By Business Need
The Handshake Difference
Delivering the definitive B2B Commerce Platform
Solving real business challenges
Finding a faster way for Alarmtech’s sales reps to create price quotes for their alarm systems installations.
Using Handshake for Service Quotes
As a service-oriented business working directly with both consumers and other businesses, Alarmtech doesn’t necessarily seem like the most obvious candidate for a platform like Handshake. The company focuses on installations, service, and monitoring for video surveillance systems, IT video, and large integrated alarm systems, in addition to product sales.
But for Alarmtech Founder and President Bob Hoevenaars, it was all about finding a solution to remove cumbersome manual and paper processes, and he saw major parallels between the problems his business was experiencing and the problems that Handshake set out to solve.
Handshake was designed to help wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors write sales orders digitally, display products in a digital catalog, store customer data, and eliminate the manual data entry processes associated with transferring orders from paper to electronic systems. For a long time, Alarmtech was dealing with many similar manual processes. Rather than meeting with customers to take orders, however, their reps and technicians would meet with potential customers to create price quotes for alarm system installations.
In the past, sales reps would visit a job site, use a piece of paper to note down what a potential customer needed, and then tick off items and services manually on an Excel spreadsheet. They would then create a price quote document in Microsoft Word that they would email to the customer. For any wholesale distribution sales rep who’s written an order on paper and entered it manually into a back office system, Alarmtech’s old process probably sounds eerily familiar.
For Hoevenaars, the biggest reason to begin searching for an alternative to the company’s Paper/Excel/Microsoft Word system was simple: quantity. It simply took up too much of each sales rep’s time to create price quotes, limiting the number of quotes each rep could create and slowing down overall sales and productivity. “I wanted to increase efficiency and lessen the amount of time sales reps were spending on creating quotes. I also wanted the quotes to look more professional and modern,” says Hoevenaars.
Today, Alarmtech’s reps are using Handshake to show customers the different alarm systems the company offers and create detailed price quotes, including installation/labor costs. Despite the fact that Alarmtech is largely a service-oriented business, the company saw many of the same positive impacts experienced by wholesale distribution companies in product sales.
For instance, sales reps used to carry a collection of physical product samples. Today, they can show their entire line of products and services on their iPads. ”We now have the ability to do a quote with the customer right there, and they can see exactly what we offer and how it works,” says Hoevenaars.
The impact has also extended into the warehouse. “The Handshake quote has become our picklist for the job itself,” says Hoevenaars. “It goes to our service coordinator, who will pick the parts that we have or order the ones we need. That saves us a lot of back and forth communication.”