Valley Alarm revamps sales organization

Commercial security company plans to grow sales 30 percent to 50 percent
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SUN VALLEY, Calif.—Valley Alarm, a commercial security company based here, expects to grow its new sales 30 percent to 50 percent this year compared to 2011 as the result of a growth plan it’s implementing.

“Historically, we’ve just hired good salespeople, done some training and had spotty marketing efforts and let the salespeople generate business,” said Robert Michel, CEO of Valley Alarm.

It’s an approach that has worked well for the 30-year-old company, which has 7,000 accounts (about 50 percent commercial) and $240,000 in RMR. The focus of the company has always been commercial, Michel said, but it’s picked up a number of residential clients along the way.

Michel and his son Ed, who is VP of the company, took the past year to put together a plan to restructure their sales organization, training, and marketing efforts. They’ve hired an inside salesperson and have plans to hire more salespeople.

In addition to direct mail and telemarketing, a revamped website and outreach through social media are important aspects of the plan, according to Ed Michel. “We used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Trustlink, a social media site [associated with the] Better Business Bureau,” he said.

Valley Alarm does “everything from simple alarm systems up through and including integrated video and access … and a lot of commercial fire,” Robert said. Ten percent to 15 percent of Valley’s accounts are pure fire.

The “vast majority” of Valley’s accounts are small to medium-sized businesses “and we have some large and some very large accounts,” Robert said. Customers include K-12 schools, colleges and universities, churches, major studios, medical buildings, other commercial and industrial clients and several California state agencies.