Qualifying Sales Leads

Qualifying Sales Leads

Barry ET Harris MBE is a consultant for Proelium Law LLP, he is a veteran of 23 years’ service in the British Army, he combines specialist operational experience with wisdom gained from extensive commercial consulting, executive, and management expertise in his specialities gained in complex environments and high-risk jurisdictions worldwide.

DEFINING SALES

Sales can be thought of the process of helping a client succeed. Helping clients to succeed is not a euphemism for sales – it is the essence of sales. Make the sale! Meet the targets! Perversely the harder we try the worse we do. When the ethos of helping a client succeed is lost sight of, and instead the focus is on personal success, clients will perceive the difference negatively. Successful companies are those that concentrate on the success of others. Helping clients is not about being nice; it is not philanthropic or selfless. It is a powerful, if paradoxical, means of getting what we want.

QUALIFYING OPPORTUNITIES

Poor or a lack of qualification of an opportunity can be a severe penalty. A large number of sales people, unproductively, pursue worthless deals. A significant proportion of sales opportunities are lost because of an inadequate or non-existent qualification process, and a lack of effective sales-planning process. However, frequently the response to failure is to increase the number of opportunities pursued rather than the quality of the qualification process. When low probability sales opportunities are pursued the win rate goes down, and the expenses go up.

Typically, a sales opportunity starts life as unqualified:

  • An unqualified lead needs to be subject to a campaign to nurture it into the sales process
  • The client is often unsure of what solutions are available
  • The client does not know what they want the solution to be yet
  • The product or service solution is perceived by the client as being outside of the client’s budget
  • It is possible to grow the opportunity to a qualified state, but the cost to the seller of doing so might be too high.

The opportunity is qualified when the prospect client has been researched and is considered ready for the next stage in the sales process.

THE OPPORTUNITY CHECKLIST

The dialogue around a sales opportunity is important. Most situations require that an “Opportunity Conversation” occurs with any individuals who will influence the decision and control resources to make the purchase. Every person will have a perspective on a solution being pursued to meet the client’s needs. Following an Opportunity Checklist is an aid to a mutual understanding of the opportunity:

  • Issues – What problems or results are the client trying to address? In what priority?
  • Evidence – How is the problem defined? How is success measured?
  • Impact – What are the financial and intangible costs and benefits?
  • Context – Who or what else is affected by the issues and the solution?
  • Constraints – What has stopped, or could stop, the resolution of the issues?

The Opportunity Checklist points to what is required to be known to qualify the opportunity; structuring the conversation is a question and answer process to elicit information efficiently.

THE OPPORTUNITY CONVERSATION

To structure the conversation:

  • Solutioning:

The solution discussion intends to understand better the issues that the solution must address. If significant issues or desired results are not articulated, then there is probably low client motivation.

  • Establish all the issues:

After the solution conversation, establish the issues. There are usually multiple issues rather than just one. The salesperson must be patient and show discipline to get all the issues first, as long as the client is willing. They can then be discussed in order of importance to the client. Do not immediately discuss the first issue mentioned, instead obtain the complete list, or the following is risked:

  • Missing issues may be missing opportunities
  • Too much time could be allocated on what is not the most important issue
  • Even with the most important issue discovered, time, energy, and scarce resources will have been wasted.

The issues list can be tested for completeness by asking the question – If all the issues are successfully addressed, what would be the solution that exactly meets the requirement? When a client ponders this, they often come up with additional items that can be very important.

  • Prioritise the issues:

With a complete issues list, they can be prioritised. While all the issues will be important and interrelated, ask the client to identify one that has the most leverage or impact. Eighty percent of impact is twenty percent of the issues. When prioritised spend the most time on the issues most important to the client.

  • Gather evidence and impact:

Do not overlook the evidence. Even if the client’s issue is understood, and a potential solution is available, it is essential to define the problem closely. Evidence gathering and impact is pivotal to building a good business case for the opportunity. A good business case reinforces the probability of successful sale. If there is no business case, or it is inadequate, this should serve as a warning to the salesperson. Evidence defines problems and measures success.

Questions to establish evidence can be guided by how the client phrases an issue. Some issues can immediately be measured as they are subject to hard numbers, so are “Hard Issues”, such as cost, and existing client-owned solutions. “Soft Issues” are more difficult to place a cash value on, but they no less important or less impactful.

  • Explore context and constraints:

There are two types of client related context: organisational and operational:

  • Organisational:

How does the solution fit into the big picture? How does it connect with:

  • the client’s mission?
  • the client’s values?
  • key strategies and initiatives of the client?
  • the external and internal pressures facing the client?
  • the political landscape in the client’s organisation?

