As the demand for clean and renewable energy and solar batteries continues to surge, solar businesses in the Australian market are faced with the challenge of staying competitive while meeting the evolving needs of their customers.
There are a number of companies offering out-of-the-box solar business solutions to Australian retailers and solar companies. While these solutions are sometimes touted as complete solutions, claiming to provide everything solar businesses need to ramp their solar battery sales, are they really as complete and feature rich as their websites and marketing materials indicate?
In this article, we will delve into the solutions available and look at their benefits and shortcomings.
How do you choose which solution to adopt?
You’ve made the decision to rethink your solar business and move more aggressively into selling solar batteries. Now what? How do you pull together everything you need to set up your business for success?
Broadly speaking there are four routes to market for solar businesses looking to grow their business with solar battery sales.
- The DIY approach
- Payment solutions providers
- Energy retailers
- Turnkey solutions
1) The DIY approach
This approach takes the most amount of time and energy. It entails setting up numerous relationships with product wholesalers, energy retailers, training companies, technology providers, financiers, software providers, lead generation providers and so on. When all is said and done it becomes a pretty long to-do list, with lots of heavy lifting, administration and ongoing management needed to make all the pieces work together.
2) Partnering with payment solutions providers
Finding the right payment solution is often the starting point for most businesses looking to sell solar batteries, especially given the high entry up front cost for consumers. There are a number of companies that have carved out a niche by focusing on offering renewable energy payment solutions. These solutions generally fall into two categories:
- Personal and/or green loans especially designed for ‘green or home improvement projects’.
- 0% interest, Buy Now Pay Later loan
Once you get accredited by these companies you can offer your customers the most relevant product for their needs. Once the job (solar installation is complete) the solar business is paid up front, and customers pay off the loan over time. These companies generally do not offer any other products or services, so you still have to set up all the other pieces of the puzzle yourself.
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3) Partnering with an energy retailer
You can partner with an energy retailer and become a reseller of their products and services. In short, they provide the payment solutions and product packages for you to sell and install on their behalf. In theory this is a good model with solar panels, batteries, inverters, VPP and energy plans bundled together.
However, when you dig deeper there is a fundamental problem with this model.
In order to sell their solar energy solutions you also have to sell their retail energy plans. Not only do you have to sell the benefits of solar batteries and Virtual Power Plants, you also have to switch customers over onto long term retail energy contracts that are directly tied to the purchase. This extra commitment from the customer makes it harder to close solar battery sales.
In addition, if customers decide that they want to go to a different retailer for their energy needs in future, there are often contract break clauses that stipulate that they have to pay out the remaining value of their loan. This can further hamper your ability to close sales with customers wary of solutions that lock them down, especially pertinent in the current market where energy costs keep rising.
4) Turnkey solar sales solutions
The most recent development in the solar industry space is companies launching solar as a service turnkey solutions designed to help solar businesses, installers and retailers sell solar energy solutions with a focus on batteries. To date there are two main business models which, while they may seem interchangeable on the surface, are very different.
- The platform model (products, and services are bundled together from different suppliers and companies and then marketed as a complete integrated offering).
- The integrated all-under-one-roof model such as the one offered by Powow Energy.
The ‘Cobbled Together Platform’ model
With this type of model, an existing company, e.g. a finance provider, creates a platform for other ‘accredited’ partners to provide additional complementary products and services (that they don’t have expertise in themselves) to consumers.
Carrying the financier example forward – they build/create a platform that aggregates other companies products and services to sell alongside their core payment solution offering (which is where they make their money). The challenge with this type of platform based, multi-supplier offering is that, contrary to how it is sold to potential partners, it is not a true all-in-one integrated offering.
You still have to work with, and manage multiple suppliers – it’s just that rather than doing the legwork to set it all up yourself, it’s brought together in one platform that you can access as long as you are willing to exclusively offer the company’s payment solution of course!
Other endemic to the industry problems still persist, it’s just that now they are dressed up in fancy new clothes.
- You still have to deal with multiple suppliers and manage multiple relationships.
- You still have to sell retail energy plans to sell solar and battery offers, and Virtual Power Plants.
- You still have to train your sales team to sell a multitude of different offers and products.
- You still have to sell retailer energy plans to sell Virtual Power Plant solutions.
- There is no centralized training that helps you perfect your solar battery pitch and objection handling strategy.
- You have to work with multiple systems and processes.
The Powow Model
Powow provides the most complete and integrated solar sales solution available on the Australian market. Everything solar companies, installers and retailers need to win battery market share is provided from one supplier, under one roof, in one easy to implement, manage and sell offering.
All your product needs are covered. With the Alpha ESS Smile S5 battery, plus leading inverters and monocrystalline panels you have everything you need to create packages to suit all your clients.
Virtual Power Plant
Because the Powow VPP is retailer independent there are no lock-in energy plans to sell in sight. It does what a VPP should do, make battery sales easier, not get in the way of closing them.
Battery Sales Training
Provided, facilitated and designed by battery sales experts that have sold 1000’s of batteries. We provide face-to-face online facilitated training sessions to all new partners, give you access to our online training platform, and provide on-demand help through our dedicated virtual Q&A whatsapp forums.
Backend Support from experts
Our engineers and customer support staff draw from a wealth of experience across 1000’s of battery installations to help ensure your installations go smoothly.
A state-of-the-art energy management app with in-buit customer support
The new Powow app gives your customers more control and insight into their battery system, VPP participation and earnings. And with a unique integrated customer support feature, your customers can request support directly from the app. We will help evaluate support requests and provide advice and recommend solutions to help you get to solve issues quickly and efficiently.
If you are serious about selling batteries and creating a business that is set up to sell batteries, it is paramount to understand the different routes you can take to get there, and the challenges that some of them present. If you are interested in hearing more about Powow, please submit your details here and we’ll be in touch to discuss how we can help you sell more batteries and box out your competition.
Rethink solar with Powow today.
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