Residential: Software is for Closers

Aug. 10, 2020
Making residential sales on-the-spot is still possible, even when in-person sales are not

This article originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention @SecBusinessMag on Twitter and Security Business magazine on LinkedIn.

Just like everything else in this crazy, new COVID-19 world, selling residential security systems has become much more challenging. For an industry that has relied almost exclusively on face-to-face, in-home sales consultations, it has been rough transitioning to a reality where homeowners are reluctant to welcome salespeople inside and – if willing – conversations must be held from six feet away and while wearing PPE. Much of the personal warmth and charm that salespeople rely on is lost behind a mask. Salespeople themselves may also be hesitant to conduct in-home meetings, depending on their health, personal risk factors and the prevalence of cases where they live.

Add in a reduction in disposable household income, a slowdown in home sales and more folks working from home, and there is no question that residential security sales professionals have their work cut out for them.

Nevertheless, residential sales are happening, as resourceful organizations finesse the art of remote selling through video chats, virtual walk-throughs, and collaborative software for remotely presenting options and designing systems.  

While so much has changed, some things remain the same. Just as in more “normal” times, residential security continues to have a very short sales cycle, where the best salespeople know how to close each opportunity quickly – ideally within the first meeting. How do they do it? Chances are high that they have the right security sales software tools at their disposal to give them a competitive edge.

Software’s Role

Security sales management software was designed for a pre-pandemic marketplace, to support the needs of salespeople on-the-go; however, this category of solutions is now proving to be equally valuable for salespeople working from home and remote selling.

A software’s ability to share data company-wide across a centralized platform, facilitate collaborative selling, automate calculations, create comprehensive quotes, and generate and sign e-contracts, equips salespeople with everything they need to sell and close on-the-spot.

With this flexibility and access-from-anywhere interface never more valuable, it is important for business owners to understand the features and capabilities offered by many of these solutions, as well as how they can be leveraged both in remote and in-person sales scenarios.

Product Availability

While this global pandemic has caused disruption in the supply chain of many industries, most experts agree that the security market has fared surprisingly well. In most cases, parts and components have continued to flow from primary sources, and when issues have arisen, alternative options have been available. Still, that may change. There is no question that a higher-than-normal range of products may become back-ordered, temporarily unavailable or even discontinued.

Especially with salespeople working remotely, automated mechanisms should be in place so that as inventory changes, salespeople have full knowledge of what they can and cannot offer customers.

Security sales management software enables operations and management to provide its remote or mobile sales team with online catalogs that are always current. When parts, packages or pricing change within the centralized database, those changes are populated immediately within the very tools that are used by salespeople during the quoting process.

Automated Calculations

Once a customer has sat through a consultation and discussed options, the last thing they want to do is wait around while the salesperson plays with numbers. Salespeople need to generate quotes quickly; however, speed cannot come at the expense of accuracy. Quoting software makes the difference here.

There are plenty of generic quoting solutions available, but software designed specifically for security sales offers the ability to incorporate not only parts and packages, but also monitoring fees, services and maintenance contracts – items that may involve recurring charges and are more complex to quote.

These solutions also make it easy to run various scenarios for customers, comparing the price of good, better and best options. Salespeople can explain what the system will cost with exterior cameras vs. without, for example. When price increments are paired with specific deliverables, it is easier for customers to appreciate the value of investing in the slightly pricier option.

Collaborative Selling

Before signing on the dotted line, customers want to fully understand what they are getting and where it is going. If, during the sales call, they collaborate with their salesperson to create a site survey, they have something tangible that tells them just that.

Digital site surveys are made possible either through stand-alone apps or through special modules integrated within more sophisticated security sales management software. They enable salespeople to upload drawing, floorplan, or photo images of the property and then search, drag and drop icons of the actual security parts in place, showing the location of panels, sensors, motion detectors, cameras, smoke and CO detectors – whatever is included in the system, while in the background, the software automatically builds the quote.

In “normal” times, salespeople have created these surveys on their tablets while conducting an on-site walk-through. Today, if a sales call must be handled remotely, common screen-sharing software allows the customer and salesperson to still create a survey together. Customers can provide a floorplan of their home, and through video chat, escort the salesperson through a virtual walk-through, whereby windows and doorways can be seen, vulnerabilities identified and locations for devices selected. Once complete, the survey can be emailed to the customer as a printable PDF.

Site surveys are also invaluable after the sale, providing the installation team with the clearest possible direction of how the system has been designed.

Contract Documents

In addition to calculating quick and accurate quotes, sales software generates corresponding contract documents that are both comprehensive and professionally branded. Customer, project and pricing fields are automatically populated based on information already entered into the system during the sales call, and a legal contract, complete with terms and conditions, is generated – ready for an electronic signature.

Common electronic signature platforms are often integrated within the software platform. When sales are in-person, the customer signs on the salesperson’s tablet, and copies of the completed documents are immediately sent both to the customer and the home office. In a remote sale, the contracts are sent via email. Document signing is completed quickly with just a few clicks and available to both parties.

When contracts are automatically routed to the home office upon signature, all the back-end work can immediately begin to ensure installation is scheduled and occurs in the most timely manner. Coupling credit check service software can automate one more step in the process.

Real-Time Visibility

Sales management software makes reporting and sales visibility easy, enabling salespeople, sales leadership and the home office understand how full the pipeline is, the most effective prospecting activities, what and where deals are closing, and more.

Especially in such uncertain times, where long-standing sales trends may suddenly shift in unpredictable ways, real-time sales data is vital to salespeople as they find their balance and pursue new avenues to succeed.

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

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