What is going on in the client’s organisation affects all decisions being made, including the decision to procure the solution. A solution that aligns with the organisational context of the client is more attractive to people and are less price sensitive.

  • Operational:

A proposed solution can intervene in a system and will have ramifications in other parts of the client’s organisation. Solutions rarely exist in isolation. The more the salesperson thinks systemically, the more likely it is that the proposed solution will work for the whole of the client organisation and be sustainable over time.

What constraints have stopped the client from resolving the issue? If this is a new opportunity, the constraints question can be, what, if anything, might prevent the successful implementation of the solution going forward? The answer to the question will provide valuable insight, but it is often never asked by the salesperson. The answer is either good constraints or bad constraints:

  • Good constraints are things that the client cannot do that the proposed solution can do for them.
  • Bad constraints are things that have prevented success in the past, which if uncorrected, will continue to prevent success.

Customers purchase to solve problems. A good salesperson must first seek to understand the true nature and extent of the problem the client needs addressing, and then offer a solution. Often the solution can be very different from the one the customer envisaged. A good salesperson will even talk the customer out of making a wrong purchase because ultimately the customer will respect the salesperson’s honesty, and may become a repeat customer.

If the opportunity is not qualified, nothing else matters. Asking useful questions adds value and insight to the client as well as providing the necessary information for the sales process.

If you have enjoyed this article, and would like to find out more about the sales process, or other management and business development processes, please see the other articles in this series here, or contact Barry Harris at barryetharris@proeliumlaw.com. 

 

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Tradeshow tradecraft

Tradeshow tradecraft

Barry Harris MBE, a senior advisor to Proelium Law LLP and a widely experienced businessman, shares a series of blogs offering practical commercial advice.

A stand at an exhibition is a considerable investment, and it requires further resource to make it a success.  Those seasoned campaigners of trade exhibitions will know that selling at exhibitions and trade shows is rare, and when it does happen, it is a world apart from your regular sales, requiring fine-tuned organisation and sales skills.  Exhibitions are fast-paced events, however, at times, they can be deathly slow.

Personnel manning a stand must be agile, knowledgeable, and well briefed, the stand activities must be well planned and everybody involved must know their role.  Despite the challenges, a well-organised stand, fully equipped with functioning products, and marketing collateral. If the planning and preparations are right, the logistics correct, everybody working the stand well briefed, then the exhibition should generate many positive enquiries.  So, here are some tips to help you succeed at your next trade show or exhibition.

Get your strategy right

Having invested in exhibiting, it is important to have a mission and objectives. “Having a presence” is simply not enough!  A focused set of targets must be communicated to the team. These could include to:

  • Generate leads
  • Make appointments with potential clients
  • Support a new product or service launch
  • Launch the company into a new market sector

It is important to be in attuned to the target client’s needs, in order to generate an enhanced strategy for the event. Typically, potential customers visiting an exhibition seek the following:

  • Variety
  • Interesting exhibits and products
  • New ideas
  • Information
  • Knowledge

Selling is good, however, selling at exhibitions is more about selling company capability, than an actual product or service. Visitors to stands expect sales, but they don’t want to feel pestered.

Communicate the strategy

Ensure that the purpose is communicated to the team, and subsequently embraced by them.  Everyone working on the stand should know the strategy, and work to a common goal.

Certain metrics work well as targets, for example how many:

  • Conversations
  • Business cards
  • Appointments
  • Demonstrations and details were taken
  • Meetings and details were recorded.

Ideally, an energetic manager will be present on the stand, who motivates the team and reminds them of targets.

Know the assets of the team

The team on the stand will have diverse skills.  Some will be excellent at generating interest from the outskirts of the stand (“front of house”), gaining eye contact and initiating a conversation with strangers.  Other team members can gain commitment once the dialogue has started.  Others still might be better at patrolling through the other stands, lectures and networking opportunities.  No matter what, at least one person must be dedicated to stand administration and the central capture of leads, business cards, and information, and ensure that all are entirely recorded for a post-show debrief.

It is important that everyone knows their role at the event and stick to it.  There is a strong temptation for team members to allow their position to drift and to gravitate to where the success is. There is a magnetic attraction to move to where the selling energy is; it must be avoided to prevent frustration and anger in the team.

Choose your attitude

The team must not pester visitors – that will go nowhere fast.  Remember, most visitors pay to access the venue, and they want ideas.  Customers, for the most part, want to buy, and they want to feel like they have personally achieved something. It is always good to ask a visitor to the stand what their aim or objective is for their visit to the exhibition and tailor your response accordingly.

