Unlocking Success in the Pro AV Industry: Understanding the Role of the Sales Manager

As we came upon finishing our fiscal year along with many of our manufacturer partners, I was tasked with working closely with our sales team to run down potential incoming purchases with us.  This brought me into the thought process of how complex a Sales Rep/Account Mgr./Territory Mgr. in our industry – and others – has become with advancements in technology, social media, and our everchanging world.

In the past, it was a rolodex, catalogs, and flyers – with your feet on the street and the phones to uncover new clients and build relationships. Today, it’s grab your laptop, use sales force or some other system, connect over email, network on LinkedIn, and don’t forget, be available using Zoom, Teams, and your cell phone 24 hours a day to respond to questions and assist with product recommendations.

Serving CustomersOf course, they have to keep up with product changes and technological advancements to offer good recommendations to you or me.  Yes, they can research the details, although your best sales professionals are ahead of the curve.  They want to be the ones to introduce the technology to you to be a true consultant in offering you the solutions. That’s their value, and they know it!

That means they have to integrate ongoing training into their day-to-day.  Plus, they have to keep up with their management about the status of the project and opportunity.  Let’s not forget about the internal company relationships, which are another real key component for a sales professional to fulfill their commitments.  They must have strong relationships to get things done, because if they’ve made a commitment, they have to deliver on the commitment.

Above all, time management seems to be a common skill among all sales managers. As detailed in Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change,” the ability to manage time emerges as the cornerstone of success.

He explains, “Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).

This book has always resonated with me in both my professional and personal life. It’s been a constant reminder in my life with so many constant changes and focuses, whether it be on a personal or professional level.  Regardless, they are intertwined with each other, and you must be able to balance both, or most importantly, manage the imbalance when life commands of you.   Time is the single most important element in our lives and, at times, the most difficult to manage effectively. Stephen Covey’s recommendations for managing our habits for personal change help with time and priorities.   It’s a good read.

This crucial combination of knowledge, skill, and desire requires precise time management, as a sales manager must find the time to educate themselves on new technology and services, visit clients, and build a pipeline for new business, management, internal processes, and relationships – and don’t forget the paperwork in there, as well. Staying up to date on the latest trends and products isn’t just a choice; it’s a necessity in an industry that thrives on progress and innovation.

If you are in a position that supports the sales team, I encourage you to give them some love and assistance to make their jobs just a little easier!

I’m here to save them some time and give all my sales professionals a little extra time with their Panasonic needs.

Leverage Me As A Resource For Your Panasonic Needs

At Exertis Almo, we deliver top-notch service with expert product recommendations. Let’s get in touch to find the perfect Panasonic solutions for your upcoming project. Reach out today and let’s embark on this journey together!

Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

Miracast: Everything You Need to Know

Do you know Miracast?

MiraCastAs the liaison between a device and a display, Miracast utilizes wireless technology to detect, connect, and mirror the screen of one device on the other. The up-and-coming technology serves as a peer-to-peer network to wirelessly transmit screencasts comprised of WiFi Direct connections, comparable to Bluetooth’s function. In fact, Miracast allows content reproduction from TVs, smartphones, and more – all onto users’ PC screens.

If you have a wireless connection on your device, you’re capable of utilizing Miracast’s innovative technology. Designed to be a cross-platform standard for user’s, Miracast supports up to 1080p resolution and 5.1 surround sound, ensuring that user’s enjoy a convenient and impressive experience in corporate settings and classrooms, to name a few.

Let’s break it down a little further.

When using Miracast, one device transmits the content through WiFi Direct, and the other device serves as your display by efficiently receiving and rendering the content. Essentially, the technology works to create a WiFi network between your devices, allowing for content transmission speeds to ten times faster than Bluetooth.

screenbeam meeting spacesAlong with the real-time content transmission, Miracast provides content protection through its support of High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection – or HDCP. The mechanism oversees the transfer of content between the device that originates the content (the source) and the display device, providing an added layer of security to a user’s digital rights.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Miracast, you’ve likely noticed similarities between other technologies, like Chromecast and Apple Airplay. Despite serving the same function, these technologies are not exactly alike.

In comparison with Chromecast, Miracast acts as a standard protocol within the WiFi feature on a device – essentially, a technology that a user has by default. On the other hand, Chromecast acts as a receiver, requiring a TV. Apple uses their own standard instead of Miracast, called Airplay, allowing user’s to stream content from their devices – iPhones, iPads, and Macs – to their Apple TV. In a meeting room setting, Miracast would be a more versatile option, as the technology is designed for cross-platform use. Plus, Miracast is capable of functioning without an active internet connection.

