And What Security Integrators Can Do About it
In two previous blog posts, we discussed how “Enterprise Resource Planning” Software (ERP), the core business software that many companies rely on to support a broad spectrum of functions, including sales, does not lend itself well to the complex nature of security sales. We’ve set out to identify six ways in which ERP software falls short and, so far, have presented four of them. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series if you missed them.
Here are reasons five and six:
5. ELIMINATING REDUNDANT DATA ENTRY AND ENTRY MISTAKES
Security sales involve a lot of paperwork. Contracts, forms, legal documents, site surveys, spreadsheets; all of those include a lot of duplicate information. And each time that data gets manually entered somewhere, there’s an opportunity for errors to be made, not to mention time wasted. Software specifically designed to assist with quoting and sales management can eliminate the use of disjointed resources by connecting all of your contracts, forms and other documents to a convenient, secure and centralized database. Once entered, information like customer name, location, sell price, deposit amount and so much more can be used to auto-populate associated fields that appear in your full array of sales documents.
Furthermore, if integrated with your ERP system, once those contracts are signed, all relevant data collected by your sales software can be passed on to your ERP, facilitating a seamless customer experience. Other departments now involved in supporting the project will have access to complete and accurate information about the sale, helping to ensure that they can deliver on what was promised.
6. GENERATING POLISHED, PROFESSIONAL PROPOSALS
Here’s an area where sales management software can truly shine, and help your organization shine too. Well-written, thorough, personalized and aesthetically pleasing proposals make a statement about your company: your attention to detail, the pride you take in your work, and the importance of delivering a high-quality customer experience. When competing against other integrators for a project, a great proposal can instill customer confidence in your organization, differentiate you from the pack, and help close the deal.
Sales management software can make generating stellar proposals easy and turn-key for your sales team in a way that ERP software just isn’t designed to do. First, it brings together a library of boilerplate and customizable document templates that integrate with your quoting software as well as the centralized database that includes both prospect and customer data. Then, it enables salespeople to choose the elements and documents they need, populate them with correct customer and pricing information, and package them together into an attractive, highly-professional presentation. Logos, colors, fonts and imagery all support your brand, while highly customized elements like an executive summary, site drawings, pricing and payment terms speak directly to your customer’s needs. Our free Education Guide, “Putting POW in Your Proposals” can tell you more. Click here
YOUR BUSINESS DESERVES BETTER
Don’t get us wrong; we’re not knocking ERP software. It’s an invaluable tool; it’s the software version of a swiss-army knife for many organizations, supporting a huge swath of functions. But there are limits to what any one tool can do. Specialized businesses needs require specialized tools in order to meet the threshold of performance necessary for achieve efficiency, accuracy and reliability.
For security integrators, the value that sales management software can deliver – and particularly those solutions designed with your industry in mind – is tremendous. Best of all, many sales management software solutions offer integration with ERP platforms, seamlessly passing data back and forth and tapping the right tool for each business challenge.
Thought your ERP “does it all?” Hopefully this series of posts has helped to clarify where its functionality ends and marketing hyperbole begins. And, what you can do about it!