John Sheldon

Director of New Business Capabilities, Renu Energy Solutions

Supernova Award Category: 
Marketing & Sales Effectiveness
The Organization: 

Renu Energy Solutions provides high-quality solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicle charger installations for residential and commercial properties, as well as full maintenance services. Based in Charlotte, NC, since 2010, we have serviced over 4,100 homes and businesses across the Southeast and have become the strongest clean energy provider in that region. Proven quality, trusted partnership, and customer-focused solutions are the values that Renu embodies as the strongest clean energy provider in the Southeast. The company has grown enormously in the last 5 years and was listed on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list for 2021.

The Problem: 

Before moving to a fully centralized system, our patchwork solution was proving ineffective. We had implemented multiple pieces of software, including Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects, but hadn't streamlined our process under a fully integrated software deployment. Too many pieces of data were living in disparate locations where they weren't easily accessible or digestible. Information was siloed and our company lost time to manual data management.

At the time, I lacked a 360° view of the business—I needed a self-service BI platform that was simple, and that could unify and blend data to generate insights quickly. This information also had to be shared seamlessly with employees for collaboration.

The Solution: 

We decided to integrate Zoho Analytics with Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects. By centralizing our data from across departments, Analytics let us extract insights that helped us push our company forward. Because so much of what we needed was built into the application itself, I was able to focus on getting more out of the data we already had.

This change immediately allowed our company to analyze and segment data from our three domains—residential, commercial, and service. Within this organizational structure, we could combine results with marketing and sales data from Zoho CRM to produce customized reports covering each domain. The implementation of Zoho Analytics enhanced our visibility into the sales process. This helped our company monitor sales agent performance and strengths through gathering insights separated by segment.

The Results: 

Thanks to the improved visibility, our employees could collaborate on projects across multiple devices, even on-the-go. Most importantly, they remained connected to the goings-on of their team and the larger organization, and always had the tools they needed to complete sales on their personalized dashboard.

My work has become more streamlined since implementing the new technology. I'm able to view a specific agent's quarterly or monthly performance and note if their sales numbers are trending up or down, and from which geographic area their sales are coming from. I can also dive into why these agents can't close deals, then replicate successful tactics from other areas.

With Zia Insights, powered by Zoho's virtual assistant Zia, I learn which agent is doing the most amount of business and who is doing the least, and I can give their manager an update along with actionable insights. If one salesperson has a better understanding of customers on the coast rather than the mountains, they can then assign that rep to take care of the coast specifically. These insights offer a clear picture of the performance of all our sales reps, and we had this discovery within minutes of implementing.


We recorded immediate benefits to customer processes. Time between signing a deal and completing installation reduced from 80 to 50 days. We received an influx of 5 star customer ratings, as well.

Growth was pronounced. While in our 13 years of business we have over 5,000 installations, almost 40% of those came within only the past four years—since implementing the value chain built on Zoho CRM, Projects, and Analytics.

Since implementing Zoho Analytics, we have been named to the Charlotte Fast 50, a list of the fastest growing private companies in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, and to the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing private companies two years in a row. We’ve also been listed as a Top Solar Contractor eight years in a row by Solar Power World magazine.

The Technology: 

Zoho Analytics comes equipped with modern AI and automation capabilities. The blended dashboards automatically provide insights from across the business, breaking down inter-departmental siloes. All data can be drilled down into within the reports themselves. Zoho DataPrep leverages AI to sort large data sets and purge outliers and errors. Zia uses in-house Natural Language Processing (NLP) and forecasting technology to produce reports, charts, and predictions.

Disruptive Factor: 

By bringing our data into one place, we have been able to break down siloes, become proactive in our decision-making, and provide our employees the tools and information they need to improve.

The deep level of insights provided by Zoho Analytics enabled our company to achieve consistency across regions. When sales slowed in one market, we were able to replicate tactics from successful areas and maintain momentum. This has resulted in becoming the strongest energy provider in the southeast region.

We can view insights on the company as a whole but also break it down to things as granular as individual employee performance and turnaround time for project stages. This system sets our employees up for success, and the impacts of that extend to the entire company.

Shining Moment: 

Running a sustainable, customer-centric company requires expertise not only into the industry, but into our own operations. Thanks to Zia Insights, we're able to serve our customers better and faster by improving employee performance and visibility. The data we've collected has proven invaluable, so much so that we've established a dedicated, growing BI department.

About Renu Energy Solutions

Renu Energy Solutions provides high-quality solar power, energy storage and electric vehicle charger installations for Residential and Commercial properties, as well as full maintenance services. Based in Charlotte, NC since 2010, they have serviced over 4,100 homes and businesses across the Southeast. Renu's industry-leading expertise provides end-to-end customized solar solutions.