In fact, Miracast technology is available on a variety of wireless devices from ScreenBeam. By prioritizing collaborative environments in meetings, classrooms, and more, ScreenBeam’s impressive array of technology provides efficient wireless content sharing – no cables or wires necessary. Miracast is native to modern Windows devices – detailed on the WiFi Alliance’s WiFi Certified Devices list.

As an up-and-coming technology, the applications for Miracast’s innovative technology are quite versatile. Miracast is an excellent solution for entertainment, meeting rooms, and lecture halls for presentations and videos. Additionally, Miracast is a convenient option for home entertainment, as users can easily stream movies, mobile games, and more, straight to their TV in real-time.

Above all, Miracast’s efficiency and simplicity paves the way for a cable-free, wireless environment. By allowing for seamless content sharing across devices, the technology inspires an inclusive and collaborative environment.

If you’d like to learn more about Miracast and it’s role in ScreenBeam solutions, I encourage you to reach out to me.

Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

Projectors vs. Displays: Audio-Visual Solutions for Equitable Hybrid Learning Environments

Over the past few years, hybrid learning has quickly become the new normal in a variety of educational spaces. In order to accommodate the needs of in-person and distance learners alike, modern educational environments require innovative audio-visual solutions to ensure that classrooms provide a productive and equitable experience for everyone involved.

This poses an important question. Display or projector?

hybrid-lecture-projectorWhen designing or renovating a classroom, there are several key factors that affect an integrator’s decision in choosing to install a display or a projector. Generally speaking, the decision is based on the room size, seating layout, and light levels of the overall environment – both natural and overhead lighting included.

Displays are more commonly utilized in smaller meeting rooms, as they provide clear, crisp images for students viewing at a short distance. In larger classrooms of more than 20-25 participants, integrators usually prefer to install projectors, as they better accommodate the students seated in the back of the classroom and serve as a more cost-effective option for lecture halls and higher education spaces.

The CMZ50 from Panasonic is an excellent addition to any mid-size to large learning environment, as the projector features high visibility and dynamic visuals in bright rooms and flexible installation for a variety of room layouts, including a 21:9 aspect ratio for hybrid learning and remote collaboration. Perfect for the education space, the projector features a compact design and long-lasting power. Plus, the simple set-up and wall-mounted installation provides crystal-clear images up to 120” with little to no chances of projector shadows from the presenter.

Although projectors are a cost-conscious choice for larger rooms, some recently designed classrooms are including both projectors and displays in order to create an equitable experience for students, no matter where they’re seated. By placing displays midway through a lecture hall, these additional screens tend to mirror the content displayed on the main projectors for students seated in the back of the room.

Panasonic’s variety of professional displays for educational spaces create fascinating learning environments that enhance classroom collaboration. With hybrid learning in mind, Panasonic’s education-focused displays are designed for simple use, 24/7 operation, and advanced adaptability to keep up with the evolving education market.

hybrid-lecture-displayAdditionally, we’ve seen an increased demand for both displays and projectors in hy-flex classrooms, which follow a small group-based layout. These learning spaces feature a main projector, or several, at the front of the classroom, but separate students into small groups, each with their own individual display at their meeting table. The professor can walk around the room and supervise the individual groups, with the capability to transmit a video feed from the small group displays to the main projector to share content with the whole class.

In fact, integrating both products into a learning space can be beneficial when there are obstacles in the way, like low ceilings or an obstructed view from a certain seat. Whether these secondary displays are presenting supplemental material or reinforcing the content on the primary projector(s), this combination of technologies is a versatile way to accommodate the needs of every student and prioritize classroom equity.

However, there are some challenges and additional elements to consider when choosing a classroom layout, including fire code compliance, natural light levels throughout the day, and the existing layout of the room. For example, ceiling technologies, like projectors and microphones, have to be adjusted to prevent interaction with fans, HVAC systems, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about the Panasonic, please visit our website. You can also contact me here or reach out over on LinkedIn.
Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

Overcoming Security Threats: In-Room Collaboration Technology

Wireless Security Layers

With the increase in hybrid collaboration following the pandemic, cybersecurity is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially in office meeting spaces and conference rooms with a great amount of traffic throughout the day – team members and guests included. IT and maintenance departments are incredibly precise with the hardware they are installing, focusing heavily on certifications and the way in which certain products handle these cybersecurity risks – in some cases, even gluing the USB ports of a government-issued laptop to manually prevent any plug-ins.

