NRG Home Solar
Generating over $80 million in new sales for solar firm
- Solar Energy
- Sales Enablement Tool
- Houston, Texas
They had a desire to look at the bigger picture, and not just nuanced details.Lynda Attaway, Former SVP, Operations u0026amp; IT
5/5 CLIENT REVIEW
Praxent teamed up with NRG Home Solar to create an innovative web-based sales enablement tool that makes it easier for homeowners to understand solar leasing options.
$80M+ new sales generated
20% under budget
The level of sheer intellect shown in their way of thinking about problems added tremendous value and saved us time. Praxent thought through all issues ahead of time before letting us run into them.
Lynda Attaway, Former SVP, Operations u0026 IT
The high upfront costs of purchasing a solar energy system can make recouping the investment seem distant
Needed a cloud-based portal for generating estimates and processing financing applications to make creating customized solar installation bids incredibly quick and easy for new sales reps
How We Helped
Created an MVP (minimum viable product) for optimal speed-to-market
Added enhancements and upgrades to the initial portal
.NET backend technology
Drupal with Salesforce integration
Real time results
Analytics that used growing streams of data to automatically fine-tune the sales process
Achieved business success while advancing a societal good
Drove the cost of acquiring new business to zero
All systems build under the budget and under the timeline
For homeowners, the high upfront costs of purchasing a solar energy system can make recouping the investment seem like a far-off dream. And that makes it a tough sell for companies that install residential solar systems. So the founders of NRG Home Solar had a bright idea new to the solar software scene: provide a customer financing platform for solar contractors so homeowners could start realizing the cost savings immediately.
They envisioned a sales enablement tool that simplified the incredible complexity of estimating a solar installation—taking into account everything from the size and pitch of a home’s roof, to local tax laws, to the angle of the sun at different times of year—while outputting straightforward financing options that showed homeowners the actual benefits they could expect.
How we Helped
Starting with only their idea, we built NRG Home Solar a cloud-based portal for generating estimates and processing financing applications
Built-in analytics that used growing streams of data to automatically fine-tune the sales process, increasing the company’s value to their customers
Sales enablement tool made creating customized solar installation bids incredibly quick and easy for sales reps
.NET backend technology combined with a custom Drupal CMS and targeted Salesforce integrations
We developed all our systems under the budget and under the timeline. This was a huge win for us.
Lynda Attaway, Former SVP, Operations u0026 IT
Within a year of launch, thousands of independent reps were using NRG Home Solar’s system and closing sales at a rate well above the industry average. NRG’s solar software had become the start of a new era in solar sales. For an industry that’s faced a lot of hurdles, the idea provided a real bright spot.
NRG Home Solar transformed themselves from a concept into a successful company. We partnered with NRG to turn their idea for solar software into a business engine, helping NRG create a tool that expedites and processes transactions like never before. The tool created business value in the form of:
- Real time results that established instant credibility, which was critical for this entirely new kind of business
- Analytics that used growing streams of data to automatically fine-tune the sales process, increasing the company’s value to their customers
- The enviable opportunity to achieve business success while advancing a societal good
- A conduit to customers that responded to their needs while driving the cost of acquiring new business to zero
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I was the SVP of operations and IT for a company that was an owner and operator of residential solar installations. Instead of paying upfront for solar panels, homeowners would only pay their electric bill, while our company handled the installation and sold power to clients.
Opportunity / Challenge
What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?
We were building new platforms from scratch and were looking for a nimble and talented team that could work with us. We got in touch with Praxent’s team and found a good synergy of personalities.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Praxent worked with us in bringing our vision to life. They developed the business-critical quoting engine used by our dealers, salespeople, and customers. It’s a self-service application for generating quotes.
One of the key elements we put forth when we started the company was to shorten the sales cycle and empower agents to self-quote by entering a few pieces of information that would produce a binding quote which didn’t require additional signoff by our layers of management. This is what Praxent has built for us.
We created an MVP [minimum viable product] and got it out to market. We continued to add enhancements and features to it, adjusting the tool to newer sales models, different security hierarchies, and so on. We went out with the MVP on purpose, given that we needed speed to market in order to obtain real feedback. Praxent worked with us through my entire stay with the company, and possibly later on.
I worked closely with 3–4 members of their team, but I know that there were more backend developers doing additional work. Tim Hamilton [Founder, Praxent] acted as my project lead and I also worked directly with a tech lead.
How did you come to work with Praxent?
I believe that we found them through a referral. I don’t know if we considered other companies.
How much have you invested with them?
The cost of their work was between $500,000–$750,000 during my involvement.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Praxent in December 2010. The project continued for the next 18 months, at which point I left the company, in early 2012. I believe that the relationship continued.
Results & Feedback
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Our company was successful and this tool was a critical element of that success. It was the main tool with which we drew sales. The best indicator of Praxent’s efficiency is that we were 20% under budget for the deployment.
How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?
We developed all our systems under the budget and under the timeline. This was a huge win for us. Communication was done through email, phone, and in-person.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The level of sheer intellect shown in their way of thinking about problems added tremendous value and saved us time. Praxent thought through all issues ahead of time before letting us run into them. Beyond this, there was a lot of dedication to the customer.
Never was there a time when I couldn’t get a hold of someone when I needed them. They had a desire to look at the bigger picture, and not just nuanced details. This is how I think about problems and how I like to run a company. There is a lot of commonality here, which I very much appreciate. This willingness to engage at this level is not necessarily common for consulting and development firms. Most want to take requirements and execute versus really helping us question them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They were growing at the time, but I left the company 3 years ago, so I’m not sure how Praxent has changed since then.
On Time / Deadlines
Service & DeliverablesnnIn hindsight, given the direction our product took, I would’ve built it on a different platform. The decision would have been a challenge for anyone at the time.
Value / Within estimatesnnWe knocked the cost out of the park.
Willing to Refer
Are you ready to dramatically improve your customers’ digital experience by modernizing, rather than rebuilding, your legacy software?
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation todaySchedule a call
Not sure if you’re ready to start your project?
Check out our free guide, and set yourself up for success right now.