Team attitudes are fundamental. A successful company stand can be seen by the attitudes of the team. Not just their smiles, their industry, bearing, good manners and attention to detail, and the coordination, cleanliness and tidiness of the stand.

Individual body language also signals to the visitor the attitude of the company; heads tilted and nodding when listening, friendliness, and a multitude of other open gestures and stances will communicate fantastic attitude.

Tell the world!

Ensure that existing clients, as well as prospects, are invited to the exhibition, and to the company stand.  They will see the company in a positive light, and it will enhance their belief and understanding in the company. It is important that these visitors get to meet the wider team, this, in turn, will strengthen ties.

Entertain customers and prospects at the event by inviting them to lunch or coffee, take them on a tour of the show (this also helps safeguard against conversations with competitors) and recommend sessions and conferences at the event to attend.  Always have a gift available for them (it does not need to be expensive, it could be a gift of knowledge).

Have something of interest on your stand

Like it or not, gimmicks work; these things can provide a queue of interested people.  Do gimmicks get people to your stand for the wrong reasons?  Yes, they do.  Should you care?  No!

Attracting a crowd, and things will happen.  With no group of people gathered, nothing will happen.

Refine your engagement techniques

It is vital to be able to engage others in an almost impossible situation – fast walking passers-by, most with something else on their minds.

Establish eye contact, next attract the interest of the passer-by, engage – ask an interesting question but also a small gift will help (link to reciprocity), a simple bit of research or a curious observation.

The physiological basis of both reciprocity and research in persuasion is the irresistible urge to provide a gift in return.  Simple research helps – give out marketing collateral and ask whether the recipient likes it or not. Exchange business cards, and log the contact made, with notes.

An exhibition is a problematic direct sales environment.  Engagement hardly ever happens all-at-once.  Instead, it is one step at a time.  Eye contact, question, response, question, observation and so on.  At an exhibition, selling will only move forward to the next stage if the previous stage was a success.

The challenge at a trade show is that the right to go to the next stage must be earned by making the next stage of the conversation even more interesting and appealing.  If the goal is to pre-qualify and book an appointment for a meeting, presentation or demonstration, the path of least amount of resistance for the prospect is what will work.

Considering every word and juncture in any conversation is essential. Do not bluff, or lie, if a question is asked and the answer is not known, get somebody in the team who will know.  If nobody knows exactly, get a business card, and promise to follow up.

Techniques to Engagement:
  • Make eye contact
  • Be ready with a leading question to engage with
  • Be polite and introduce yourself then the company, find out where the visitor is from, and what company or organisation they represent by asking questions, such as:
    • What is your objective for attending this event?
    • What is it that brought you to our stand today?
    • What aspects of our stand product or service attract you?
  • Be helpful, provide information, directions, literature, a gift
  • Request feedback, ask for their opinions and advice, visitors like to be flattered. Show interest in what they say.
Spend time with visitors who matter (and quickly and politely move on from the people who do not).

The visitor flow at an exhibition and the company stand will not be continuous; visitors come in waves.  Peak times are after lectures and presentations, session breaks, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  And usually plenty of quiet moments.

It’s a “feast or famine” environment, maximising time with people who matter – the genuine buyers, influencers and the press is essential.  Equally, it is important to have a strategy to deal with individuals who are competitors, time wasters, complainers or just those filling bags with goodies.

Maximise the roles in the team, know and use their specific assets to best advantage.  Amongst them will be the “attractors”, and those assigned as “engagers”, also have someone as a “sweeper” to move customers in and out of the stand. A sweeper takes time wasters off the hands of those who should otherwise be engaging with more valuable potential clients. Optimise time spent with people who will procure products or services.

The company strategy for the event needs to include what the customer will have experienced from visiting the company stand. Naturally, obtaining new opportunities to potential business is the aim, but what is the experience that the visitor to the stand has? The brand awareness factor must go before the sale. A customer will do business with a company or product that they know – rather than one they don’t. Marketing helps get the deal moving.

Excellent marketing will create the ultimate experience for visitors to the company stand at a trade show; it will help generate sales. It is crucial to creating a personalised customer experience that a stand visitor will remember after they have visited the stand and when it is time to buy.

The strategy for the exhibition must have a focused intention of what the customer experience will be when visiting the company stand. That includes marketing communications and the experience on the stand and with the team. The real work is getting to know, personally, the target audience through marketing strategies. What potential customers and stand visitors really want must be researched, so that product or services are presented as matched to their needs at the exhibition, helping to create a memorable customer experience.

