Security Systems News

DEC 2017

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SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS DECEMBER 2017 Commer C ial & systems integrators 15 By Chris Peterson I t's that time again, when we begin to feel the staleness of this year, and look ahead to the freshness of next year. 2018 is going to be a great year, isn't it? The opportunities and possibilities presented to us are endless. What are you going to do? What resolutions are you going to tackle to make your life better than it is right now? Since I work with sales managers or exec- utives that fill a sales manager's role all day, every day, I thought it would be a useful exercise to list some resolutions for sales leaders. It's become easy for me to look at things from a sales leader's perspective, and look at them with a very clear point of view. I lived in that role for 12 years, and have spent the last seven years consulting and training these leaders. I developed this list of resolu- tions with sales managers—and their direct reports—in mind, and I understand the dozens of directions in which sales manag- ers are pulled before 10:30 a.m. every day; I know that they're asked to do a million things well without recognition, but are judged harshly and publicly when they fall short on one met- ric; and I see the vast chasm of support and sales management training provided. I also know that they can fight their way out of such chaos and bleakness. I know it's the greatest job in the world. I believe that every sales manager out there can run with at least one of these resolutions, and make 2018 an amazing year. 1. Get in the field with your team. One of the biggest oppor- tunities that most security com- panies have is to have their sales managers spend more time in the field with their sales people. Sounds simple, but count the days you spent this year in the field. My friend Bill Moran told me one time: "If you've got your face buried in your computer, then your rear-end is facing your customer." I think a total of 100 full days (or 200 half-days) of fieldwork will make for a super year. 2. Start and end all team m e e t i n g s o n t i m e . I b u m p into a sales person that used to work for me a few times a year. Every single time he says the same thing: "Chris ran the best sales meetings of any boss I ever had." About two years ago, I asked him why he thought our meetings were so well run. "I don't remember, but they always ended early." After I collected my "charismatic, leader of men" house of cards, I realized how few sales meetings start and end on time. Hold off on the Starbucks gift cards this year. If you want to give your sales people a real gift, commit to starting and ending your meetings on time. 3. Visit 12 custom- ers and thank them— j u s t t h a n k t h e m . During the first week of every month, have an appointment scheduled with a current customer. Call it an account review, or a manage- ment appreciation meeting, or whatever you'd like to call it, but the point of the meeting is for you, the sales leader, to thank them for their business. Select the accounts where you don't frequent. You're probably seeing your Tier One clients all the time. Select 12 that make a difference, but maybe don't get the attention of the massive clients. Ask them how you could i m p ro v e , a n d what they need. Ask them for a tour—learn about them and their company … a n d m o s t importantly, thank them for their business. 4. Spend one day per quar- ter away from t h e o f f i c e . Schedule these four strategic meetings now. I suggest scheduling these ses- sions on Fridays during the slower times of the year. You can include different people and departments each time, or just get away to think by yourself. Regardless of the details, you need to get away for a complete day once per quarter to think strategically. 5. Join Toastmasters. You're a leader. You should speak like a leader in public. Whether you're a strong or weak public speaker, Toastmasters will make you better. Before joining a club, research for a business-type club, and try a few before deciding on the one for you. 6. Stop having your team do unproductive things because it's the way it's always been done. You know what I'm talking about—those two-hour opera- tions meeting that the whole sales team attends, the weekly activity report that you ask the team to complete, or the ridicu- lous expense reporting process. Improve or delete these activi- ties. 7. Learn the CRM system. I estimate that more than half of sales managers that have a CRM system ask their sales team to send in reports on Excel because the manager doesn't understand the CRM system. No kidding … more than half. If you have a CRM system, and you're the boss, learn and use the CRM system. 8. Conduct pre-scheduled, recurring one-on-one coaching meetings. Dovetailing resolution number one, there is nothing better than following up field- work with consistent coaching sessions. These meetings can be conducted once or twice per month. 9. Bring in a modern-day, relevant sales training pro- gram for your team. I admit that this sounds like a plug for Ve c t o r F i r m Sales Academy (and maybe it i s ) , b u t t h a t doesn't lessen t h e n e e d f o r sales training in our industry. Not just sales t r a i n i n g , b u t a modern-day program that is relevant to the security industry. 10. Fulfill your personal resolution. Above all else, you're a leader of a group of people that probably have their own per- sonal New Year's resolutions. As their manager, you should lead by example, and achieve your personal resolution. Whether you want to lose weight, or spend more time with your kids, share it with the group and show them how it's done. Leading a sales team is tough, but it really is the greatest job in the world. Consider one or two of these ideas, and put them into action. If none of them work for you, then use this list to stimulate ideas of your own. Either way, New Year's resolu- tions—as corny as they may be—serve as a helpful tool to providing encouragement, hope, and improvement to one's life … and no one needs those three things more than sales manag- ers! Happy New Year! SSN Chris Peterson is president of the Vector Firm, a leader in helping security companies improve their sales and marketing performance. Ten New Year's resolutions for sales managers Chris Peterson "I developed this list of resolutions with sales managers— and their direct reports—in mind, and I understand the dozens of directions that sales people are pulled before 10:30 a.m. every day." —Chris Peterson, Vector Firm With the new year, the work and personal opportunities and possibilities presented to us are endless PROBLEM Finding The Button You Need STI Stopper ® Stations Super tough polycarbonate construction Momentary, turn-to-reset, key-to-reset, pneumatic English, Spanish, French, Swahili & more Custom text available Optional red, green or white illumination can change color to indicate activation 800-888-4784 SOLUTION 2017 Rely on STI! TM

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