Industry Changes Due to Covid-19

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Industry Changes Due to Covid-19

Direct Solar America moved their sales process entirely online which allowed them to expand their business into 9 new states and also hire new sales people in the midst of the pandemic. CareSignal created a free tool for health facilities that was designed to provide much-needed information to patients while not requiring time and attention from employees.

Direct Solar America

  • Direct Solar America is owned by SinglePoint, and the company handles sales, setting up financing, and connecting customers who decide to install solar with local contractors. This puts the company in the clean tech industry, even though they don't handle the installations themselves.
  • Prior to the pandemic, 90-95% of closed sales involved in-person contact for at least a portion of the process, according to Wil Ralston, president of SinglePoint. However, by March 24, the company announced they had moved to entirely virtual sales. This was already a goal of the company, but the pandemic pushed them to implement the company-wide virtual sales process more quickly.
  • The switch to a virtual sales process allowed the company to add additional states where it could help customers find the best deal on solar. They announced on April 7, about two weeks after they converted to the virtual sales process, that they were operating in nine additional states: Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
  • About the move, SinglePoint's CEO, Greg Lambrecht stated, "The Direct Solar America management team did a great job re-positioning the company quickly in these uncertain times. Across various industries, companies are being forced to transform and adapt critical components of their business model to accommodate social and physical distancing due to COVID-19, scrambling to implement solutions that allow them to continue to operate. We are fortunate that we had identified this as a strategic need at the acquisition and the foresight to begin working on implementing this type of solution. We are encouraged that we have been able to retain most of our top sales professionals and can now give them the tools to succeed in virtual sales. Ultimately we believe this is a significant improvement in the process and will continue to drive the company to new levels in the future."
  • With door-to-door and face-to-face sales being banned in many locations due to COVID-19, Direct Solar faced a choice of losing significant business for the year, or finding an alternative way to keep business going. While the company states they are not yet back to pre-pandemic sales levels, they are "getting back there very quickly. In the April 6 article, it was reported the company was "seeing" about 40 potential customers virtually each week, and was hiring more salespeople.

CareSignal

  • CareSignal is a tech company that works in the healthcare space. They offer remote monitoring for patients that provides personalized messages, reminders, feedback, and suggestions to improve their health. The technology works with a wide range of conditions including chronic diseases such as asthma, epilepsy, and hypertension; behavioral health issues such as depression and substance abuse; and a variety of other medical concerns including breastfeeding, post-discharge support, cancer, and medication adherence.
  • When the company realized that many of the events they relied on to fuel their business would not be held due to pandemic restrictions, they decided to create a tool that healthcare facilities could use for free, that would keep CareSignal top of mind when these facilities needed services down the road.
  • "COVID Companion is an instantly-deployable, fully-automated, educational text messaging program that connects members of your community with local public health resources and CDC guidelines. It is designed to improve health literacy and community preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic–without your team’s intervention."
  • Esse Health implemented COVID Companion and had 4,000 people sign up in four days. Providing patients with an alternative source of information likely meant less phone calls to staff which freed them up to deal with other pressing matters.
  • A current client of CareSignal, OSF, combined COVID Companion with their current services to not only allow patients to get answers to their questions, but also to determine if they should get further screening.

Other Companies

  • Astral Power moved from attending festivals to find potential customers, to holding "Facebook parties and virtual lunch-and-learns." This is another company in the clean tech industry.
  • Several cybersecurity firms took advantage of companies' increased need for security due to remote working to offer free or discounted tools. These types of promotions are generally used to gain customers, as a study published at the end of 2017 found that 66% of free trials for B2B companies converted into new business.
  • Examples of cybersecurity companies that offered free or discounted services related to COVID-19 include Foresight, Gurucul, WatchGuard, Cyberinc, Spirion, and IRONSCALES.
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