Whilst the customer experience will improve dramatically with engagement and interaction, other factors that can help include:

  • Build quality visitors to the company stand with pre-show communication. Start the conversation and engage your audience with specialised messaging, setting appointments with the major customers, and continuing branding and product messaging from product campaigns. Customer experience starts with your marketing before, during and after the exhibition. Reaching out and “touching” the client through direct mail, email blast, and social media are all great ways to get the ball rolling.
  • Make use of mobile technology. Apps are becoming more and more popular at trade shows. Develop an app to streamline communications between the company and prospects.
  • Interactive Touch Screens. Use interactive touch screens to engage visitors. Don’t crowd the touch screen with all of the company’s product or service offerings. Keep the touch screen simple yet informative.

 

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With the liberation of Rawa on Friday November 17th, ISIS lost its last town in Iraq and so it’s entire occupied territory within the country. While ISIS almost certainly still operates in unpopulated land in Anbar, northern Diyala and Niveneh governorates, this victory marks the defeat of ISIS as a territorial based insurgent organisation in the country.

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Proelium Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 629608 (www.sra.org.uk)

VAT Registration No. 242 4002 59.

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Camera Technology – Part 1

Camera Technology – Part 1

Barry ET Harris MBE is a consultant for Proelium Law LLP, he is a veteran of 23 years’ service in the British Army, he combines specialist operational experience with wisdom gained from extensive commercial consulting, executive, and management expertise in his specialities gained in complex environments and high-risk jurisdictions worldwide.

The key to the Electro-Optic (EO) sensor (a camera and a lens assembly) will be the quality of the image. If the image quality is poor and unreliable, then user confidence will ebb very quickly, and the system will fail. An imaging device, the camera, is required to provide Detection, Recognition, and Identification (DRI). DRI is the most critical performance criteria of an imaging device in any role.

The starting point for a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) is the camera. It creates the imagery that can be transmitted and viewed by the user/operator. Most cameras for this application are not fitted with a lens. The lens must be provided separately.

THE LENS

The human eye is an incredibly adaptive device; by contrast, the CCTV lens is exceptionally crude. An essential aspect of the CCTV system is correct lens selection. The main factors when selecting a lens for the camera is focal length and the type of iris control. The choice will depend on site, application, and the required results.

Primary lens types are as follows:

  • Fixed Focal Length – sometimes called a monofocal lens, it is specified when a precise field of view is specified.
  • Variable Focal Length – this has a limited range of focal length adjustment, it is not strictly a zoom lens due to the quite short focal length.
  • Manual Zoom Lens – A zoom lens in which the focal length can be varied manually over a range.
  • Motorised Zoom Lens – manual zoom lenses are not widely used on CCTV systems. The most common is small electric motors drive a lens with its zoom function.
LIGHT OR LACK OF IT

Most users of CCTV cameras expect their EO camera system to operate a 24-hour duty cycle and should provide a day/night capability, within the bounds of the following accepted light levels, as defined by the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS), as follows:

Situation Level in Lux
Clear Sunlight 105
Full Summer Day (Noon) 7 x104
Cloudy Summer / Bright Winter Day (Noon) 2 x104
Cloudy / Dull Winter Day (Noon) 5 x103
Dense Overcast Winter Day (Noon) 103
Good Indoor Working Illumination 5 x102
Winter Sunset (Clear Sky) 2 x102
Twilight (Dusk) 101
Deep Twilight 100
Clear Moonlight (Moon High in the Sky) 3 x10-1
Moonlight (Full Moon) 10-1
Moonlight (Half Moon) 10-2
Clear Starlight (GSR Conditions for II Sights) 10-3
Overcast Starlight / Overcast Dull Rainy Night 10-4
Very Overcast Starlight 10-5

CAPABILITY

Very few Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) devices cover all of the illuminance levels as defined in the table. Most urban scenes have artificial lighting, such as street lights, that aid vision at night and at the lower levels of light to be found in remote rural locations.

A true 24-hour capability for the camera system is essential in security applications, where CCTV is ubiquitous, and it must be capable of deployment and operation across the entire spectrum of ambient light and environmental conditions. But this is often not achievable due to the cost of the system. Therefore, some concessions must be made to achieve an acceptable level of performance within a budget. Ideally, camera resolution in both day and night should be able to provide at least Detection and Recognition of targets from bright sunlight to very overcast starlight.

If the camera is to be set up and operated outdoors, it will need to be capable of working in all weather conditions. This is usually a function of the encapsulation; an external camera housing used to protect the camera and lens assembly from the elements. If protected, the camera will operate within its performance parameters. Such encapsulations can be sealed and purged, positively pressured, or merely a cover from the elements, with or without a heater to keep a stable environment around the camera and lens. Protection from solar loading as well as precipitation and temperature changes is critical. It is desirable that they should be passive and essential that they should have a low probability of intercept.

