Solar sales representatives and assessors interact with prospective or existing customers to determine their solar equipment needs.
Solar sales representative jobs main focus is to prepare proposals, quotes, contracts, or presentations for potential solar customers. These green job holders also assist customers in selecting solar energy products, systems, or services based on customer’s electrical energy requirements, site conditions, price, or other factors.
Solar sales representatives and assessors typically develop sales plans and objectives for a given company. They spend time keeping up to date with market demand in order to change sales plans in real time and deliver the best possible value for their customers. This involves implementing cost effective business models to ascertain the feasibility and cost effectiveness of sales programs as well as determining sales prices for various products.
Solar sales representatives and assessors often need to provide customers with information such as quotes, orders, sales, shipping, warranties, credit, funding options, incentives, or tax rebates. It is important for solar sales representatives and assessors to be familiar with new financial incentives like rebates or tax credits and to understand government laws as they apply to solar energy regulation so that they can explain to customers.
Another important aspect of solar sales representatives and assessors is to interact with prospective customers. They gather information from prospective customers to identify their solar energy needs. They provide technical information about solar power, solar systems, equipment, and services to potential customers or dealers. They take quote requests or orders from dealers or customers. They also generate solar energy customer leads to develop new accounts.
Solar sales representatives and assessors in general need to be knowledgeable in the energy systems they are selling, including the parts and their functions in the system. They need to be able to calculate potential solar resources or solar array production for a particular site, considering issues such as climate, shading, and roof orientation. They also need to assess sites to determine suitability for solar equipment, using equipment such as tape measures, compasses, and computer software. Computer software that they may use are Autodesk AutoCAD software, Google Sketchup, and Salesforce CRM. Some positions involve the preparation or reviewing detailed design drawings, specifications, or lists related to solar installations.
Solar sales representatives and assessors generally work in offices. With the growth of solar companies internationally and in the US, solar sales representative and assessors are often required to travel within a 100 mile radius in order to meet with clients and conduct sales. Some solar sales representative and assessors can work from home based on employer policies.
Obtaining a green job as a solar sales representatives and assessors typically requires a bachelor’s degree in a technical or scientific field like engineering or environmental studies. Some employers require business degrees and a few years of sales experience in the field. This will enhance the ability of the solar sales representative and assessors to explain their product to customers, and to provide technical assistance when necessary. Typical skills in planning, organizing and communication are a plus in order to present ideas to clients and co-workers.The ability to multi-task and prioritize to meet deadlines is also important for solar sales representatives and assessors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a bright outlook for solar sales representatives and assessors and expects employment of this field to grow between 10 to 19 percent from 2010 until 2020; about the average for all green jobs. The BLS projected 159,700 solar sales representatives and assessor job openings between 2010 and 2020, and noted 400,000 jobs are currently filled. Titles included Commercial Sales Manager, Energy Consultant, Sales, Sales Associate, Sales Manager, Sales Rep, Sales Representative, Salesman, Solar Consultant, and Solar Sales Representative. The BLS further reports that the median annual wage for salaried solar sales representatives and assessors was $74,970 in 2012 with median hourly wage of $36.04. Wages and benefits vary by employer and geographic location.