Closeup of a man holding a tablet showing the camera calculator feature of System Surveyor.

5 Ways to Improve Time-to-Proposal and Competitive Sales Wins

7 Minute Read

System integrators, imagine this. What if you could deliver a more accurate proposal in less time—well before any competitor can get one out the door?

What if you already had buy-in from your physical security prospect before you even delivered the proposal?

What if you could identify those dead-end opportunities earlier in the process so you don’t burn valuable time for no return?

You would be the MVP of your sales team. If they sound like unrealistic sales pitches, we get it!

But the truth is, physical security is a competitive market. System integrators are under pressure to generate more sales and avoid leaving money on the table with inefficient processes. Anything that can move you in that direction is something worth investigating, right?

At the same time, customers need a physical security solution—on time and on budget. And most of them also have their own internal customers and stakeholders whom they need to convince to spend the money on improving their security posture.

Accelerating Sales Growth by Streamlining the Process: Do This One Thing

Many companies have found that using System Surveyor, a digital system design and site survey tool, is the catalyst they need to improve time-to-proposal and clinching competitive sales wins. They’re streamlining the sales process and cutting to the front of the line.

System integrators who use System Surveyor have discovered they’re standing apart from their competitors at the earliest point in the customer journey — the site survey or “site walk.” There is a natural domino effect of streamlining sales if you do this 1 thing better than others.

As you can see in this video, accelerating sales growth is all about creating accurate, decision-ready proposals, faster—and growing client buy-in all along the way.

Ready To Accelerate Your Sales Growth?

5 Ways to Improve Time-to-Proposal and Winning More Sales

Improving time-to-proposal and winning more sales are both obvious, worthy goals. But how can you achieve them?

Start with these 5 best practices.

1. Gather Accurate Requirements Early

The first best practice for speeding time-to-proposal and winning more contracts is gathering better requirements for the physical infrastructure earlier in the process.

Every element of a client’s system design and security requirements must eventually be accounted for: where they want video cameras, where those cameras are pointed, their field of view and range of view, what risks they are trying to avoid, what kinds of incidents must be captured, what types of access control systems are necessary, facial recognition and intrusion detection systems, sensors, and on the list goes.

In a traditional site survey or site walk, there’s no way to collect detailed data on each of these elements. Yellow pads, spreadsheets, back of napkins and hundreds of unlabeled photos on a mobile phone just don’t allow for it.

But with a way to create a virtual floor plan—one that you can show to clients as you walk the site and edit in real time, and that clients can access themselves at any point during the visit or after you leave—you transform what’s possible.

You now have a place to note those requirements on a floor plan or schematic with proper scale. You can discuss client requirements with a real visual representation. Rather than gesturing and sketching on paper or just talking about it, you and the prospective customer can see detailed security measures in real time.

With a collaborative digital system design platform, you look more professional, you get better data, and you get immediate trust and confidence from the prospective customer.

2. Prequalify Using Visual Engagement and Early Budgeting

Speaking of gaining immediate trust and confidence, using a visual collaborative design tool enables you to better qualify or even pre-qualify leads. As you build out a live mockup of the system in the software application, you’ll be able to engage the person visually. You’ll also start building budget estimates far earlier in the process, which can help you stay on budget during the installation process.

Prequalifying and consulting at a digital site survey is a game changer for building confidence and early confirmation of the design and plan – our customers have found it increases their win rate by 20%. The best-in-class sales rep only provides a winning, decision-ready proposal and knows when to walk away and check back later.

3. Drag & Drop to Automate a Bill of Materials

When we think about building out a proposal and bill of materials, the 80/20 rule comes to mind: the final 20% seems to take the most work (and the most time), but how much value does it deliver, exactly?We’re not saying you should skip that final 20%— of course not! But if you can get to 80% ready, you’ve got enough to get early buy-in.

Customers have found System Surveyor to be extremely powerful, both at getting to 80% and to 100%. With the ability to drag and drop devices onto a digital floor plan, system integrators (and customers and prospects) can see how a design changes in real time.

Element Profiles allow manufacturers to add data for their devices (device cost, accessories needed, installation time, and device capabilities).

These allow you to create a system design that shows detailed, accurate capabilities (such as security camera configuration with camera angles, distance and area of coverage, and cabling requirements)—and to automate a bill of materials at the same time. What could you do differently in the sales process if you could have an accurate, detailed bill of materials 80% ready to go in just minutes? See more on how System Surveyor automates the bill of materials for a decision-ready proposal.

4. Refine Design Dynamically (Stay on the Same Digital Page)

Have you ever been in version control hell? It isn’t a very nice place.

But that’s what happens when your best option is creating and emailing PDFs of system design documents.

People reply but forget the attachment. They add or remove people from the thread, creating branching threads. They respond to an older, outdated version of the file. You think you’re finally finished, then you get contradictory information from an engineer who just returned from vacation, a week-and-a-half after you thought you were done. Back to the drawing board!

By the end of it all, you have 5, maybe 15, maybe 47 different versions of the file, all scattered through various email inboxes.

There’s got to be a better way—and there is.

Collaborative system design with version control keeps everyone working in the same secure design version. You can backtrack if you need to, but no more duplicates or branching email threads.Because all stakeholders can view and collaborate on the system design simultaneously, you build buy-in together, save everyone’s time, and ultimately create happy customers by designing and installing on time and on budget.

And don’t forget about the time commitment for the individual sales rep: you could easily save 10 hours per week for every salesperson by implementing dynamic design like this.

More Than Speed: Customer-Validated, Decision-Ready Proposals

Speeding up your time-to-proposal is a sensible goal, but it’s not the best goal. Because winning more competitive sales isn’t just about speed. It’s about accuracy and overall value.

Quick but inaccurate proposals inevitably lead to rework — three, four, maybe more back-and-forth exchanges between the prospect and within your internal team. “Fast but wrong” proposals can also do more harm than good. Yes, they help you beat the competition through the door, but if the customer doesn’t like what they see, speed doesn’t matter.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: they waited weeks or months for a finalized proposal, and it’s still not right? That’s a recipe for frustration—not for creating long-term value and relationships.

Instead, think in terms of delivering a design and proposal that’s decision-ready and validated by the customer at multiple steps during the build.

Those who are compounding the value of their System Surveyor investment understand how our integrated security systems design software changes the game. They have redefined expectations with their prospects and excited them with new levels of speed, accuracy, and professionalism. They make the customer look more professional with their stakeholders (hint: the budget holders and signers).

That’s the value of System Surveyor. More than just a security camera placement tool or an access control system design solution, System Surveyor is a collaborative physical security design platform that redefines what’s possible.