This is the second article in our Commercial Solar Success series.

How do you target businesses when you’re looking for commercial solar customers? Do you use direct marketing? Google Adwords? Facebook advertising? Newspapers? TV? Radio? What about door-knocking? Have you ever wondered how you could find the types of businesses who buy solar quickly and easily? Imagine for a moment 2 scenarios:

Read more: Targeting businesses for commercial solar

This is the first article in our Commercial Solar Success series of articles focused around how you can establish a successful commercial sales process.

Businesses come to us so too often saying that they are struggling to grapple with the challenges of commercial solar customers. Many businesses just haven't been able to take off with their commercial success for a variety of reasons. You might be succeeding in residential, but with the market share swiftly shifting more and more to commercial, it's essential for all solar businesses to get a firm grasp of what's required to succeed in commercial solar. We've created this series to help address the challenges that the commercial sector brings (and help you achieve higher profits). 

Selling commercial solar is completely different to residential. The systems are larger, there are technical considerations, the decision-makers are usually tougher and the whole process can take much longer. In fact it’s not unusual for commercial solar systems (10kW+) to take more than 3 appointments, many quote variations and 6 months, a year or more of waiting for a decision! So knowing this, how does a solar company go about hitting the commercial sector in the most effective way possible? Here are some tips from SunWiz based on our extensive analysis of what successful companies are doing right, and what gaps exist:

What you need to know

Here are a few things which are absolutely crucial if you’re planning to enter (or expand) commercial solar targeting:

Read more: Hitting The Commercial Solar PV Sector

Many solar companies use an Excel-based quoting and proposal generation tool. But are Excel Solar Proposals really good enough? How much is wasted due to Excel’s shortfalls where it comes to running a solar business effectively?

1.      Training sales staff

Takes a long time to train sales staff because not everyone knows how to use Excel and it is a difficult tool to master. If you spend 6 hours training 6 staff members, consider that the cost of that time alone is likely to be over $1,000!

With PVsell… Training sales staff is easy because PVsell is intuitively designed with the feedback of many active solar industry businesses.

Read more: 5 Things That Go Wrong With Excel Solar Proposals

How do you calculate Solar PV payback?

Are you still using Excel to calculate your solar payback for customers? Excel is a fantastically awesome tool for doing quick calculations, but when it comes to solar calculations there are heaps of reasons NOT to use Excel.

People don’t understand my spreadsheet!

solar PV payback comic dilbert

Excel can do all the wrong things for some people – including making them want to fall asleep. If you’ve come up with a brilliant spreadsheet which perfectly expresses the temperature co-efficient of solar cells as a function of internal rate of return then the chances are, you’ll baffle and confuse most of your customers. What makes it even worse? The only customers who do understand your spreadsheet probably aren’t going to trust your calculations.

How PVsell solves this:

PVsell produces simple, easy-to-understand results. Your customer doesn’t need a masters engineering degree to understand the output. They will get an accurate, simple report of solar PV payback every time.

Show me something that looks nice

solar pv payback spreadsheet

Spreadsheets were never designed to give you a graphically pleasing output. As a result, most spreadsheets are, let’s face it, ugly. Customers who see your spreadsheet-driven proposal might get past the complexity and trust issues above, but if it doesn’t look like a professional proposal, you’re in a whole new world of trouble trying to convert the sale!

How PVsell solves this:

PVsell output is designed to look good. Your sale is on the line after all!

Solar PV Payback - Accuracy issues

An Excel spreadsheet can be fraught with issues in accuracy. This is particularly important when calculating solar power export. Even masterful Excel users will agree that getting the program to account for orientation and tilt when assessing export volumes and time-of-generation value is not an easy task.

How PVsell solves this:

The PVsell engine has been refined and perfected over the years. It is extremely robust and the most accurate calculation for solar PV available anywhere.

Find out how PVsell can transform each and every solar PV payback proposal you pass to your customers today - click here


As if it weren’t hard enough to make a buck out of solar already, the news that solar businesses won’t be able to get help from Nigel Morris anymore just made life even tougher. The solar industry has already had to cope with the Abbott government’s recent announcement about its expanded cessation of CEFC project funding, and Mr. Morris’ departure will mean yet another hit. To make matters worse, not only is Nigel exiting consulting, he’s doing so to head up one of Australia’s leading solar retailers. So you’re going to be facing some intense competition from a well-respected company headed up by a dynamic genius and master strategist who knows exactly what makes solar businesses successful.

Read more: Nigel Morris takes the helm of leading solar retailer… what this means for the solar industry

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