Sales momentum is vital — but like any great athlete knows, winning takes more than talent and speed. It’s also about technique!
So, as we launch into 2024, it’s important to hit the ground running with your sales team, but it’s just as vital that your team uses the best techniques, tactics and technology to capture requirements and to get professional designs out faster than the competition.
We see many integrators with a common refrain: “It’s taking my team two weeks to get out a design and proposal, and in some cases we’ve lost that opportunity to a competitor.” That’s a frustration for many directors of sales.
Sounds like a speed problem, right?
Yes — but it’s not just speed.
The root cause is just as much technique and process as it is speed. Often the issue starts at the very first interaction at the site survey or first customer meeting. A miss there in terms of gathering requirements and capturing photos and other details has serious consequences to speed and quality of a proposal — and therefore the likelihood of winning the business.
I’m always one for sports metaphors and a movie nerd. The new movie The Boys in the Boat illustrates how elite rowing teams rely on strong technique across the entire team rather than outsized efforts from any individual. It’s not about one person being strong and fast but having the entire team streamlined to gain momentum together. Again, that’s process and technique.
The sales and operations team that works together is better than the sum of its parts. Yes, the quality of the boat (the technology) matters too. At the end of the movie, the legendary rower says: “we were never one, we were eight.” If you have inconsistent sales processes and site surveys, the rest of the boat is not going to be able to align with you to get a timely and accurate design and proposal out.
So how do you accelerate sales momentum now? You improve both speed and technique – and have the right tech.
Speed and Timeliness Will Win
We’ll be focusing mainly on the technique side in this post, but we do need to talk about speed for a minute before we get there.
As a consumer, when you ask for a proposal from a contractor, you expect the proposal in a day or two because you’re in a buying mode. Time kills deals in your home renovation, and the same is true in B2B, if not more so. In B2B it’s even more likely that others are also bidding on the business.
When an integrator takes 10-15 hours to design and two weeks to get a proposal to a prospect, they’ve often missed the window. Whether due to a poor site survey, the need for a technical sales overlay at the meeting, getting a technical estimator or engineer to review the plans, or any other cat-herding reasons, taking too long here is the surest way to lose business.
Days go by. Proposals don’t go out. And would-be clients choose other providers.
By using better tools and techniques with the sales team, integrators can gather the right information at the site survey on a digital floor plan. Even non-technical sales staff can gather pictures and key details. All together you can leverage this improved technique to cut the length of your proposal process in half — or better.
By capturing the details and pictures digitally, you’ll be able to collaborate with your technical team, sometimes before you’ve even returned to the office. If every sales rep uses the same consistent technique and process, it makes the job easier for PMs, estimators, and engineers.
That’s like the Boys in the Boat and the definition of flow and speed! It means delivering an accurate, decision-ready proposal well before the competition. A complete game-changer. Your customers will notice this too.
We’ve shared before on this blog why increasing the speed of your sales process is key and how System Surveyor, our collaborative security system design tool, has helped customers drastically cut the time it takes them to prepare proposals.
One current System Surveyor user put it this way:
“We went from getting proposals out in months to days and sometimes hours using System Surveyor.”
But as vital as speed to proposal is, you’ll experience a more powerful one-two punch if you add the second key, something just as important as speed: technique.
Quality Matters: 3 Strategies for Upleveling Your Technique
To increase your competitiveness in the proposal process, you need to get that proposal to your prospects faster than the competition. And if your proposal is also light years ahead of theirs in terms of quality? Then it’s hardly a fair fight.
Let’s look at three technique-oriented strategies you can use to accelerate your sales momentum this year.
1. Make Your Champion Look Great
Almost everyone you sell to has a decision-maker they need to convince to spend the money — a general manager, owner, or executive team. If you can make the person you’re selling to look great, you create a champion for your cause (making the sale) that works for your prospect. In effect, you’re turning that champion into a de facto member of your sales team.
Be warned that a proposal with just a raw bill of materials and a price tag of $50,000 could sit on a decision maker’s desk for weeks.
Instead, a clean system design with a legend, easy-to-understand icons, and a visual area of coverage will make it easier for the champion to show the benefits to the decision-maker. Then, they can connect the dots on the bill of materials and why the technology investment makes sense.
When you make your champion look like a rockstar to their nontechnical buyers or decision-makers, you make their job easier. and they return the favor, helping to sell the investment internally.
2. Nail the Site Survey by Clearly Capturing Requirements and Photos
Next up, it’s time to reimagine how you go about the site survey — and what you capture during the process.
With clear, specific capturing requirements, you’ll have what you need for an accurate design and cost estimate — minus all the rounds of back and forth that are part of today’s status quo.
Speaking of the status quo: the days where it works to do this in your head or rely on a printout, Google Slides and some smartphone photos? They’re coming to an end. The old way of doing things leads to at least a week, if not more, spent getting the site survey prepared, plus the expectation of several rounds of revisions.
In contrast, getting your capturing requirements right using modern tools tends to cut down the amount of time needed for getting a proposal into the hands of a decision-maker, from weeks to just a day or two.
3. Boost Your Professionalism with Customers and Stakeholders
Our third category of technique upgrades is all about improving the way you present your work to customers and stakeholders. By delivering a more professional proposal than the competition (and doing it faster than they’re capable of), you stand out.
One key way to boost your professionalism is to increase your speed to proposal.
Remember: if time kills deals, then being the fastest certainly doesn’t hurt your chances!
I’d go so far as to say it’s possible in many situations to deliver an accurate, decision-ready security system design and proposal before you even leave the site survey. Back to my personal experience with contractors, oftentimes, I make a decision before they have left my home and before I have the proposal which is based on the confidence that they know what I want.
This might sound impossible, especially for integrators still relying on pencil and paper, but we’ve seen it done, and it’s a powerful sales accelerator!
Admittedly this is possible only when using modern digital technology tools like System Surveyor, but it is possible. And it builds trust and professionalism in powerful ways. Your clients will start to view you less like an external vendor and more like an extension of their team. By speeding up (almost short-circuiting) the proposal process, you’ll beat others to the punch and help your contacts look better to their own internal customers and stakeholders.
Increasing buy-in through interactive visuals is another tactic worth considering.
This is something we see our corporate and campus physical security leader customers using internally. It’s powerful there, and it can be equally powerful in the SI-customer relationship.
Some of our clients are physical security leaders at large corporations or at educational institutions, where they are responsible for sprawling campuses and complex physical security and access control systems. They must engage with stakeholders in planning and budgeting processes that can be tedious and time-consuming. Harder still is finding a way to help stakeholders catch the vision: physical security is behind-the-scenes by nature, and it’s less flashy than a new student center or office tower.
So, clients have turned to System Surveyor to boost their professionalism and help stakeholders catch the vision or see the need. Showing them a digital floor plan with CCTV area of coverage helps with a non-technical buyer. These physical security professionals use System Surveyor to create and share visual designs with decision-makers and stakeholders. They also use System Surveyor’s automated bill of materials function to share an accurate, “live” budget for the project.
By using better tools, these security leaders are making projects more real and more visible — and gaining better buy-in as a result.
System Surveyor: A Catalyst to Accelerate Sales Momentum and Shorten the Sales Cycle
System Surveyor is the catalyst to great selling and to accelerating your sales momentum. By giving you an easy-to-use, collaborative platform for conducting site surveys, building physical security system designs, and creating digital as-builts, it’s key for creating understanding and buy-in on high-value projects — and for delivering proposals faster than you thought possible.
Ready to see System Surveyor for yourself? Sign up for a free trial today or contact my team. We are always here to help.