How EIGENSONNE Made Solar Easy and Accessible Using Automation

Orchestrator gave sales and install teams a competitive edge.

Time to read: 6 minutes

Residential solar power has become increasingly popular across Germany as consumers look for ways to switch to clean energy and save money. Berlin-based EIGENSONNE is on a mission to bring clean, smart energy to every rooftop in Germany. The company sells and rents tailor-made solar (photovoltaic and energy storage) systems directly to consumers.

With interest in solar spiking, aided in part by government incentives, many players — from large national companies to regional specialized players — have entered the space vying for consumers’ attention.

In this competitive environment, where there is little price fluctuation across the industry, EIGENSONNE realized the greatest value it could offer customers was to make the experience as smooth as possible, from initial interest through the sales process, pricing, and installation. To do this, the company first turned to Salesforce to digitize the sales process by creating a customer portal that connected to its CRM using Heroku and Sales Cloud. With an intuitive on-screen guide, customers could easily visualize, configure, and price a custom solar panel system that best fit their home and needs.

But choosing the right solar system could still be daunting for customers and EIGENSONNE staff. Customers had to take their own measurements, often repeatedly, as they lacked the technical expertise. And the installation process itself was complicated. Engineers, architects, and electricians had to log, check, update, and communicate work statuses in different systems. This was creating barriers for customers, sales, and technical teams.

Mihaela Muresan, Salesforce Technical Lead at EIGENSONNE, had a vision to simplify and streamline the entire customer experience. She saw an opportunity to use automation tools to shorten the sales and installation cycle, and to make it faster and easier for EIGENSONNE staff to help customers at every step along the way.

Mihaela turned to Orchestrator, a low-code automation tool to coordinate and streamline complex processes. Orchestrator helped her eliminate lag time between installation tasks and get teams assigned tasks faster and more accurately with built-in work guidance.
“We’ve seen a massive increase in competitiveness in this space in the past couple of years which is why we needed to become a lot more efficient in the whole journey for our customers from how we sell to install. I was driven to get our customers fast access, and that’s how our journey began.”
Mihaela Muresan
Salesforce Technical Lead, EIGENSONNE

Let’s take a look at how EIGENSONNE implemented Orchestrator and how that impacted customers, employees, and the entire business.

Simplified sales helps customers realize solar benefits faster.

As Mihaela looked at the experience for new customers, one number jumped out at her — the sales cycle was taking 35-40 days to complete.

At the time, customers and sales reps had to measure and photograph roof specifications to determine price quotes. This was a necessary task but it was happening at the wrong time, by the wrong people. At best, it was an inexact science. After technical teams completed site visits, sales often had to redo quotes and other contract details to get a more accurate assessment. At worst, customers felt the process was too complicated, and EIGENSONNE lost the sale.

Mihaela’s first step was to simplify this process by removing technical responsibilities from the consumer and sales reps, which reduced the time spent before installation.

Her solution was simple — focus consumers on the benefits of solar, focus sales teams exclusively on selling, and leave all technical work to quality assurance (QA) teams. Separating sales from QA and removing technical tasks from customers and sales teams not only reduced the sales cycle from 40 days to 14 days, but it also opened the door to automating the post-sale, technical review process.

Orchestrator transformed the QA process, helping teams to work faster.

Mihaela’s next priority was to make sure QA teams could identify and complete tasks quickly. This was more complicated. She was able to shorten the sales cycle, but EIGENSONNE was still dealing with a QA backlog.

When Mihaela looked at the data, she saw that QA teams were spending considerable time each day trying to identify their next task. Employees would regularly spend up to three hours checking notifications, emails, Slack, and other systems to get status updates on customer installations. Only then could they be confident they were up to date on what work was completed since the previous day. This wasn’t entirely surprising given the nature of the work. With some technical steps that needed to happen in parallel (for example, communicating goals with the customer and assessing roof layout), and other steps that had to happen sequentially (such as dispatching electrical teams and installation teams), there were lots of handovers between staff. For example, at the beginning of the process, the QA manager may assess the overall feasibility of the system at the same time the roof and electrical experts are considering panel layout and electrical conditions. But then, there was also a lot of hopping from one system to another to gather and update information before employees could view and understand next steps.

Mihaela found that Orchestrator was a perfect fit to help automate EIGENSONNE’s multiple and diverse processes across a variety of teams. EIGENSONNE was already using Salesforce for sales management to track potential and current customers’ sales. This allowed them to migrate new customer statuses to Orchestrator and begin to write workflows for the installation teams. Using Orchestrator, the many steps that need to happen in a customer installation — measuring a roof, checking an electrical source, or confirming a roof material, for example — were automatically identified and assigned to staff quickly and accurately.

Ultimately, automation with Orchestrator made EIGENSONNE much more efficient. Teams ensured that pricing quotes were accurate, paperwork was submitted, materials were delivered, damages were fixed, and systems were technically efficient and viable. At any given time in the process, across all the potential workflows, team members could now see status updates, what work had happened since they last checked the record, and what their next task was.

“Before Orchestrator, it was like coming into work every day after vacation, trying to catch up. Orchestrator made it more user-friendly. You constantly know where you are and what you need to do next to get things done.”
Mihaela Muresan
Salesforce Technical Lead, EIGENSONNE

Automation leads to an improved work plan.

For EIGENSONNE, automating the quality assurance process in Orchestrator with all teams working in the same system resulted in immediate improvements:

  • Existing workflows are woven into personalized formats.
  • To-do lists are clear and easy to find with Orchestrator’s work guide highlighting the tasks each user needs to do at any given time, along with a progress bar at the top.
  • It’s easy to identify processes quickly through in-depth analysis.
  • Tasks are only visible to those responsible for them, which streamlines the overall workflow.
  • Contracts under question are identified and reviewed quickly.
  • Technical teams can be dispatched to confirm onsite specifications quickly.
  • Dispatch teams can see at a glance how these processes are going and what needs to happen before finalizing a contract.

Orchestrator made it easy for employees to see and complete tasks and it eliminated the step of digging for status updates on projects or searching for to-do lists.

“With Orchestrator, you can easily make sure the person who needs to see what they need to see can see it. And it's given me a better understanding of all our company’s processes, what the pain points are, and what our stakeholders need in the big picture.”
Mihaela Muresan
Salesforce Technical Lead, EIGENSONNE

A more efficient and unified team.

EIGENSONNE’s automation strategy has not only boosted efficiencies for customers and employees across the business. Employees have also achieved an added layer of trust in the work process. Teams report they no longer have to second-guess whether they missed a communication or failed to check for an update. They know that by having all these components on one page, they can trust that the system is tracking everything and they can stop doing detective work.

Mihaela wasn’t alone in implementing Orchestrator. She involved staff from QA oversight, engineering, marketing, and construction in the process of automating workflows. This had the unexpected benefit of giving everyone a better perspective of the whole business.

“Having a better understanding of who does what and why has helped our whole organization.”
Mihaela Muresan
Salesforce Technical Lead, EIGENSONNE
Most importantly, automation has helped more people gain access to solar power, and EIGENSONNE bring clean, smart energy to every rooftop in Germany.


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