Yoeri Kruissink is the owner of SolarSales, the only company that provides sales training specifically on solar energy. We ask him about SolarSales, the solar panel market and the collaboration with Solar Monkey.
Why did you start SolarSales?
“I have been active in the solar panel market for many years. I started as a consultant and eventually made it to team leader. Before that, I was also involved in charity, because I like to do my bit for society. I like to share all the sales experience I have gained with others and that is what I do best with SolarSales.”
What exactly does SolarSales do?
“SolarSales provides training to sales teams. Our aim is to make teams and the individuals in them enjoy their daily activities more and increase their confidence. As a result, they work more effectively and efficiently and their sales increase.”
“The question we often get is: ‘How do you onboard someone effectively, so that that person can not only advise clients well and substantiate the proposals?’ We have developed several training courses that cater to such questions. We also develop tailor-made trainings to tackle the specific challenges of a sales team. All our trainings are also interactive and through ‘gamification’ we engage the participants more.”
Gamification, what is that?
“Gamification is a way of training where we choose an overarching game theme and work with different mini-games. In those mini-games, we involve specific challenges. We then look at what is already happening within a team and what is not yet happening, in order to improve everyone in the team. This is all about being able to give your colleagues feedback and also working on yourself.”
Why should installers choose SolarSales?
“First, because we are a social enterprise, so we invest most of the proceeds. At the moment, for instance, we are working with Niyata to train young people in Utrecht to become solar panel advisers, and Niyata even offers them a job guarantee.”
“In addition, our emphasis on feedback sets us apart. A good feedback culture is crucial to grow as a team. Healthy feedback also leads to healthy businesses in the long run. In this sustainability-focused market, I believe we can also achieve better results by helping each other. We also carry that message in our training sessions.”
“Personally, I do not see other companies providing training courses as competitors, but as opportunities for cooperation.”
So how do you deal with competition?
“Personally, I do not see other companies providing training courses as competitors, but as opportunities for cooperation. At the moment, there are no companies offering specific sales training on solar energy. However, there are of course parties that focus more on the technical aspects of solar panels and we have good contact with them.”
“We see that the solar panel market is extremely competitive. It is sometimes difficult to stand out in it. Our view is that authentic selling starts by believing in your own offering and providing a good solution for your customer. If you cannot help a potential client, it is also nice to be honest about that and award that contract to someone else. Then chances are the same will happen the other way round.”
What’s your take on service contracts?
“There are many opportunities. Look, for instance, at the growth our market is making with rising energy prices. However, I do see the inconsistent government policy as a bottleneck. The fact that Solar Monkey makes it possible to anticipate some of the governmental changes and offers the possibility to calculate the effects in advance is great.”
“The market will also mature. Solar Monkey and SolarSales also contribute to this.”