At viewing ranges out to 5 kilometres (the limit of European inter-visibility);

  • There is less than a 10% chance that line of sight will exceed 3 kilometres;
  • There is less than 5% chance that the line of sight will exceed 5 kilometres;
  • There is therefore little justification for a ground-based surveillance device that requires line of sight to a range greater than 5 kilometres.

Time for reaction and interception by a security team or Law Enforcement (LE) is short. Real-time information is required from sensors. Therefore, image integration and other image processing techniques that provide a significant lag are not acceptable in security applications.

The range of operation of the system and the operational performance are crucial to defining the type of surveillance system to be provided. Systems with relatively wide fields of view or ability to cover the area of interest quickly are needed for wide area surveillance. A camera system is passive in its process of resolving imagery in all conditions. Unless it is aided by artificial illumination built into the camera – lens assembly.

Generally, to take action and exploit the imagery of the system the ability to recognise the individual or activity is necessary. The capability to recognise must be a performance parameter of any EO sensor. And the EO sensor must be of sufficient resolution to allow the user to understand what is being observed and react appropriately. In this scenario, the Thermal Imaging camera will be able to provide such information. However identification will be more subjective, and the provision of a colour CCD sensor may be required to give an objective identification capability.

CCD TECHNOLOGY

A Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) is a group of optical detector integrated circuits made from semiconductors. The lens focuses light onto the CCD. The individual photodiodes sense the areas of light and dark, which build up an electrical charge proportional to the light. Photodiodes are organised in a matrix of rows and columns, known as Pixels.

The first CCD’s were made in 2/3” format to replace older camera technology. CCD technology has improved, and the size of CCD’s had decreased to 1/2”, 1/3” 1/4” and 1/8th to make cameras smaller and more compact, but not necessarily cheaper. CCD size is often referred to with an imperial fraction designation such as 1/1.8″ or 2/3″, this measurement originates back in the 1950’s and the time of Vidicon tubes. CCD cameras typically have much smaller sensors than a Digital SLR, are less sensitive to light, and inherently more prone to noise.

Common CCDs are sensitive to near-infrared (IR) light, which allows IR photography, night-vision devices, and zero lux (or near zero lux) video recording. For standard silicon-based sensitivity is limited to 1.1μm. A consequence of their sensitivity to IR is that IR from remote controls will be visible if the CCD does not have IR blockers.

DUAL SENSOR CAMERAS

These units are bespoke, and consist of two CCD’s that mechanically transit to the optical plane on command from the operator. Typically, the daytime sensor is a colour CCD, and the night time sensor is an Image Intensified CCD (ICCD). Many camera providers mis–market the dual sensor capabilities of their cameras which are in fact a single sensor with a dual mode that permits a higher sensitivity at a lower light level.

Dual Sensor Cameras are expensive and bulky; they are also delicate due to the mechanical CCD transport, many suffer from a field of view change when the CCD’s are changed over, and the use of an ICCD creates expense, causes the device to be more complicated and delicate.

ELECTRON MULTIPLICATION CCD (EMCCD)

An EMCCD camera provides high-resolution full-colour images from full Sunlight down to quarter Moonlight, and after that monochrome images down to Starlight. As a single sensor camera, it is not mechanically complex, and as a solid-state device is robust being designed for military use.

EMCCD technology is a digital scientific detector innovation first introduced in early 2000, followed by a spectroscopy version at the beginning of 2005. At the time, the inventor coined the term ‘EMCCD’ to amply describe the underlying process that defines this novel technology platform. EMCCD is a digital camera technology that can provide a night vision capability.

Due to lower costs and the somewhat better resolution, EMCCD’s are capable of replacing ICCD’s in many applications. ICCD’s still have the advantage that they can be gated very fast and thus are useful in applications like range-gated imaging.

EMCCD cameras require a cooling system to cool the chip down. This cooling system adds additional costs to the EMCCD camera.

The low-light capabilities of EMCCD’s are used in astronomy. In particular, their low noise at high readout speeds makes them very useful for lucky imaging of faint stars, and high-speed photon counting photometry.

At night the EMCCD is monochrome and of the performance equivalent to a GEN 2 Image Intensifier or slightly better, and very good in urban light scenes, and rural scenes of 10-3 (0.001 Lux).

EMCCD’s are at a lower cost than other technologies.

PIXEL BINNING

Pixel binning improves the low light performance of CCD cameras.

The technology is used to increase focusing accuracy by reducing the time necessary for image acquisition and providing greater sensitivity to lower out-of-focus light levels. The signal-to-noise ratio is increased by a factor of four. However, image resolution is cut by 50 percent.

