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May Your Sales Force Be With You

Today's security customers expect — even demand — prompt, courteous and consultative service at a good price or guess what? Not only are they going to go elsewhere because there are myriad alternatives, worse they are going to badmouth your business. In this social networking age, the repercussions…

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Today’s security customers expect — even demand — prompt, courteous and consultative service at a good price or guess what? Not only are they going to go elsewhere because there are myriad alternatives, worse they are going to badmouth your business. In this social networking age, the repercussions could cost you countless customers and thousands of dollars. More than ever, responsive, personalized attention is critical to earn trust, build loyalty and become a true partner in helping safeguard and manage clients’ facilities or homes.

Establishing and maintaining this level of sales and customer management is an enormous challenge. Yes, it’s about working harder, but even more it’s about working smarter. Fortunately, while the complexion of the sales landscape has been shifting, technology has advanced right along with it. Increasingly, new sales & marketing techniques and tools are emerging to enable success, and make sense of what would otherwise be an overwhelming task.

I moderated a panel on this topic at the recent ESX event in Charlotte, N.C. Rather than confine the information to that session’s 40 attendees, I wanted to extend the wisdom of three leading authorities: Jay Stuck (Securewatch 24), Mike Jagger (Provident Security) and Chris BenVau (Stanley CSS). What follows are their top tips, apropos for this, SSI‘s annual Bright Ideas Issue.

Stuck’s Top 3 Sales Force Tips

1. It is essential for a sales leader to have a record of activities and key metrics for everyone in a sales organization. How many cold calls and customer appointments were there? What was the close rate? What was the average RMR of sold jobs? There are plenty of software tools available that can assist.

2. It’s a digital world today; your sales organization similarly should be digital. E-contracts, instant quotes for customers — using technology can set your sales organization apart from the competition.

3. Using the Web for customer service applications, social media for lead generation, and organic and search engine optimization for your company is not a luxury you “will get around to someday” — it’s essential for doing business in the 21st century.

BenVau’s Top 3 Sales Force Tips

1. Deployment of a customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as, can require substantial time and investment. Get senior leadership buy-in and support prior to implementing. Agree in advance on key objectives and metrics to measure program success. Regularly evaluate ongoing feedback of the results.

2. Adoption of a CRM can be difficult as some sales professionals resist change. To facilitate, embed your estimation tool inside the CRM; avoid separate processes for job quotation and activity reporting. This will also give you more accurate data on sales quotes generated, proposal funnels and close ratios.

3. Even after everyone embraces the new tool, there will be questions regarding the use, rules and potential of the CRM. Consider investing in an inside support administrator. Otherwise you may face partial implementation or pricey outsourcing.

Jagger’s Top 3 Sales Force Tips

1. Use technology for good, not evil. We’ve automated wherever possible, but never at the expense of client interaction. We’ve used digital contracts, but never an automated phone tree. We’ve automated our dispatch to get alarm signals to response staff’s BlackBerrys in 4 seconds.

2. Focus on employee experience to improve client experience. We strive to eliminate waste and frustration within our company, including going paperless. We have no filing cabinets, paper contracts, paper invoices or statements, or paper-based employee forms — it’s all digital. We’ve also developed in-house wikis to replace printed procedure manuals. We have scanners at all desks, and use for expense/receipt tracking and GoogleSites for our wikis.

3. Leverage social media. We use blogs and Twitter to help our clients and supporters get our message out. Our strategy is educating people about how alarms work, their limitations and how best to protect your home or business from burglary. The key to social media is it needs to be genuine and honest.

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent more than 12 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125.


Article Topics
Business Management · Between Us Pros · Business Tools · Managing Your Business · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
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