How to Plan a Strategic Upsell/Upgrade Program

With 2020 behind us, it is important to rebuild the revenue opportunities for profitable growth of your integrated systems business in a more strategic way this year.

… you get there by turning off Sold Customer Blvd. and then hang a right on Obsolescence Drive. This destination and directions were provided by AAA (Accelerated Account Activity) roadmaps for sales journeys.

With 2020 behind us, thank goodness, it is important to rebuild the revenue opportunities for profitable growth of your integrated systems business in perhaps a more strategic way this year. Strategic meaning a three- to five-year plan to help upgrade and integrate your best customer’s security programs. The silver lining for 2020?

A dramatic increase in your existing customer awareness and desire for upgrades of safety and security measures. The example of increased demand of elevated temperature, mask detection and verification of identification with both visitors and employees comes to mind.

The choices were many with the two main camps of thermal cameras — black body and software, or access control biometric readers with integrated software and thermal cameras.

Each has its advantages and applications based on the facility, operations, customer’s preferences and budget availability. From an overall operational cost standpoint, for many customers, I favor the latter choice for four reasons:

  1. Cost/benefit/scale ratio
  2. Flexibility in deployment and redeployment
  3. Remote locations with centralized response
  4. Adaptability of self-contained solutions

The first one is self-explanatory if you have ever priced out a thermal camera application vs. a standalone multifunction reader. The result is a factor of 10 to 1 that does not consider the manned security ongoing operational costs, which is the more significant reality to security budgets.

The upgrade benefit of having improved security via access control credentialling, multiple biometric choices and even survey questions at primary entrances in an automated integration delivers greater value to the customer. This approach is significantly more scalable, efficient and delivers serious bang for the buck.

The second is the ability to do simple and rapid deployment and if necessary, redeployment without excessive installation expenses. If your product integrates easily to existing access control systems, you probably have the infrastructure already installed if that entry has a card reader installed. Think in terms of more integrated upgraded business outcomes for customers.

Third, if you have far-flung satellite offices or operations, you can implement your new entry protocols with more advanced reader technologies that validate identity and other requirements and grant or deny access while notifying your central security operations personnel.

Further dialogue, decisions and actions can be efficiently managed in real-time while leveraging lower manned security overheads. Enrolling frequent visitors such as suppliers, temporary or part-time employees allows greater control of credential (multifactor biometrics) management while lowering costs and security gaps as well.

Fourth, having an upgraded reader technology solution that is self-contained, think access-control-in-a-box, and is operationally multidimensional is a home run. These units can quickly be programed, shipped, installed, tested and be operational in a matter of days.

If the facility expands this technology, it becomes the building block for additional access control choices. They can also work in a networked fashion with simple-to-operate centralized software for administrative management with little training time or expense.

Finally, if you want to get fancy-schmancy, some technologies can integrate well with larger third-party access control solutions while offering advanced feature sets for upgrades. Some advice before starting your journey.

Make sure the technology you select has been in the business of biometrics for a minimum of six to eight years. Make sure it is not a “one and done” product. Look for steady advances in a product/brand family and continual improvement through R&D investments. Talk to associates you trust for their experiences if you belong to a security network association.

As a security consultant, this is a relatively easy-to-sell first step in a strategic upsell/upgrade program with your existing customers.

Depending on budget timing, this should be your first-year objective for 75% of your customers. With typically higher profit margins and typically much higher closing ratio to proposal ratio, you will have great driving weather toward 2021 growth.

So, this is your first tank of gas in driving to the “2021 Integration Upsell Circle.” Next month I will have another gas station stop to fuel your journey.

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About the Author


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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