The benefit of pixel binning is to improve CCD performance in low light conditions. Cooling the CCD to low temperatures can also enhance performance.

Cameras that use the Pixel Binning technique are monochrome and with sensitivity, and performance equivalent to a GEN1 Image Intensifier, and are excellent in low light urban scenes. They are at a significantly lower cost than other technologies.

DUAL MODE CAMERAS

Often mis-marketed as dual sensor cameras, these are single CCD camera with an IR cut filter over the CCD in daytime colour mode, which is removed to obtain a lower light sensitivity in monochrome mode. There are a plethora of such offerings on the market; a great many are modelled on the Sony CCD’s.

SUMMARY

Image intensification is often ruled out as too costly regarding both capital expense, and cost of ownership. Image Intensifier tubes can be delicate and will require an equally fragile sensor changeover transport to remove the ICCD from the optical path for daytime operation. Additionally, the purchase of Image Intensifier tubes can be commercially tricky as a controlled technology.

Other technologies that will provide daytime vision and night vision have been covered. Performance is almost always aligned with cost. 24-hour coverage from full daylight through to late evening and beyond into the night hours is possible using CCD camera which utilises the Pixel Binning technique if there is a target ambient light level of 10 – 1 lux scene illumination. This means standard urban street scenes, and lighting conditions, or sites that use flood light illumination for security.

To achieve full vision across the 24-hour period in any lighting and environmental conditions points towards EMCCD cameras, and TIC. EMCCD cameras will provide excellent daylight coverage, but their nighttime performance will vary according to lens performance from 10-1  (0.1 Lux – Half Moon) to a possible10-5 (0.00005 lux – Overcast with no Moon), the lens dependent. However, these are expensive regarding capital cost, and system autonomy, as their consumption can be quite high to drive their Peltier coolers, and this will also have some cost of ownership impact.

 

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ISIS security risk in Iraq after the territorial defeat of the group

With the liberation of Rawa on Friday November 17th, ISIS lost its last town in Iraq and so it’s entire occupied territory within the country. While ISIS almost certainly still operates in unpopulated land in Anbar, northern Diyala and Niveneh governorates, this victory marks the defeat of ISIS as a territorial based insurgent organisation in the country.

read more

Proelium Law LLP

Proelium Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales No.OC411568.

Proelium Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 629608 (www.sra.org.uk)

VAT Registration No. 242 4002 59.

© www.proeliumlaw.com

Web Design by Tim Mitchell Design | Web Consultancy by John Griffin, Up Marketing Co

Border Security and Surveillance

Border Security and Surveillance

Barry Harris, Senior Advisor to Proelium Law LLP and UK military veteran, shares operational expertise on border security.

WHY BORDER SURVEILLANCE?

In times of peace, a Border Security and Surveillance System helps stabilise a government and its economy by contributing to the prevention of:

  • Cross-border terrorism
  • Illegal immigration
  • Smuggling.

In times of increased national tension, a Border Security and Surveillance System helps:

  • Secure national boundaries
  • Provide information to Intelligence Services
  • Become an integral part of the National Security Infrastructure, and defence.
BORDER SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FUNCTION

A well designed and integrated Border Surveillance System has two primary roles:

  • DEFENSIVE:
    • DETER – The system should act as a deterrence to incursions
    • DETECT – The system must reliably and accurately detect pre- incursion activity, and must reliably and precisely detect incursion attempts when they occur
    • RECOGNISE – The system must enable the operator the ability to understand the type of intrusion (i.e. human, vehicle, animal, etc.), and empower the operator with the capacity to gain definitive recognition features (i.e. facial identity, colours, vehicle registration numbers) for further exploitation.
  • OFFENSIVE:
    • REACT – The system should integrate completely with response forces to quickly respond to an incursion, intercept or neutralise the threat
    • Provide maximum warning and response time
    • Facilitate immediate investigation and analysis.
KEY FUNDAMENTALS OF A BORDER SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM

A Border Surveillance System will require the successful integration of the following elements:

  • INTRUSION DETECTION SYSTEMS – such as:
    • Alarmed Fence Systems
    • Buried Cable Intrusion Detection Systems
    • Remote Ground Sensors (RGS)
    • Battlefield Ground Radar (BGR)
    • Video Motion Detection (VMD) 
  • PHYSICAL ELEMENTS – for example:
    •  Natural Barriers (Mountains, Rivers, etc.)
    • Man Made Barriers (Walls, Fences, Tank Traps, cratering, wire,
      steel and concrete fixed obstacle and entanglements, etc.)
  • RESPONSE CAPABILITY:
    • Trained Manpower
    •  Dedicated Quick Reaction Force (QRF)
    • Ground or Air mobility for rapid deployment
    • Weapon systems.
INCURSION DETECTION

