Palmetto Solar ramps up lead gen…to boost sales team appointments by 75%
Palmetto Solar is one of the fastest-growing growing start-ups in the solar & renewable energy space. Recently raising a Series B round of investment funding, Palmetto was ready to staff an experienced sales team to supercharge their growth and expand into virtual sales. They decided to revamp their CRM platform with a focus on acquiring new sales leads via digital marketing efforts. In partnership with Palmetto, we devised a strategy not only to deliver qualified leads but also to develop automated lead nurturing workflows to further qualify MQL’s and deliver a 75% increase in qualified sales appointments.
Palmetto faced two challenges with their existing approach:
- Their prior Paid Media campaign structure required a major overhaul.
- Lead Nurturing was non-existent and needed to be implemented from scratch.
The objective was to generate leads through custom audience building and geotargeted efforts spanning Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion tactics. Once leads came in, we planned to nurture them down a path towards Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) status to help the sales team prioritize their outreach efforts.
Prior to partnering with Mera Group, Palmetto was primarily operating an inside sales team in addition to door-to-door sales and pop-up tents, which is typical in their industry. They have had early success within the state of South Carolina, which is where they are headquartered. The key to their success was to expand nationwide through the use of virtual sales appointments.
Their sales team spent far too many hours per day sifting through unqualified leads trying to reach prospects that matched a rigorous set criteria that qualified them as a potential opportunity. As a result, they were losing up to 15 hours a week reaching out to leads and spending time walking them through the sales pitch only to find out they were unqualified from the start.
Overhauling their Approach
Driving Lead Generation Through Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion
Palmetto has been a player in the industry for over 10 years, but has recently pivoted to the direct-to-consumer model. Despite being able to operate in 16 states, their brand wasn’t as known in residential solar as it was in commercial solar.
As a result, we needed to develop a Paid Media strategy and campaign structure that was geo-targeted. In addition, the ability to purchase residential solar, and make use of valuable federal rebates and tax incentives, leads needed to meet certain qualifications up-front. Taking all of that into consideration, our approach covered the following key areas:
- Build Brand Awareness only within the 16 states they were permitted to operate. Leverage internal first-party and third-party data to enrich our audience targeting and hone in on the key demographic, in-market, and affinity based traits that make up their established personas.
- Cultivate Interest and Consideration among prospects that have interacted with our Awareness driving tactics, or have browsed the site and showed strong intent through their browsing behavior, with effective retargeting campaigns to stay top of mind.
- Introduce Conversion Optimized Lead Generation Landing Pages set up to qualify users through non-evasive, but effective multi-step forms. We also tested a variety of different form styles and questions throughout the life of the campaign with an “always testing” mindset.
Marketing Automation & Scoring
As leads started to come in the next step was to set up their Sales Team for success in managing the constant flow of form submission and phone calls driven in by our digital marketing efforts.
This resulted in executing the following automated lead nurturing campaigns and scoring mechanisms:
- Upon form submission, a Thank You email was triggered to provide acknowledgment that their inquiry had been received. In addition, we encouraged users to visit Palmetto.com to review further details and educate themselves on the company and their services.
- With the help of behavior tracking implemented on the site through their CRM platform, we were able to score users based on pages they visited, time spent on-site, and a variety of other actions they completed. These hand raisers were pushed to the top of the Sales Team queue for outreach.
- Users who may have visited the site directly or organically were also tracked and once they made it into the CRM platform based on a more general type of inquiry were nurtured down a 4-step email series each one driving them to take additional actions such as;
- Download a Case Study,
- Sign-Up for the Monthly Newsletter,
- See How Much You Can Save with our Cost Savings Calculator,
- Ultimately setting up a Free Consultation.
- All the while, we continued to score their behavior and alerting the sales team based on certain thresholds.
With the introduction of Paid Media, Palmetto has seen an average lift in Brand Recall of +35% across all serviceable states. Introducing conversion-optimized landing pages has enabled their inside sales team to manage and scale a Virtual Sales Appointment pipeline, while also reducing commission and remote sales team labor costs by over +50%. No longer are they reliant on door-to-door sales representatives hitting the pavement outside of their home state thanks to targeted lead generation campaigns funneling leads directly into their CRM platform.
In addition, the sales team is much more efficient with their time and call schedule with the introduction of automated lead nurturing campaigns and a lead scoring system that helps identify and prioritize fully qualified leads. This has resulted in saving nearly 15 hours a week that is now focused on providing a more personalized and complete sales pitch with higher opportunity conversion results.
MQL SALES TEAM APPOINTMENTS
75% LIFT SINCE PARTNERSHIP
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Whether you’re an established brand or an innovative new start-up, success doesn’t come from a single campaign or strategy. Lasting success comes from understanding your business objectives and partnering together to achieve your goals.