As unemployment rises throughout the United States and companies are forced to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Denver community solar company has found a new way to help people of Denver. SunShare, a reputable community solar company serving the nation, has shifted from door-to-door sales and created virtual community solar jobs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, door-to-door positions have been modified into telemarketing sales jobs.
Despite being historically a face-to-face sales industry, community solar companies have altered their methods to remain in line with CDC guidance. SunShare is changing the way it does business to ensure it can still obtain new subscribers while also providing locals with job opportunities in an uncertain time.
The programs run by SunShare allow Colorado and Minnesota residents to subscribe to individual solar farms and receive credits on their utility bills. As it is still looking for new subscribers, SunShare increased its telephone sales team by 50%. Currently, there are seven employees performing telemarketing duties. According to SunShare, an additional three will be brought on in the summer.
According to CEO and founder of SunShare, David Amster-Olszewski, the company was happy to jump at the chance to create virtual community solar jobs in a time where unemployment has skyrocketed. Amster–Olszewski states that the change to virtual sales has required changes within SunShare, including helping current employees adjust to not being in the field recruiting subscribers.
Though the company may have to undergo changes, the new jobs allow a wider range of people to apply. The remote sales position attracted people that wouldn’t otherwise take a face-to-face sales job, including single mothers.
It’s not uncommon for the sales end of community solar projects to be managed by a third-party company. SunShare, however, opted to build an in-house sales team, a complicated process made even more difficult thanks to the pandemic. According to the executive vice president of marketing and operations at SunShare, Melina Fleming, social media has helped simplify the process. Facebook, specifically, has made it possible to hone in on specific demographics and push for lead clicks.
Fleming confirmed that even as state-wide restrictions are loosened and in-person sales can continue, SunShare will likely keep its virtual sales team.