The key element, vital to the success of the Border Surveillance System, is the implementation of a reliable detection system. The type of detection system selected may vary with the topography, and threat assessment varies along a given border. The detection system will:

  • Achieve maximum security with the minimum use of personnel
  • Alert security forces to the point of incursion
  • Provide accurate information for the direction of surveillance systems to acquire, observe and track targets
  • Provide accurate information on where to direct response forces
INTRUSION DETECTION

ALARMED FENCE SYSTEMS – High-quality systems can pinpoint intrusion to within zones of 15 meters accuracy. Alarm activations can be displayed on a map display unit. Activations can be used to direct Electro-Optic (EO) and Thermal Imaging surveillance sensors to the point of detection. False alarms from blown debris, animal movement, and local environmental conditions are possible on low-end equipment.

BURIED CABLE INTRUSION DETECTION SYSTEMS – These can detect to an accuracy according to the zone size (10-meter minimum – 200-meter maximum zone sizes). Alarm activations can be displayed on a map display unit. Activations can be used to direct over watching EO and TI optical surveillance systems to the point of detection. False alarms from blown debris, animal movement, and local environmental conditions are common on most equipment types. These are not considered as useful or cost-effective for linear targets (borders) of many kilometers. They are more suited to perimeter detection in the sterile ground around compounds.

REMOTE GROUND SENSORS (RGS) – RGS are best adapted to linear targets such as tracks, paths, and roads, established border crossing points. They can be left unattended for long periods. RGS can be overtly or covertly deployed (overtly they are exposed to theft, damage, and attack). RGS are best used to cover dead ground to other sensor systems, on likely or known approaches generated as a target for a special operation by intelligence gained from another source. RGS can transmit an alarm signal by Very High Frequency (VHF) radio link to a distant base up to 50 kilometers away (with radio relays). RGS deployments and alarm activations can be displayed on a map display. RGS can be used to cue EO and TI sensors, and are best used in conjunction with an effective reaction plan. RGS detect using a wide range of transducers, such as:

  • SEISMIC GEOPHONE – These can differentiate between man-made footfall and vehicle movement, they can determine the direction of But they may cause nuisance alarms due to weather or animal movement. RGS require skilled, careful, and planned deployment. RGS should be deployed in multiples and not a single sensor that cannot be corroborated.
  • PASSIVE INFRARED (PIR) – PIR cannot differentiate between man-made footfall and vehicle movement, however it can determine the direction of travel. PIR may cause nuisance alarms due to weather, vegetation, or animal movement, and require skilled, careful, and planned deployment. PIR should be deployed in multiples and are best deployed with other transducer types on other RGS to form a better understanding of the detected incursion.
  • MAGNETIC ANOMALY (MAG) – Whilst MAG can differentiate between man-made footfall and vehicle movement, MAG cannot determine the direction of It does not make false alarms due to weather or animal movement as it requires a specific condition to create an alarm condition. MAG requires skilled, careful, and planned deployment and should be deployed in multiples. MAG is best deployed with a Seismic Geophone to display if the seismic detection has a metal content such as a car, or possibly a person carrying a weapon.
  • PRESSURE MATS – Pressure mats cannot differentiate between man-made footfall and vehicle movement, and individually they cannot determine the direction of They do not create a false alarm. They require skilled, careful, and planned deployment, and are most suited to a choke point such as a door, gate or sty, where activity is guaranteed to be captured. This is a specialised trigger suited to targeted special operations and short-term deployments.
  • TRIPWIRES – Tripwire cannot differentiate between man-made footfall and vehicle movement, and cannot determine the direction of travel. Tripwires do not create a false alarm. They require skilled, careful, and planned As with pressure mats, they are most suited to a choke point such as a door, gate or sty, where activity is guaranteed to be captured. They are suited to targeted special operations and short-term deployments, but can be detected and avoided by highly trained and motivated personnel.

BATTLEFIELD GROUND RADAR (BGR) – Battlefield Ground Radar can differentiate between personnel and vehicle movement, also low-flying objects, and can determine the direction of travel, target coordinates, and velocity. Radar does not create a false alarm. Radar requires skilled, careful, and planned deployment and operation. BGR is most suited to wide area coverage, deployed on high ground or towers to maximise detection ranges and can cover vast areas in depth. Radar is suited to the static site or mobile platform borne system. It is active and can be detected and jammed or deceived by advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suites. Relatively poor resolution limits its use in target identification. BGR is an all-weather, day/night, long–range, device capable of detecting small moving targets and ideal for auto alarm systems or the triggering and cueing of EO and TI sensors. It suffers from being active and therefore detectable and can be jammed or attacked, and its resolution makes it unsuitable for resolution purposes. Multiple BGR deployments can be fused to provide a complete display of an entire border, and networked to a central command and control facility.

