How Benchmarking your business reveals gold nuggets that will skyrocket your profitability

Benchmarking  will reveal to you how your business is operating, and where it can make distinct improvements that will flow through to your bottom line.

You’re going to see how one salesperson could transform the sales of the entire company, and demonstrate how a shift in product focus and an increase in profit margin will result in substantially increased profitability without harming sales.

There’s three ways to get a run-through of the content: video, gallery of charts, or a full text&image explainer.

The charts below give you a glimpse of the insight we’ll give you into your best performers.

All from $0 (not a typo)... Here's what's free:

SunWiz is pleased to offer a free Benchmarking service, and this is what we’ll run through first. We also have paid extensions that identify your best performing products and salespeople, plus how you compare to the rest of the market. Let’s run you through your free dashboard

Overview of Trends

First, here’s an overview of your business trends – based upon your customer proposals, how much capacity you’ll move, revenue you’ll take in, and net profit you’ll reap. Here you’ll quickly see if you’re on a growth trajectory of the critical metrics.

Evolution of System Price

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Evolution of System Price

Next you’ll see how your system price is evolving, and note that this is based upon your proposals – factoring in those times you’re selling premium systems.

Revenue by Salesperson

You’ll also see what how much revenue each of your salespeople could bring to your business, and the same for each of your product combinations. You’ll quickly be able to identify which are the people and products that are working hardest for you.

What % Do You Win

Of course, its also important to work effectively, and here we’ll show you what percentage of jobs you’re winning, and how that trues up over time – because you won’t win every sale on the first call.

How is Your Profit Margin Trending

As important to winning the job is profiting from it, and this bit of the dashboard reveals your evolution of net profit margin.

Mark Jobs as Won in OpenSolar: Here's Why:

Now, you may not yet be using the OpenSolar CRM to identify jobs you’ve won. We highly recommend that you do, because it opens up new layers of visibility on your business. This includes your most effective staff,  the products that win jobs more often, and your expected profit per proposal. 

Revenue Proposed vs Revenue Realised vs Revenue Expected

Marking jobs as won in the CRM transforms the revenue proposed into revenue actually realised, versus the revenue that can typically be expected from each product or salesperson.

This applies at the salesperson level, where you can see clearly that Daryl Somers can teach Tony Barber how to close, and Tony Barber can get John Burgess motivated to hit the phone. This insight alone has the power to transform your sales.

COGS: the Gear that Scales Up Your Profits

One of the most powerful parts of OpenSolar is the Cost of Goods Sold. If you’ve entered this information, then you’ll automatically get access to your net profit on each job, after paying for your product, staff, and overheads include cost of customer acquisition. This then unlocks the ability to see how much profit you can expect to flow into your business, and which are your most profitable staff and products – plus which maximise your profits.

Fireworks: A lot of Bang for Your Buck

In our paid benchmarking service (which we’ll move onto now), you can show a detailed breakdown of which of your staff are most successful at selling, and which staff sell at the best margins.

We still show the revenue by salesperson (top right). But sales volume doesn’t necessarily translate to profit margin, particularly if Tony Barber was selling low-priced systems at cut-throat margin. 

In the upper left pane you can see Tony Barber wins only half as many of his sales pitches as John Burgess. 

By entering COGS we can determine your profit margin. The lower left pane then shows the average profit margin each salesperson is selling at. We now see that Daryl Somers is selling at a slightly lower margin than his colleagues, but he is still making ample profit.


Net Profit as Proposed, Realised, and Expected - by Salesperson

Because this company has configured OpenSolar with their costs of goods sold, the revenue chart from before is upgraded into something even more useful: the net profit you can expect to hit your bottom line, as seen below. Compare the amount of profit based upon proposal activity (the bars), compared to the amount of profit realised from actual system sales (red lines).

Net Profit as Proposed, Realised, and Expected - by Product

A similar analysis of your product combinations reveals that you’re salespeople are currently focussing on selling SMA & LG (red bar), but that they’re being more successful at selling SMA & JA (red line across orange bar), which is therefore giving you more dollars on your bottom line. (You might also notice that your SMA & LG net profit realised is well behind where it typically is)

But where should your product focus really be? This chart shows that

  1. you’re making greatest net profit margin on SMA and Astronery, but not winning jobs with it much.
  2. SMA and LG looks better from the perspective of net profit per watt, but because its got higher input costs you’re actually making less profit margin on it.
  3. Your best performer is way out to the right. SolaX and Opal solar is winning you half of the jobs its included in, at a similar profit margin to the rest.

Expected Profit: The Concept that Changes Everything

I need to introduce the concept of expected profit, because it’s going to change your life for the better. You can consider it as the profit you’re likely to make on every sales pitch.

An example is best: Let’s say you have a product that costs $1000, and lets say you have a 40% chance of winning the job if you sell it for $1100 (i.e. a 10% profit margin). But if you sell the same product for $2000 (i.e. 100% profit margin), you lets say have a 8% chance of winning the job.

What price should you sell the system at to maximise your bottom line?

For each pitch you make at $1100 you can expect to make only $40 profit (i.e. 40% of your $100). And for each pitch you make at $2000 you can expect to make $80 (i.e. 8% of your $1000 margin). You’d actually be better off selling at the higher price. And chances are there’s a sweet spot somewhere in between – say a 40% margin which you win 25% of jobs on, netting you $100 per pitch. You can see that maximising your expected profit delivers money and growth to your bottom line.

How to Maximise Your Expected Profit (and your bottom line)

Lets apply the expected profit concept to your jobs. You can see that because SolaX and Opal is winning so many jobs, its your star product. And yet SMA and Astronergy (where you’ll recall you make most profit margin but don’t often win jobs with) has been where most of your bottom line has come from.

So, perhaps you should shift your focus to selling SolaX and Opal? Could this insight transform your business?

Finally, lets take a look at your business from a higher level. This chart reveals the expected net profit per watt for your residential systems compared to your commercial systems. Because you’re less likely to win commercial jobs, your effort is better put into residential systems where you can earn twice as much profit. This concentration of focus could dramatically accelerate your business.

And that age old question of what profit margin should you apply. This chart shows your net profit margin is concentrated at 33%. Naturally, if you reduce your profit margin, you reduce your profit per Watt (1). But because you dramatically increase your chance of winning (2), you are much likely to scale your business volume and profitability by shifting to lower margin (3). Also, you can see that higher margins help rather than harm your likelihood of winning, which means increasing your margin could increase actually increase the profit you can pull out of your business.

There’s much more to cover – including how your prices, input costs, win rate, and profit margin compare against the rest of the market, which provides a handy benchmark to steer your business in a more profitable direction. And we can also reveal whether you’re paying too much for equipment

Think of how your business could benefit by focussing on the right market, with the right product and salespeople, bought at the best prices and sold at the profit-maximising price. All updated monthly to keep your ship sailing in the right direction.