common objections. 

Aurora Solar’s Mid-Market Executive, Elliot Goldstein, who has over 6 years of remote selling experience, also recommends leaning into objections immediately–never wait until the end of your conversation. Objection handling continues the conversation and more importantly keeps your customer talking. Here are a few questions you can use to get ahead of potential objections:

  • “How would you finance your solar system?”
  • “Would you take your solar installation with you if you moved?”
  • “Are you concerned about job security in the future?”

STEP 2: Validate Uncertainty

When interacting with customers it’s important to acknowledge and validate their uncertainties. Rather than trying to create a rebuttal to their concerns, let them know that the feeling of uncertainty is perfectly normal. Here’s an example objection and response:

Objection: “Thanks for calling, but we're not going to make any further investments to our home right now. We’ve got two kids at home from school, I’m swamped with work and given the state of the economy we are in savings mode. Solar is just a really big financial decision. The last thing I need is another thing to worry about.”

Response: “I totally hear you, I can relate to that myself. We’ve got kids at home from school and my wife and I are both working from our home office. We’re all in the same boat. I get that- solar is a big decision. So tell me–what about right now makes solar seem like an unlikely decision?”

Try to relate to your own experience or perhaps even share what you are hearing from other customers or prospects. Validating uncertainty shows empathy and gets your prospect talking.

STEP 3: Follow Up Often

Providing educational content to customers who can’t make a decision right now is a great way to move the sales process forward in a non-pushy way, and set yourself up as a trusted ally. The market is changing, and that means the sales pitch has to change too. Make sure to update your sales messaging to reflect the impact of COVID-19 and the future of the solar market. You can look through Aurora’s remote sales resource center for some ideas on how to make changes to your own materials.

By providing helpful resources, you'll establish trust and credibility, and be the first on their list when they are finally ready to go solar.

Even if sales are slowing down right now, it's a perfect time to plant some seeds now that will ensure a healthy sales season in the future.

View Comments