Have you worked in the solar industry for long? Then you know that very few customers purchase solar panels on the spot. Instead, they ask for proposals so they can compare offers.
So, one of the best ways to close deals in this field is to produce quality proposals, then distribute them at lightning fast speeds. Enter: solar proposal software.
In this article, we’ll explain what solar proposal software is, why it’s so beneficial to sellers like you, how to choose between the many options available, and eight specific apps to consider.
We have a lot to get to, so let’s get started!
What Is Solar Proposal Software?
Solar proposal software allows folks in the solar industry to streamline the solar sales process.
Most apps in this category do that by giving users the tools they need to visualize solar panel layouts for potential customers and quickly calculating the costs of a new system. The resulting document can then be distributed, so leads have the necessary data to make a buying decision.
But, of course, every tool in this category is different. In a few minutes, we’ll highlight some of the best solar proposal software on the market and their specific capabilities. But first…
Why You Need Solar Proposal Tools
We know what you’re thinking, “Do I really need to invest in solar proposal tools? My tech stack is already bursting at the seams.” We hear you, but solar proposal software has unique benefits:
- Simplicity: Solar proposal software is designed to, you know, help you make solar proposals. Because of this, apps in this category can really streamline the process.
- Speed: Because solar proposal tools make it so easy to generate winning proposals, you’ll be able to get them to prospects faster, increasing your chances of a sale.
- Tracking: Use solar proposal software to monitor the prospects you’ve sent proposals to and their reactions to them. That way you can iterate your proposals as necessary.
- More Sales: At the end of the day, solar proposal tools help close more deals. It makes sense. When you generate proposals faster than the competition, you’ll be top of mind when your prospect is ready to make a purchase. And because you can track documents, you’ll be able to optimize your proposals so that they result in more sales.
How To Choose Solar Proposal Software
Now that you know what solar proposal software is and why it’s so beneficial, let’s talk about how to choose the right platform. Here are four things to think about during the buying process:
Consider Ease of Use
The solar proposal software you choose should be intuitive. Basically, if you need a degree in rocket science to operate the app, you should probably find a new tool. (Unless you actually have a degree in rocket science. If that’s the case, feel free to invest in a complicated solution.)
Though many apps claim to handle every aspect of the solar installation process, many of them require training. Learning to use them will cost you resources you could spend elsewhere.
Look For Necessary Features
Ease of use is great. But if the solar proposal software you choose sacrifices necessary features in the name of intuitiveness, you’ll be sorely disappointed with your choice.
Think about your current proposal process. Which features would be nice to have? Maybe you want pre-formatted templates. Or built-in calculator tools. Or document sharing capabilities. Make sure the app you purchase has these features before you sign on the dotted line.
Ensure Customization and Integration
While handy, solar proposal software is not the only tool you’ll use every day. In all likelihood, you’ll also use a CRM, an invoicing tool, and a bunch of other applications.
Do yourself a favor and make sure the solar proposal tools you’re considering can integrate with your current tech stack. That way you don’t have to manually transfer data between apps. Not only will this slow you down, it will open you up to many unforced errors.
Prioritize Mobility and Remote Access
Finally, select a solar proposal software that you can use on a mobile device. This will allow you to create and send proposals while you’re in the field talking to potential customers.
Imagine how many more sales you’ll make when you can end prospect conversations with an actual proposal rather than the tired line: “Let me get back to the office and run the numbers. Then I’ll follow up with you in a couple days with a formal proposal.” WAY more!
The 8 Best Solar Proposal Software Options
You don’t want to use any solar proposal software. You want to use the best solar proposal software. Fortunately, the eight apps below fall into that category. Let’s take a look…
G2 Rating: 4.5 stars / 302 reviews
Best For: Field sales teams
SPOTIO is a one-stop-shop for field sales teams in the solar industry. With this tool, users can generate leads, communicate with prospects, send proposals, track sales performance, and way more—all from a single location that’s accessible on any phone, tablet, or computer.
- Store winning proposal templates in your SPOTIO account
- Automatically distribute proposals at ideal times with automated emails
- Accept e-signatures in app, so that prospects can become customers in less time
- Analyze each of your reps’ behavior to determine the number of proposals they send
- Integrate SPOTIO with the tools you already use, like Solo, Enerflo, Salesforce, Google, and Zapier
G2 Rating: N/A
Best For: Unmatched 3-D solar models
Solo is “designed to help you grow operations” for your solar company. One of the ways it does this is by providing users with an industry-leading solar proposal software tool.
