Business Fitness: Who’s the Conductor of Your Technology Train?

Standing still on the track of a runaway train is never a good idea. The same is true when it comes to emerging technology.

Business Fitness: Who’s the Conductor of Your Technology Train?

Adobe Stock image by Sailorr

Security technology never stays parked for long, and it has moved more like a Ferrari 812 lately.

Keeping up with a runaway tech train of features and performance is a challenge for all of us trying to stay abreast of new solutions.

Standing still on the track of a runaway train is never a good idea. Either buy a ticket, so the train will stop and give you a ride to your destination that’s faster than walking, or simply step off the track and ride your trusty mule to where you want to go. It’ll just take you much longer.

Why Does This Matter?

Why does this matter to our different industries and to your customers? Because valued suppliers basically fund our growth by supporting education, awareness training, and the public and private events at which we gather to connect with one another.

It is up to us to help fund their growth by being open to new product offerings, by adopting appropriate solutions a bit faster and by more proactively introducing new products to our customers. The real question to ask yourselves is this: What type of company are we?

Consider the choices:

  • Are you a company that learns and understands your customers’ business and proactively brings new solutions to solve your customers’ challenges on a regular basis? Personally, I hope you are because, if you aren’t, your competitors most certainly will do so. It’s hard to play catch up without a red face when your customers ask you, “Why didn’t you let me know this solution was available?”
  • Are you a company that is reactive to your customers’ requests after they have been to a trade show and discovered a new solution they need? This strategy puts you in a defensive selling position — not good. Will your customers view you as a partner or just as a vendor? This can be especially dangerous if your reliable contact has moved on!

Jump Aboard the Emerging Tech Train

Let me share some insights into how I analyze new emerging technologies when I’m asked to assess the industry’s leading organizations and events. Being a technology applications engineer and discovering innovative technology solutions, improvements and performance enhancements gets my juices flowing.

However, it would be a mistake not to understand the problems that new technology solves. Flashy wow! technology must first pass the business and system implementation ROI test.

You must understand the promised business outcomes, along with the security benefits, of innovative technologies by asking very direct questions of suppliers.

I have helped develop innovative technologies and consulted with clients as they developed technologies that promised impressive results. I challenge these ideas strongly when engineers or marketers need to be brought back down to earth.

I always focus on tangible, provable results, which are measured in terms of integrators’ and end users’ actual deployments.

Always test new technology at your business for a minimum of two months first. Let your technicians, sales team and service team — not your customers — kick the tires to discover any quirks or shortcomings.

Provide feedback to the supplier and gauge their responsiveness to correct deficiencies.
Take a more focused/formal approach to product field pilot projects. Do you have a process? If you don’t, create one. Discuss success expectations for the pilot. Do it in writing before you start.

Be specific as regards which metrics you expect your customer to share in some detail — not, “Yeah, it works well.” That won’t help you sell that product in the future.

Any technology offers potential rewards, but don’t ignore the added complexities of installation and service.

Is there any icing on this cake that we’re baking? There certainly is! It will help you develop stronger case .studies to share successes and challenges, and they’ll have greater authenticity and integrity.

Identifying caveats and lessons learned is not a negative, even if sales and marketing might disagree a bit. When done correctly, this just adds greater validity to your offering. Your marketing and sales team will have powerful new tools for building awareness and closing sales.

Here’s your ultimate win: The technology train can deliver boxcar loads of success. So, all aboard!

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About the Author

Contact:

Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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