Pros: benefits were decent
Cons: terrible management, no sound business model.
A Short Career with Protection One
My start date with Protection One residential sales was June 3rd 2013. They hired 6 of us, all without any discernible reason. If you could use the bathroom and hit the water you were on-board.
The “training” was fragmented, catch-as-catch can and haphazard to give a mild description. In the first 30 days 3 of the – more... 6 new hires quit without drama. None were asked to leave.
Moving into the field we were told there are 2 kinds of sales; “self-gens” and “company leads.” The high priority went to “self-generated” sales. These “sell-gens” were achieved by knocking on the doors of strangers and referrals. Sales from company leads paid about 1/3 of “self-gens” because as explained, these leads cost marketing money to produce.
Management mouthed the term “self-gen” with a frequency akin to GEICO™ insurance advertising. This repetition did not boost morale or increase sales by any discernible measure.
Our sales literature claimed Protection One to be the second largest electronic security company in the industry. Advertising within our metropolitan trading area and throughout the nation was and still is practically non-existent. In the absence of radio, television and print promotions we were a no-name enterprise even among competitors. This made “self-gen” sales that much harder to accomplish.
Payment of our commissions was a Byzantine bureaucratic struggle that involved multiple websites and signatures even after the contracts were signed, money collected and security systems installed. We often had to wait an extra 14 days to receive large portions of pay.
Discussions with management about the troubles around compensation were greeted phrases like “I don’t have access to that”, “It is what it is” and “Well, we’re all in the same boat”.
Within 60 days of my June 3rd 2013 start date I was the only man standing out of the 6 new hires. One hundred twenty days after my hire our sales manager left us to micro-manage some other beleaguered souls at ADT.
News came to us that Protection One had acquired a smaller company to lead our residential sales team. This company was rumored to have a Better Business Bureau rating of “F” and a litany of litigation due to non-compliance of various state laws. Rumor gave way to self-verification by visiting contractors from the acquisition. These “F” rated folks were to direct us in the field. They in-turn answered only to their out-of-state superiors. Months of delay and manic decision-making obstructed the path to future consumer complaints. I guess someone thought our company culture of excellent customer service coupled with an A+ rating would somehow inform this newly purchased unpleasant reputation.
By November 2013, 2 of the 4 salesmen on-board for about a year’s tenure took a powder. This left the residential sales department with just 3 of us and no manager. Three salesmen were all that remained to respond to company leads. According to the last U.S. Census our market space has a population count of 6,526,548 and encompasses 9,286 square miles. At this juncture, we were told to abandon our “self-gen” efforts.
In mid-January the acquisition’s sales manager moved to our area. Without a word to us he took the company leads from us and pocketed the sales for himself. Our local management objected but alas, was powerless to stop his thievery. The new manager participated in benefits like us, but received no salary or performance bonuses and no cell phone or gasoline allowances. Unlike a traditional sales manager he had no stake in our success. Clearly he needed to use our company leads to produce income. This was also a way to starve us into knocking on cold doors in the cold winter.
I resigned by quietly returning my laptop and security badge to the branch administrator. I’m certain no one was surprised. – less