Guest Article: Chris Smith on "Going from Road Warrior to Strategist"

July 26, 2020
Young Professionals

Today's guest article is from one of our industry best young professionals, Chris Smith, Regional Sales Manager of Feenics.

When 2020 began, I, like many other sales professionals, had one question on my mind.  That is, what is it going to take to hit my quota this year?  It’s funny how a number (sales quota) can dictate our emotions without much effort.  Being new to my position at Feenics, the last thing I wanted to do was leave a bad first impression.  After amble game planning and strategizing, I hit the ground running in January ready to talk to anyone who was willing to listen.  

As COVID-19 began to spread across the world, my dealers and end users started to feel the effects of a nationwide shutdown.  For the first time in my career, my traditional sales strategy wasn’t working like it used to.  After my first week of lockdown, I decided to revise my approach and find a way to sell in the current environment.  

Going from road warrior to strategist, here are some of the adjustments I made:

  • Utilize industry partners and relationships: work closely with your manufacturing partners to offer a unified integrated solution.  Leverage their existing relationships and don’t be afraid to introduce them to your partners as well.  In the end, we want our dealers to be able to offer a best in class solution, so align yourself with partners of the same mentality.
  • Become an expert in a specific vertical or verticals: The lock down has affected every industry differently.  Find a market segment that fits your product strengths.  Don’t try to be a solution for every scenario and be honest when you don’t think the product is best fit for the opportunity.
  • Connect with your customers and show empathy: Try to find out what their most significant obstacles are and make suggestions on where you see success.  Offer solutions and educate on ways to generate additional revenue streams outside of equipment sales (RMR, Managed Services, Cloud).
  • Be Reliable: Do what you say you are going to do.  Make sure to follow up on everything promised to do.  Make yourself a resource to the customer, and they will answer your calls.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one tool:  It is easier now than ever to find the right contact people at target companies.  What gets lost is only using one method of contact.  Email, Phone, Text, Social Media are all viable forms to connect.  However, only using one severely limits your ability to establish a relationship with a prospective customer.  
  • Now is not the time for a hard sell:  While some may panic and try to force a sale, it comes off as insincere and distant, especially now.  

My newfound approach is one that will continuously evolve, much like the environment.  And that’s OK.  We are creatures of habit, especially in the security industry!  Change is inevitable, and the sooner we embrace that, the quicker we can adjust to our new normal.  Sometimes it takes a pandemic to realize the sales behaviors you define now are the ones you should have been using all along.

Good luck! 

Written by Chris Smith. Chris is a dynamic, results oriented sales professional with 10 years in the security field.  Chris has a diverse background included OEM and direct manufacturer sales.  Currently Chris manages sales for the North East territory and Federal Government for Feenics.

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