Where Solar and Security Meet
Security companies that do not have solar as part of their offering will struggle to compete
- By Braden Mounteeer
- Jan 25, 2022
For years, home security has relied on the door-to-door sales model. Every summer, hordes of ambitious men and women take to the streets to knock on doors and, hopefully invited to the kitchen table for an honest conversation about home security.
For many sales reps, the kitchen table experience was an exciting part of building a strong relationship with a consumer. The best sales reps fulfill the role of a trusted advisor: Someone who has more information about home security and can help customers make wise decisions for their home.
A Trusted Relationship
The trusted advisor relationship was the best part of selling home security for many sales reps that view sales as helping people make a decision they would have made themselves had they had all the information. It is not about convincing someone to do something he or she would never do on his or her own; it’s about being a reliable source of information. Sales reps that do this well build strong relationships and increase brand loyalty for their customers.
Over the last few years, as technology has advanced, demand for home security has increased dramatically. The marriage of home security and home automation has made home security systems more appealing to the majority of consumers and the rise in home security adoption proves it.
The home security industry has always innovated to meet demand. Assimilating home automation features such as thermostats, lighting, and more into a central hub to facilitate complete home automation is just one example. Now, the security industry is seeing innovation in how home security is delivered to the end consumer.
The trusted advisor relationship has driven fantastic results, but the increase in home automation demand has prompted some companies to adopt a Direct to Consumer (DIY) model, disrupting the need for the trusted advisor relationship.
Now, many consumers are attracted to using the DIY options to avoid the increased costs that come with sales commissions and professional installations. DIY is driving costs down for homeowners and has reps worried about staying employed.
Reps Concerned about the Staying Power of Their Jobs
While hundreds of security companies still have plenty of success with the door-to-door model, it is clear things are changing.
With companies, like SimpliSafe and Ring succeeding at a DIY model for home security, sales reps are starting to worry about the sustainability of their roles as the trusted home advisor. Because of the growth in home security demand, the need for door-to-door reps will soon decline.
Understandably, this has many security professionals worried. In order to stay employable, security reps will either adapt and evolve along with the industry, or jump ship in favor of something that better fits their skill sets.
Dave Anderson, CMO at Complete Solar, said, “We’ve actually seen a lot of sales reps abandon the security industry in favor of selling solar,” said Dave Anderson, CMO at Complete Solar. This observation is not the only one. Many security industry leaders are taking note of the migration of sales professionals to solar.
CEOs and sales leaders are looking for new ways to keep their sales force engaged. Some are updating their compensation plans, while others are looking to provide improved upward mobility. Many feel like they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to make things work for their sales teams.
There are, however, other options. Some notable vendors in the security space have decided to add solar as a bolt-on product to their home automation offer.
“By partnering with Complete Solar, the security companies we work with were able to increase their revenue with an additional product, improve the compensation structure for their reps, and enhance their recruiting program too,” Anderson said.
“Security dealers by far have seen the best success with adding solar to their existing offer. Of all the industries we’ve partnered with, security has seen the most success,” said Shane Messer, CRO at Complete Solar said. Security companies that add solar to their offer are seeing close percentages going up for both products (security and solar). Being able to offer security and solar in a single package makes both offers stronger than they are alone.
Solar is Poised for Dramatic Growth
Companies such as Alarm.com, Amazon, Google, Zillow, Rocket Mortgage, and many more have expressed interest in entering the solar industry, but home security companies are going to be the primary beneficiaries of solar success if they are willing to innovate.
There is an obvious opportunity for further innovation in home security when it comes to solar and home automation. Including solar monitoring and smart appliances in a central hub powered by home automation is a clear next step.
In the coming months and years, adding solar as an additional home automation offering is going to be a key maneuver for attracting and retaining top sales talent. In addition to recruiting and retaining reps, solar is a potential key driver for significant revenue growth in the home automation industry. As both industries grow, they will inevitably grow together. The organizations that will win are those willing to pioneer the improvements in home automation and solar.
Solar is on the cusp of dramatic growth. With installations projected to double over the course of the next few years that is 2.5 million new customers looking to go solar.
Revitalizing the Trusted Advisor Relationship
With a partnership, some companies have had success marketing to their past customers about a new solar offer, but the companies that see the most success go all in and are offering solar at the kitchen table, revitalizing the need for the trusted advisor relationship.
With security, demand and market penetration has started to reduce the need for door-to-door sales. Solar, on the other hand, still has a long way to go. Misconceptions about solar are rampant and it has caused market penetration to be slower than expected. Mass adoption is still a year or two away, so jumping into solar now makes sense.
Consumers are bombarded with misinformation about solar and about 50% of people think it is a luxury product for the wealthy. This is outright false.
For the vast majority of homeowners, solar will literally save them money the first month after going solar. Financing a solar energy system will cost less than the average homeowners current energy bill, leaving a net gain in savings. The benefits of solar are obvious for anyone that looks into solar, but the misinformation currently prevents consumers from saving money with solar.
Solar is in desperate need of trusted advisors, and security companies are primed to provide the best-trusted advisors in the business.
This article originally appeared in the January / February 2022 issue of Security Today.