And What Security Integrators Can Do About It
In our last blog post, we introduced the topic of why “Enterprise Resource Planning” Software (ERP), the core business software that many companies rely on to support a wide range of business functions, falls short in supporting the sales needs of security integrators. While there are many ways in which this is true, we’ve identified six key areas. Last time, in Part One, we talked about the first two.
In this post, we’ll move on to reasons three and four:
3. AUTOMATING QUOTE APPROVALS
Establishing the right quote approvals process is a balancing act. Overzealous policies can feel burdensome to salespeople and slow their response time to customers, but failing to sufficiently oversee the process can result in costly errors. Using software to create an automated approvals workflow can give your company a competitive edge, making sure approvals happen thoroughly and efficiently, but only when appropriate.
ERP software is great at automating workflow, but as we’ve pointed out repeatedly by now, it’s designed for helping with processes related to existing customers and projects. The quoting process is often outside that domain. Quoting and sales management software can eliminate the need for sales staff to manually walk quotes and proposals around your facility seeking out management sign-off. Instead, documents within the system are automatically flagged if they exceed predetermined thresholds and forwarded to the appropriate supervisor(s) for review.
Security integrators should make sure to choose sales management software that can support the complexity of their quotes. You’ll want a system that can accommodate highly customized rules to define thresholds, specify approval hierarchies, and eliminate bottlenecks by allowing for concurrent approvals by different personnel responsible for specific systems, services, legalities and other areas of concern. Automating this process is a win/win for everyone in your organization, making quoting faster and less stressful for salespeople, while keeping management confident that inaccurate or unprofitable quotes are not being rushed out the door.
4. COMPLEX, AUTOMATED COMMISSION CALCULATION
Motivated salespeople are productive salespeople. Letting them see their commissions add up within the quoting software, in real time, is like dangling a digital carrot in front of their noses, helping to keep their focus on closing the next deal.
Commissions for security quotes can be structured around many different factors and the calculations can be complex. Commissions may be based on gross profit, number of months of term for an RMR contract, whether the sale is to a new or existing customer, whether the salesperson has exceeded quota and other variations. Again, these type of creative calculations are best handled by sales quoting and management software designed for security integrators; not generic ERP software.
And here’s an extra benefit of sales management software when it’s used to handle both automated approval workflows and commission calculations: From the perspective of salespeople, if they can speed-up the approvals process and close a deal more quickly by abiding by “the rules” when structuring their quote, they can see the real, tangible value attached to their work – in the form of commission. Bringing these two processes together within the same platform keeps salespeople driving the company goals and making more money.