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Robin Dechant

Robin is one of the founders at Kwest. On this blog, he shares insights gained from discussions with selected renewable energy experts and from working with our customers towards operational excellence.
Market insights

The ideal solar installation process from lead to cash

What is the lead to cash process?

The ideal solar installation process is a streamlined process that ensures efficient delivery of solar products and services to customers. This process is also called “lead-to-cash” in the industry. In this post, we’re describing the ideal solar installation process from lead to cash.

The ideal solar installation process is a streamlined process that ensures efficient delivery of solar products and services to customers. This process is also known as “lead-to-cash” and generally looks like this:

Lead to cash process

The lead to cash process in the solar industry has its own characteristics and needs specific adjustments. Therefore, we define the phases from lead generation to planning as “customer acquisition” and the phases from installation fulfillment to monitoring & service as “installation fulfillment”. In this post, we want to explain the different steps of the lead to cash process as a whole and then dive into the detailed process steps. 

Lead to cash process in the solar industry

Summary of the lead to cash process

It begins with lead generation and marketing automation to generate an order. Accurate order capture is important to carefully record and verify customers’ requirements. In the solar industry, the customers’ requirements are important for the site assessment and the planning of the solar modules. Once the planning is done and the order is confirmed, the contract is signed and the company prepares the required material. The installation team then schedules a convenient time for the installation process, and the products are delivered to the installation site. During the installation, the team ensures that all safety measures are observed, and the products are properly installed according to industry best practices. Once the installation is complete, the solar system is connected to the grid and then activated. Some details of the process depend on the type of solar system and country. As an example, residential solar installations in Germany often need to replace the meter before connecting the solar system to the grid.

The ideal solar installation process in detail

  • Customer Acquisition Process
    • Marketing Lead
    • Pre-sales Call
    • First Planning
    • Site Assessment
    • Final Planning
    • Final Sales Call
    • Sign Contract
  • Installation Fulfillment Process
    • Schedule Installation Date
    • Prepare Installation and Material
    • Installation
    • Documentation
    • Quality Management
    • Change Meter
    • Grid Connection
    • Payment
    • Monitoring
Detailed ideal solar installation process

Let’s dive into every step of the ideal solar installation process. 

Customer Acquisition Process

Marketing Lead

The process begins with lead generation, where potential customers are identified and contacted. This is done through a variety of methods, including paid online marketing, direct mail, or referral programs. Large solar companies are trying to build communities to increase the potential for referrals (example from Sonnen).

Pre-Sales Call

The next step is a sales consultation. A solar consultant meets with the customer to discuss their energy needs and determine whether solar is a good fit for their home or business. The sales agent will also provide information about available financing options and incentives. Background checks are part of the work if the solar company is financing the solar panels. 

First Planning

The first version of the solar system design is created based on the information provided by the lead. This design will be updated after the site assessment is done but provides the end customer with an idea of the installation and price.  

Site Assessment

Once the customer decides to move forward with solar, a site assessment is conducted to evaluate the suitability of the property for solar installation. This includes determining the roof orientation, shading issues, and other factors that could impact the performance of the solar system.

Final Planning

Based on the results of the site assessment, the solar system design is updated to meet the customer’s energy needs and optimize system performance.

Final Sales Call

During this call, the solar installation company will review the details of the proposed installation, including the system design, the estimated cost, and any applicable incentives or rebates. They will also provide the customer with a final proposal and answer any remaining questions. This is the opportunity to ask about the installation timeline, the warranties provided, and the ongoing maintenance required to keep the system running smoothly.

Sign Contract

If the customer is happy with the final proposal, she signs the contract to confirm the installation.

Installation fulfillment process

Schedule installation date

The installation date depends on various factors, such as the availability of the installation team, the customer, and the weather conditions. Depending on the size of the solar business, scheduling can be a complicated process for project managers. 

Prepare installation and material

Once the installation date is finalized, the supply chain and logistics team prepare the material. Some solar companies are using third parties that ship the material to the installation site directly. This reduces additional work that otherwise needs to be done by the installers.


The solar panels and other components are installed on the customer’s property. This takes place over the course of several days.


Installers need to keep track of the equipment used and its specifications. Common examples are the type of solar panels, inverters, and batteries installed. Installers also need to document the installation in detail. By creating detailed documentation including pictures, you can ensure that you have all the necessary information in case of any issues or questions that may arise in the future.

Quality Management

After the installation, the system is inspected and tested to ensure it is operating safely and efficiently. Project managers will go through the documentation and pictures to ensure that all quality standards have been met. 

Change Meter (in Germany)

In Germany, the roll-out of smart meters happened very slowly so far. Smart meters are  important to better integrate electricity from renewable energies into the electricity market. Many German households have old meters. The old meters are replaced before connecting the solar system to the grid.

Grid Connection

The solar installer obtains the necessary permits and works with the local utility to ensure the system is properly connected to the electrical grid. The grid operator needs to approve the connection to the grid. Sometimes this grid connection process can take a lot of time. Once the solar system is activated, customers can generate their own clean energy and enjoy the financial benefits of going solar. 


Depending on the financing options, the customer either pays for the installation or the leasing model starts. 


The energy production and usage gets monitored to control the performance of the solar system over time.

Installing solar panels can be a complex process. The complexity increases if you want to scale your solar business and you need to manage hundreds of installations. However, there are many opportunities to streamline the different processes. To increase standardization for your solar installation process and optimize them, we’ve shared our step-by-step guide here.

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