Tracy Larson is a partner and President at WeSuite, a company that develops sales software tools that improve the sales process from contact to contract.
The close of the 3rd Quarter is here! Time to kick those end of year sales into high gear. Sales people are taking action to deliver. Management is considering hiring, operations and support decisions. For all, accurate sales data and solid projections are crucial and sales management software can help.
I’ve worked with security companies of all sizes and most share the same “top 10 list” of anxieties regarding their sales process. Topping the list – they simply don’t have the sales data needed to make solid business decisions. This is the #1 driver for investing in sales management software.
The Top 10 Concerns I Hear from the Security Industry:
1. Lack of visibility into the total sales arena
2. Missing valuable leads and opportunities
3. Lack of sales accountability
4. Outdated, difficult to manage: parts, customer, contact lists
5. Inefficiencies from disjointed systems (i.e. Word, Excel, CRM, Accounting)
6. Too much manual entry, too many forms, too many resources, too many mistakes
7. A need for sales force mobility, a quicker “close”
8. Commission management creates distrust and frustration
9. Sales proposals/contracts are inconsistent, disappointing in appearance, inaccurate
10. Need for an automated workflow from sales to accounting
For most security companies, data is often looked at “after the fact”. Many rely on spreadsheets compiled by a variety of people, who manually enter, copy, paste and shift numbers around. They say a little prayer that there aren’t too many costly mistakes in those spreadsheets.
It’s difficult to grow profitably operating in this manner. I believe a security company with three sales people will realize as large or even greater payoff using sales management software as those with 10-300 sales people. CRM software: sales prospecting software, sales estimating software and sales reporting software, as an all-in-one sales process management tool can separate growth and profitability oriented businesses from the rest.
If you want to create an effective sales management process with real-time business intelligence, here’s why you should consider sales management software.
1. Centralized Lead Tracking & Management –distribution of leads anytime to any sales person with an automated audit trail equals bliss. Opportunities are no longer stored on laptops that can be lost, stolen or given to your competition. No recording leads on a “sticky”! Getting lead information to sales people immediately and knowing it’s been acted upon increases your lead to sold ratio.
2. Up-to-Date Equipment, Labor and Service Database – a centralized database stores all product, labor, and service item definitions and pricing. This lets your sales team quote the right products and services at the right price and profitability. Today tools exist that make this current costly headache easier to manage.
3. Single Contact & Customer Database – how many customer and contact databases exist in your company? If you’re letting sales people keep customer and contact information on their laptops, you’re giving away assets.
4. RMR – focusing on sales that build recurring revenue for your company is key to the real value of your company. Tracking new RMR prospects, quoting RMR on every job, incentivizing RMR sales through commission plans that calculate as a sales person builds an estimate, are all ways to build sales success.
5. Creation of Sales Proposals & Contracts –Security integrators need to consistently brand their proposals and documents. Sales people want an easy way to get great looking proposals out the door. Lost time, a lack of uniformity and consistency of presentation documents, distortion of your company logo (your brand!), incorrect pricing, changes to your legal terms and conditions are all great examples of very costly losses that can be regained.
6. Single System – Automated Process – today most security companies use about three different “tools” to produce one estimate. On average 8-10 manual forms are required from sales people. The desire to “go green” is so strong among the companies I work with because they realize the mounting losses they face with antiquated, manual processes.
Many security companies desire sales strategies to make sales more efficient and profitable. Strangely, most don’t evaluate the drain of their current sales process on time, resources and profits. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in the foundation of your company?
If you’ll be at CONNECT 2013, I will be speaking more about these ideas in my CRM and Lead Management Session on Friday. There’s much more to discuss in November!