Streamlining Sales Post-Acquisition

April 17, 2024
Integrators explain 5 ways sales software can help ease the transition for acquired sales staff

This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Security Business magazine. Don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter if you share it.

Security integrators often expand into new regions – and grow their businesses – via acquisition. Usually, the long-term financial gains of buying another company are significant, but the transition for salespeople can be painful. Acquired team members must acclimate quickly to a new culture and sales process to prove their value. Those who struggle to adapt fail to thrive, even if they were a top performer at their previous organization. Meanwhile, management is counting on these individuals to hit the ground running to quickly deliver a return on investment.

Management must have a plan to integrate its expanded sales force into a cohesive team. This requires established, documented sales procedures and a method for communicating them. Without clear direction and guidelines, confusion will reign, morale will suffer, and salespeople may leave.

Security sales management software defines workflows and provides a clear framework for salespeople to learn how to sell as part of their new, larger organization.

“Our sales automation and quoting software has been instrumental in helping the companies we purchase get acclimated quickly,” explains Shantel Summers, Director of Admin Operations for Pye-Barker Fire & Safety’s alarm division, the most prolific acquirer of security and fire companies in the past few years. “The more you simplify and standardize, the better your salespeople know what to do.” 

Deciding to purchase another integration company is a difficult decision; however, sales management software can ease the growing pains, helping companies derive ROI quickly and ensure a successful integration of sales cultures. Here are five key areas where salespeople may struggle following an acquisition and how sales management software can help:

1. Selling new product lines: Sometimes, companies acquire companies that sell similar solutions; other times, they are different but complementary. In both cases, salespeople often have to start selling at least a slightly different portfolio of solutions and services than they did before the acquisition.

Sales software gives them immediate access to the company’s centralized parts database as well as related information they might not otherwise know. For example, if the company offers bundled packages at special pricing, those appear within the software, already priced and ready to go. So does associated labor for installing specific parts and packages.

Software makes it easier to search for parts based on the manufacturer, part number, or description.

Salespeople may have previously sold competing products and have yet to become familiar with equivalent models from the manufacturers they now represent; or, the products they sold before are already in the database. With sales management software, they can easily search and find the parts they need, along with any related accessories, licenses, or other items. This provides salespeople immediate confidence and peace of mind.

2. Quoting properly and profitably: When salespeople join a new organization through an acquisition, they may need help understanding how the new company wants them to structure quotes to ensure profitability. How does the company make money?

“Salespeople do a much better job estimating projects when they understand how parts, labor, and overhead affect margins and profitability,” explains Jim Fairbanks, Director of Technology Sales & Design for Prosegur USA. “With the right software, all that information is baked into the system and visible while building quotes. There is minimal room for errors, and salespeople see how each element they include impacts other areas of the estimate and the entire project.”

When salespeople become part of a new team, it may be helpful that management has a chance to review and approve quotes before they are sent. Automated estimate approvals make sure mistakes don’t go out the door. Reviews assist salespeople with acclimation and build their confidence in the new way of doing things.

Automated approvals speed up the review process and provide an audit trail, so salespeople do not feel hamstrung by their new management or process. It is easy to dial back approval thresholds as the new team works together.

3. Commission calculations: Salespeople often look for clarification about how an acquisition will impact their commission structure and compensation. Perhaps the new company incentivizes sales to new customers over existing ones, or it strongly incentivizes the sale of services and maintenance plans. There may be different policies for splitting commissions between salespeople.

Sales software can estimate commission calculations as projects are quoted to help salespeople understand the commission potential they can earn based on the components of the sale. Approvals may also play a role in validating commission calculations. Salespeople also know management views the calculations, so there’s no uncertainty about their potential pay.

The transparency of automated commission calculations builds trust between salespeople and management from Day One, saving time and starting the new team with a positive attitude.

4. Presenting their new brand: One of the most difficult challenges for salespeople caught up in an acquisition is learning how to represent the brand of their new employer. When customers are in the market for security solutions or services, they make their purchase decision based on the company they trust – the technology itself is secondary to who they think will do the best job delivering and supporting it. How salespeople present themselves and their company can make or break a deal.

Sales management software gives them the tools they need to present professionally and consistently – from collaboration during system design through the automation of polished brand forward proposals. It also allows parent companies to maintain or transition separate identities for acquired organizations while instituting standard sales processes and a shared quoting platform.

“The software we use, which automatically generates proposals, lets us maintain consistent branding and design at a corporate level while allowing each rep to customize certain elements of their presentation style,” says Chad Asselstine, VP of Business Development at Fire Monitoring of Canada (FMC), which also owns a subsidiary company, Bulldog Fire & Security. “Some proposals are branded as FMC, while others carry the Bulldog Fire & Security identity. Comparing our quotes with our competitors is like apples to oranges. Ours makes a much more professional statement.”

5. Support for management functions: Salespeople aren’t the only ones stressed out during an acquisition. The executive team must navigate new waters while ensuring their business decisions pay off. Sales software provides data to help management strategically steer the ship.

John Nemerofsky, COO of SAGE Integration, played a critical role in streamlining the merger of systems integrators AYSCO and DTS to create SAGE. “Each company had been handling quoting in its own way – one had been using QuickBooks and the other, Excel,” Nemerofsky recalls. “With either of those, you are missing out on a lot – you have no recorded history, no sales reporting, no pricing consistency, no approval processes, no engineering reviews, and no integration with accounting. It was clear to me that one of the first things we needed was a consistent and better way of handling estimates and quoting throughout the organization.”

Nemerofsky also emphasizes the importance of reporting key metrics. “Our software provides a lot of data: average size quotes, average margin on existing clients, average quote size to new clients, average margin on existing clients, and timing of quote-to-close. We’re also tracking lost jobs,” he says. “All that information helps us evaluate trends, which are critical in developing a growth strategy.” 

Tracy Larson is the president and founder of WeSuite, a provider of security sales management software. (914) 920-3400 

About the Author

Tracy Larson | President

Tracy Larson is the president and founder of WeSuite, a provider of security sales management software. Request more info about the company at