Pedleys Solar: Automating Business Processes with Zoho One

Residential and commercial solar power solution and repair company, Pedleys Solar, automates their business processes with Zoho One for a complete view of their sales process, making way for a strong focus on future growth and maintaining customer relationships. Check out Pedleys Solar.

How it all started

In 2016, Aaron Ware purchased Pedleys Solar, a residential and commercial solar panel company based in Brisbane, Australia. Previously, Ware worked as a FIFO electrician but after 15 years in the industry, decided he wanted to do something that would really make a difference for Australian families. Pedleys Solar is now a successful solar energy business servicing Brisbane and surrounding suburbs: Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast, Northern Rivers, and even Melbourne. With strong automation throughout their use of Zoho One, in the last two years, Pedleys Solar has increased their revenue by 4,000%.


When Ware took over Pedleys Solar, the staff were using spreadsheets to track all customer data. The sales representatives would send an email with information about a customer to the admin team, who would add it to the spreadsheet. They used ServiceM8, a field service management system, to track their jobs, but had no way to keep track of leads and potential customers.

“Before Zoho, we were just running off spreadsheets. Some people, you’ll need to connect with 15 to 20 times before they buy and because we weren’t set up properly and had nothing in place, our leads were just getting lost,” said Ware.

Pedleys Solar needed a solution that could enable the team to set reminders or write notes based on customer conversations, automatically nurture leads, and track and view business analytics to help the business scale and grow.

Introducing Zoho

After hiring a sales member who spoke about his positive experience with Zoho in a previous job, Ware decided to look into it. Previously, Pedleys tested other CRM applications including Pipedrive and Hubspot, but saw limited functionality compared to Zoho CRM. Ware also spoke to a few friends in the industry using other CRM systems and found that to match Zoho’s capabilities, the price increased with every additional feature. Eventually, Ware chose Zoho CRM to manage his customer and sales data.

As Pedleys needed quite a unique CRM set up, Ware hired a Zoho Partner, Paul Roussell from The Integrators, to customize the CRM and integrate third-party applications, ServiceM8 and Xero. Being an experienced Zoho Partner since 2012, Roussell suggested Ware try out Zoho One for free for the 30-day trial. Considering both options carefully, Ware decided to upgrade to Zoho One for the ability to incorporate the other 40+ applications within the suite without increasing the subscription price. Since then, Pedleys Solar has started using Zoho Meeting, Zoho Forms, Zoho Analytics and Zoho Sign, and plans to add Zoho Inventory in the near future.

How Pedleys uses Zoho One

With the customization in Zoho CRM, integration of ServiceM8 and Xero, and the adoption of other apps within Zoho One, Pedleys Solar can now easily act on leads, track customer information, complete jobs, have contracts digitally signed, and send quotes and invoices to customers from an integrated system. “The main benefits of using Zoho are being able to control our sales process and give each customer the love and nurturing they need,” said Ware.

In Zoho CRM, every new lead is assigned to a sales manager and relevant tasks are automatically created depending on various factors including location, lead source, business size, and more. “Once we had all the APIs set up so the leads started flowing into the CRM, every lead was getting an automated text message welcoming them.

They went into a funnel where they got automated emails. We knew who had been called and how many times they were being called. Because our sales team could enter and track lead information, we knew what stage they were at: if they were building, if they were just looking, if they wanted a cheaper system, if they wanted an on-site assessment or just a phone assessment. We were able to really control that whole process,” said Ware. “Having the leads in their different stages and being able to convert them and keep an eye on everything was really important to us.”

When a lead is ready to purchase, the sales person can easily create a deal in Zoho CRM with one click, triggering another series of tasks for the Pedleys Solar team, from follow-up calls and organizing contracts to the physical installation. Alternatively, if the lead is not ready, this is recorded and a follow-up is scheduled. This automation has empowered Pedleys to easily keep track of all their customers and leads while saving time they would’ve otherwise had to spend manually nurturing each lead.

Within Zoho One, Pedleys Solar also uses Zoho Analytics to analyze their business data, gain insight about leads and deals, monitor internal activities, and track every aspect of their sales cycle. This helps Ware make data-driven decisions from actionable business data intelligence. “Our main goal was to be able to generate a report and the end of the week or month and see where we’re at, and now we’ve been able to do that and more,” said Ware.

Additionally, Pedleys uses Zoho Forms, a drag-and-drop form builder, to run a customer referral program where customers who’ve introduced clients to Pedleys Solar can enter their details and receive a referral credit. They also use Zoho Sign, a digital signature application, to digitally send and receive signatures on client contracts. Lastly, due to COVID-19, the Pedleys Solar team has started using Zoho Meeting, an online meeting tool, to stay connected with each other while working remotely. In the future, Ware plans to introduce Zoho Inventory to track Pedleys Solar’s inventory and stock levels.

Benefits and ROI

With Zoho One, Pedleys’ lead to deal conversion rate has doubled. “Instead of having 100 leads and getting six sales, we’re now getting sixteen sales. It has made a massive difference. Once you start to increase those conversion numbers, for us, a one or two percent difference means millions,” said Ware, “this year we are on track to make $20 million.”

Since Zoho One is cloud-based, all new information is saved and immediately visible for managers and staff. And with all this information continually maintained and updated within Zoho One, internal and external communication has improved drastically. “The administration in the office is amazing and now nothing is getting lost,” said Ware.

From a management perspective, Ware can log in and track each stage of contact with leads, customers, and deals. What was once a scattered process is now transformed into a fully-integrated system that gives managers full control and visibility. Consequently, Ware says Zoho One has also helped his team improve communication internally and with their customers, because information is no longer siloed.

Zoho One includes powerful business intelligence tools that can pull in data from both Zoho and third-party applications to analyse every aspect of the business, which has given Ware great insight into Pedleys’ operations. With Zoho Analytics, Ware can drill down to specific details such as lead stage or source to determine why some leads are stagnant in certain stages. This information helps him figure out exactly what needs to change. For example, if leads are stuck in the “not contacted” stage, the manager is alerted and can easily see whether it is a problem with the automation or a specific team member. Now that Pedleys has been using Zoho One, Ware clearly sees the benefit of a unified operating system.

Looking forward

Before Zoho One, Pedleys struggled with storing customer information, internal communication, and analyzing business data. Now, the move away from paper-based processes to one integrated operating system for their entire business has helped Pedleys Solar increase their revenue by 4,000% in the two years of use. Thanks to Zoho One’s extensibility and third-party integrations, Ware can continue using ServiceM8 for his scheduling and Xero for his accounting.

With an intelligent system in place, Ware now has time to take a step back from the day-to-day operations and focus on his passion for solar energy and helping Australian families. “The passion lies within helping all these families save a lot of money switching to renewable energy—you know, just doing our part to help the planet,” said Ware. Ultimately, he’s been able to scale the business, improve operations, and maintain a happy workplace while doing something he loves.

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