- Access SunPixel’s patent-pending tech to create top 3-D models of prospects’ homes
- Quickly edit all of your proposals in real-time—directly in front of potential customers
- Produce proposals with credit qualifications, lender docs, and more inside of Solo
- Enjoy flexible safeguards that restrict features for certain people. For example, Solo will allow you to let managers adjust pricing details, but not reps, if so desired.
3. Aurora Solar
G2 Rating: 4.7 stars, 97 reviews
Best For: Ease of use
Aurora Solar is one of the best-known solar proposal tools on the market. It achieved this by building an intuitive tool that’s also uber powerful, and combining it with great customer service.
- Create custom proposals that include images, videos, etc. with a drag-and-drop editor
- Add detailed calculations to your proposals regarding battery storage that include visuals
- Streamline the loan pre-approval process and boost revenue with integrated financing
- Use Aurora AI to create 3-D models in 60 seconds—and do it with the tap of a button
- Automatically build contracts with e-signature capabilities based on accepted proposals
G2 Rating: 4.5 stars / 108 reviews
Best For: Utility-scale solar designs
Unlike the solar proposal software above, pvDesign is best suited to large, PV plant operations. If those are the kind of solar projects you work on, you’ll probably enjoy this easy-to-use tool.
- Access 400+ pages of engineering documentation for every design iteration
- Enjoy built-in custom cost templates for accurate CAPEX and LCOE estimates
- Quote a variety of projects, such as those with BoM, lists of posts, and cables
- Discover project capacity and energy yield estimates while you design proposals
G2 Rating: 4.5 stars / 11 reviews
Best For: Commercial solar professionals
Helioscope, an Aurora Solar company, is the tool you need if you design and sell C&I solar projects. Once you add Helioscope to your repertoire, your job will get much easier.
- Create CAD-quality designs and access a financial calculator in-app
- Achieve greater speed and accuracy during the design process with LIDAR
- Make proposal changes faster than ever, banishing bottlenecks and maximizing ROI
- Integrate Helioscope with top tools like Salesforce, Zoho, and HubSpot
G2 Rating: 4.1 stars / 11 reviews
Best For: Accurate solar data
EagleView is a top solar proposal tool because of its ability to produce accurate roof dimensions and shading analysis, which allow solar companies to quickly create install-ready designs.
- Enjoy high-resolution aerial imagery to ensure you have the most accurate data
- Access a 3-D generator to create install-ready designs—no experience required
- Produce top-level solar systems without visiting the site thanks to drone-level clarity
G2 Rating: 4.8 stars / 2 reviews
Best For: Budget-conscious sellers
Next up, OpenSolar. The first thing you need to know about this solar proposal software is that it’s completely free. The second thing you need to know is that the low price doesn’t prevent OpenSolar from delivering top-end features that you can use to design pristine proposals.
- Create interactive online proposals that can be accessed on any internet-capable device
- Allow customers to accept proposals, and even pay fees via multiple payment options
- Receive real-time notifications when a prospect interacts with your proposal in some way
- Include communication buttons so leads can contact you directly through your proposal
G2 Rating: 4.2 stars / 3 reviews
Best For: Solar and storage designs
With Solargraf, users get access to a variety of tools they can use to produce professional solar designs. Of note, Solargraf allows users to create battery storage plans, too, which means this tool can be used to build full-system solutions for each and every one of your customers.
- Take advantage of high-resolution imagery from Nearmap, Google, or Bing
- Enjoy side-by-side site views using aerial photography thanks to dual-screen options
- Access AI features to automatically detect roof lines, pitch and height, obstructions, etc.
- Receive shading analysis that integrates right into proposal calculations—with one click
- Simplify battery design by viewing actual components from top manufacturers in-app
Master Your Solar Proposal and Sales With SPOTIO
Solar proposal software is important. Once you add this kind of tool to your tech stack, you’ll be able to create and distribute winning proposals in less time, boosting your ability to close deals.
Of course, proposals are only one aspect of the solar sales process. To streamline all of them and become a top field sales rep for your company, start using SPOTIO.
SPOTIO was specifically designed for outside sales. As such, it’s equipped with handy features, like territory mapping, lead generation, route planning, multi-channel communication, task automation, document distribution (to send proposals), and custom reporting tools.
Request a free demo of SPOTIO to see if our platform is right for you and/or your sales team.