March 06, 2017
Increase Your Sales by Using Auto-Programming Panels
Jim Hawthorne, Director of Sales-Eastern Regions - 3/6/2017
At a recent conference I attended, two questions prodded a group of alarm dealers from all parts of the United States.
The first question was, “What do you need to double your business in the next three years?”
The second question was, “What are your biggest concerns about your business today?”
The number one answer to BOTH questions was the same: Staff. We need qualified people on my team in sales and installations but also adequate training, getting new hires up to speed quickly and retaining talented people.
If owners of alarm companies from various regions of our nation all have the same issues, it stands to reason that our industry has some unresolved issues.
I spoke with the sales manager from a large “super-regional” alarm company about the hardest part of recruiting sales people for the alarm industry. His background included managing sales teams for large auto dealerships. He shared that there were two things fundamentally different about auto sales and alarm sales.
Almost everybody knows how to operate an automobile. Training is inherent. If you have a driver’s license, we can teach you the rest. Oh, and customers come to the auto dealership to buy cars. They are looking for someone to help them make a purchase.
In the security business, we have to train people to find sales opportunity, and we have to train them on all the components of security systems. Train them how to do “outside” sales and building a network. And at the same time, educate them on how security systems work, why they are important, how to design the system, what happens if the alarm goes off, and all the forms and contracts that need to be signed. It’s a long list of training.
No wonder the leadership of security firms is so concerned about staffing. It’s hard to find qualified people that are willing to sell and install alarms, and when you do find them – you have to invest a lot of resources in training them before they can be productive in your organization.
So I now have a couple of questions for you.
If I could shorten the training time for a new sales person to one week and show them everything they need to know to close sales in only one week, would that be helpful?
If in one week, you could give your sales person an app on their smartphone, or iPad and it would direct your sales person(s):
- Where to go to make sales calls
- When to make those calls
- What questions to ask to build the correct alarm system for their needs
- To fill out all the paperwork to place an order for the equipment
- To price the order right on the spot
- To get a signature on your companies monitoring agreement
- To electronically send a copy of the complete order to your sales manager for approval
Do you think a Sales App like that could help your company:
- Increase time to market?
- Decrease training time for new hires?
- Recruit new sales people more easily?
- Be more efficient?
What if the same Sales App:
- Ordered all the equipment directly from the manufacturer with
- Contained all pre-labeled equipment in the box based on your Sales Rep descriptions (front door, back door, hallway motion)?
This mobile app exists! The app helps your sales team by directing them where to go and when, and prompts them to ask all the right questions to sell a security system.
The same process will shorten training for technicians. In fact, techs will not need to learn security programming for this system at all. You can hire a different level of technician, someone that knows how to use a smartphone and basic apps; someone that can understand how to pair a device with Wi-Fi – like getting Wi-Fi service on their phone at Starbucks. Your teenagers already know how to do most of the functions you’ll need to train technicians in the future.
The future is now. All systems that are sold by your sales team with the Sales App are pre-packaged, labeled with names of devices and ready to be placed in the home on door frames, walls, and nightstands.
When your technician pairs the security system gateway with local Wi-Fi service, the gateway connects with DMP servers and in 30 seconds receives its program for all sensors, keypads, sounders, and other potential security devices.
Technicians only need to place devices in their pre-labeled locations and place the gateway into test mode, test the security devices for proper operation and train the Consumer on how to use their new security system. Typical installation time for three doors, one motion detector, one siren and one keypad is 30 minutes or less.