Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 45

ed functions. The all-in-one approach may
be acceptable for some businesses. However,
running a security integration company poses
many unique challenges for which dedicated
software is better suited.
Let's take a closer look at the four leading reasons
why connected, specialized systems, each
doing what they do best, may be the best solution
for a security integration business.
1.
Quoting Ease & Accuracy
Systems integrators sell a tremendous number
of parts. SAGE, for example, has more than
18,000 in its database. Ensuring all salespeople
have access to the most current pricing for each
manufacturer is automated and straightforward
when integration exists among accounting, sales
estimating and management software. As new
products and pricing are uploaded into the ERP,
they become available immediately within each
salesperson's quoting tools. The integrated solution
eliminates any free-floating pricing spreadsheets
that notoriously leave room for error.
The sales management software simplifies
adding associated labor and configuring system
design options, ensuring profitability. It also
calculates commission and payment plans, generates
comprehensive proposals and contracts,
and even handles electronic document signing
- all the elements necessary for salespeople to
close more quickly.
Russell White, vice president of integration
and optimization at Allied Universal, says, " A
generic ERP system is not designed to handle
some of the unique aspects of quoting in the security
systems integration industry. There are a
lot of new, one-off types of parts and companies
like ours need the flexibility to handle jobs anywhere
from $5,000 to $1 million. A dedicated
sales management solution integrated with an
ERP system allows us to share data both ways
and leverage software tools built for each job. "
Operational Efficiencies
Companies that forgo dedicated sales
management software, hoping to " do it all "
within a single ERP platform, erroneously believe
that relying on just one system will lead to
greater efficiencies. Very quickly, many discover
their mistake.
For starters, customizing and maintaining a
generic ERP solution to support the sales needs
of a security integration business often requires
fulltime programmers with expertise in the spe2.
cific
software system. Configuring the solution
to handle sales of complex installations, commission
structures, various pricing schedules,
multiphase projects, and RMR involves ongoing
meetings among stakeholders to define
processes, extensive trial and error, and much
frustration and cost for all parties involved.
Even minor changes can require major effort.
Industry-specific sales management software
incurs far fewer start-up costs and, once
operational, can be modified and maintained
without programmers on staff because it is
fundamentally structured to support a security
sales business model. The need for software
feature customization is minimized. In most
cases, a sales administrator can handle changes
to configurations, system updates, or anything
else that comes their way. Nemerofsky says, " At
SAGE, we don't have anybody in-house managing
our sales management software. It's a
hosted solution. "
ERPs function best when their databases
are not cluttered up with prospects that have
never bought anything and who are not associated
with any specific project. Entering leads
and prospects into a sales management solution
keeps ERP databases clean. Then, once
an opportunity becomes a sale, the customer
data becomes accessible to the operations and
accounting teams via the ERP. No data re-entry
is required.
Operational efficiencies are also obtained
through automated workflows that speed
quotes through approvals and provide turnkey
creation of customized proposals, best handled
by dedicated sales software.
Stephanie Olson, business analyst at Washington
Alarm, says its integrated sales management/accounting/operations
solution has made
the company run more smoothly. " We're just a
lot more organized, and we look more organized
to our customers, which helps instill confidence
in the services we're offering, " she says. " It's really
valuable to have sales software flow and map
so well into that greater operating system. "
3.
securitysales.com
Better Communications
One of the best ways to ensure customer
satisfaction is to keep communication channels
open. Customers may explain their expectations
in detail to their sales representative, but if
that information doesn't get shared quickly and
accurately with the rest of the support team,
there are plenty of ways that jobs can go awry.
OCTOBER 2021 Security Sales & Integration 45
A dedicated
sales management
solution
integrated with
an ERP system
allows us to share
data both ways
and leverage
software tools
built for each
job.
- Russell White,
Allied Universal
http://www.securitysales.com

Security Sales & Integration October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Security Sales & Integration October 2021

Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Bellyband Front
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Bellyband Back
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 1
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 2
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 1
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 2
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 3
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 4
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 5
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 6
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Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 3
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 4
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