Wireless display technology presents many security risks, and in order to provide protection against any threats, there are three layers of security that are typical (and industry standard).

1. Connection Level

This involves the user’s laptop connecting to the closest access point and authenticating itself to the network (representing the standard set of security protocols WPA, 802.1X, WEP, etc.).

2. Session

The session involves the transmission of data – searching out, sending an email, connecting to a wireless printer, and much more. When a user transmits their data from a laptop to an access point, they are in an active session – the data is encrypted.

3. On-Screen

The on-screen layer involves a display pin that needs to be entered, requiring someone to be physically present in order to connect.

Network Security

Along with these three layers of security, ScreenBeam adds additional protection in the architecture of the device itself, providing an internal network for employees and an external network for guests, with a firewall in between. In your conference room, users with Apple devices can connect to the access point and use AirPlay to discover ScreenBeam as a display point over the network infrastructure – this applies exclusively to company employees. For those with Windows 10/11 devices, users may connect to ScreenBeam using P2P mode. On the other hand, guests may use WiFi tools with ScreenBeam an access point, without ever interacting with the internal network. If they require Internet access, they can gain this permission through WLAN1.

When utilizing ScreenBeam, users must authenticate themselves, as anything shared is encrypted. With other similar technology, you must choose between putting a device on the internal network (which guests cannot use) or putting a device on the guest network, which requires every employee to also switch to the guest network. ScreenBeam is connected to both the internal network and the external network at the same time, so you can connect securely to both networks, without ever exposing your internal network to guests, since their access is directly connected to the display.

Additionally, when faced with guests that require a connection to the network, other similar devices would likely opt to provide guests with access to the internal network, therefore punching a hole in the firewall, which is not the most secure choice. With ScreenBeam, there is no connection between the local WiFi and Ethernet, which prevents access to the wired Ethernet, even if someone were able to hack into the local WiFi.

When it comes to in-room collaboration security, there’s much more to the product than most people realize.

With any questions or to learn more about ScreenBeam’s innovative solutions, I encourage you to contact me or reach out over on LinkedIn.

Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

How to Leverage Live Product Demos to Grow Your Business

When it comes to audio technology, hearing is believing. And in the age of hybrid learning and collaboration, audio quality is essential in creating a fair experience for both remote and in-person participants.

Although audio-conferencing technology is often considered complicated and costly, Nureva has developed groundbreaking solutions that deliver simplicity and value with top-notch quality. To better connect resellers with the capabilities of their audio systems prior to purchasing, Nureva experts host free product demos for resellers interested in their products – broadcast live, every day.

By hosting live product demos on a frequent and accessible schedule, Nureva ensures that viewers experience a first-hand look at their innovative audio solutions. Along with in-person demos, these remote sessions are a great first step in allowing attendees to understand Nureva’s technology in action, as they serve as a simple and effective introduction to a product.

sound targeting

During a 15-minute live product demo, Nureva experts provide resellers with an interactive, first-hand listen of the revolutionary patented Microphone Mist™ technology in a real space with glass walls and HVAC. Additionally, the demos allow listeners to hear the microphone pickup everywhere in the space and give examples of how specific organizations can benefit from their solutions. And with no pressure to purchase, resellers are encouraged to ask questions during the demonstration to determine if they would like to request additional details and information.

In fact, scheduling and attending a virtual demo from Nureva couldn’t be simpler. By visiting Nureva’s website, prospective attendees can choose from a variety of time slots on a preferred date. In fact, Nureva provides dealers with the option to mirror the official demo calendar on their own websites to encourage more widespread education about Nureva technology – a great value-added service!

So, how valuable are these live product demos? While audio quality is subjective and greatly depends on a specific listener’s goals, Nureva experts focus their demonstrations on more concrete product details, like auto-calibration and quick installation. And since Nureva’s patented Microphone Mist technology works in conjunction with other products, these demos serve as an excellent opportunity to show how Nureva pairs with additional communication devices, like projectors and cameras.

Although it’s too soon to track the success rate of in-person demos, Nureva’s virtual demos have a 1 out of 2 close rate, which shows the undeniable importance of live educational opportunities for prospective dealers and resellers.

For those looking to book a demo with Nureva, simply click here to pick a date.

Have any questions?

Feel free to reach out to me – HERE.

Angie Greene
About the Author

Angie Greene | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: ScreenBeam and Panasonic

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