2016 will be a Year Of Change for many: investors (interest rates), politicians (election year), and IT (cloud computing) to name a few.
Others caught up in this Year Of Change include sales and business leaders working in the commercial energy efficiency market. Opportunity abounds, but old practices and processes stymie productivity.
First, the opportunity.
The global market for LED lighting is projected to grow 7x to $166 B by 2022. Other parts of the energy efficiency market are on-track for major expansion too.
But three big blockers make it hard to capitalize on this growth.
First, energy services providers, whether LED retrofit specialists, HVAC experts, or smart controls and energy storage gurus rely on labor-intensive sales activities that cripple scalability and profitability.
Second, if capital is needed for a project, then the search for quality financing consumes time better spent elsewhere.
Third, aspirations to convert a project win into a profitable annuity revenue stream for energy management services languish on the ‘to do’ list.
Let’s explore these issues and what to do about them in ‘16.
Pre-sales has three principal activities. The sales rep secures a meeting with the decision maker, whether building owner, facilities manager, or tenant. A presentation takes place. Assuming sufficient interest, the service provider needs a site visit to collect information. Then a proposal is prepared.
Persuading a prospect to engage is hard. So every “at-bat” must be optimized. If sufficient value isn’t communicated, then the prospect is likely to disengage. Game over.
The biggest drag on sales productivity is the site visit. This is the default starting point to developing efficiency projects. This activity allows the service provider to tell the customer the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of where to improve performance.
But only 5-10% of all buildings audited will go forward with the proposed efficiency project. Time spent scheduling, traveling, auditing, writing, and reporting is wasted. Service providers justify this as the “cost of doing business.”
Why continue using an approach with a failure rate as high as 95% when there is a better way?
Finding qualified sources of capital to finance your customer’s efficiency project can quickly become a black hole. For example, which lenders specialize in this area? What type of financing is a best fit for your customer’s unique needs? Are you leveraging innovative new mechanisms likes shared shavings?
Do you want to leverage smart, sector-specific capital and optimal rates for fast approval?
A proven track record is essential to becoming the customer’s trusted advisor. Sadly, current processes make it all but impossible to easily show your customer bottom-line savings from energy and water retrofits. Complicating matters is the fact that data may be viewed skeptically by your customer.
Furthermore, managing many efficiency projects, each at different stages like audit, measurement and verification, or energy consumption tracking creates significant reporting and project management challenges. As a result, valuable resources get diverted, or mis-allocated.
Wish there was a proven way to support extending a positive retrofit experience into a profitable ongoing relationship?
Introducing five New Year’s Resolutions that remove these barriers so your business can accelerate in ‘16:
Interested in starting a conversation? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Energy Inc. is a technology company that combines cleantech, fintech, and information technology to transform the way building owners and service providers generate successful energy and water efficiency projects. Building Energy’s cloud-based software is used to design, implement, and finance energy and resource projects by building owners and managers, energy management companies, and sustainability professionals.