VIDEO MOTION DETECTION (VMD) – Video Motion Detection can only be used in conjunction with an EO or TI sensor. The VMD detects alarms and can cue video recording and alert operators. VMD detects motion in pre-determined areas on an image; these areas can be configured to suit the target area being viewed. The sensor is required to be still in order not to cause a false alarm. Advanced VMD’s can differentiate between personnel and vehicle movement, and can determine the direction of travel. They can be programmed to ignore certain types of action to minimise false alarms. VMD’s are a technology added to an EO sensor and cannot be detected. 

SURVEILLANCE

 Alarms from any detection system require confirmation before a reaction force is committed. Verification and identification by EO or TI surveillance are essential. 

INTEGRATED SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

  • Addresses areas of high risk
  • Fixed Installations of EO and TI sensor systems provide a 24-hour capability
  • Multi-sensor capability provides full functionality for short,
    medium, long and extremely long-range requirements
  • Directly integrated into the detection system such as Fence Alarm, RGS, or Radar to be cued by their detection of incursion, thus covering the widest possible arcs at all times.

MOBILE SYSTEMS

Mobile Systems provide a capability to reinforce a particular area, or mount a targeted operation

  • Rapidly deployable systems to respond to changing threats
  • Mobile systems deployed by the response forces
  • “Plug in” to an existing communications network(s)
  • Integrated with the incursion detection system.

PORTABLE SYSTEMS FOR QRF AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS

Handheld and man-portable equipment are to enhance the performance of personnel deployed on the ground for interception of a detected incursion.

COMMAND, CONTROL, AND COMMUNICATION

COMMAND & CONTROL

Live activity on the border is displayed as images and alarms to the operators of control centres. Continuous updates of intruders and patrols are presented to enable quick assimilation of the situation and control of the appropriate response.

COMMUNICATIONS It is essential that Observation Posts (OP) installations along a border have excellent, secure and robust communications with each other and rearwards to central command and control facilities. This can be implemented by communications links such as:

  • FIBRE OPTIC – This can be made reasonably secure against interception and jamming. Fibre optics have a high bandwidth and can be used to carry video, data, sensor telemetry, and voice communications. A fibre optic network can also have fixed “Points Of Presence” (POP) where mobile forces can connect to the network.
  • MICROWAVE – This is made reasonably secure against intercept and jamming. The microwave has a high bandwidth and can be used to carry video, data, sensor telemetry, and voice communications. Microwave sites are fixed “Points of Presence” (POP) where mobile forces can connect to the network. Microwave can also be deployed by mobile forces to integrate to a fixed fibre optic or microwave network temporarily. The microwave is limited by a requirement for Line of Sight (LOS), and a fixed static position from the transmitter to the receiver.
  • CODED ORTHOGONAL FREQUENCY DIVISION MULTIPLEXING (COFDM) – COFDM is highly resistant to intercept and jamming. COFDM has a high bandwidth and can be used to carry video, data, sensor telemetry, voice and data COFDM is suited to mobile units and can be operated on the move to fixed “Points Of Presence” (POP) on a network. A major benefit of COFDM is that it can achieve NLOS communications.
  • COMBAT NET RADIO (CNR) – Combat Net Radio can be the target of radio surveillance, jamming and deception. CNR can be used for the passage of limited quality video to a distant base (limited by the CNR transmission range and available bandwidth). It is highly portable, mobile and in – service.
  • SATELLITE – Satellite can be made reasonably secure against intercept and It can have a high bandwidth and can be used to carry video, data, sensor telemetry, voice and data communications. Network connection by mobile forces requires specialist equipment and highly trained personnel. It may be deployed by mobile forces to temporarily integrate to network and communicate rearwards to a central command and control facility. Satellite is limited by a requirement for line of sight, and a fixed static position from the transmitter to the satellite. It is a high-cost solution.
  • 3G and 4G NETWORKS – Although 3G and 4G networks can be the target of intercept, they can be used for the passage of limited quality video to a remote base (limited by the network coverage). Smartphones are highly portable and mobile. Nationwide infrastructures are in place for exploitation.

RADIO SURVEILLANCE

Sophisticated smuggling operations and well-equipped terrorists often use radio communications in their activities and exploit the borderline as a method of preventing hot pursuit. Surveillance, monitoring, direction finding, recording and analysis of traffic from these types of groupings can gain intelligence that can be exploited by reaction forces or targeted special operations.

SYSTEM SUPPORT

The effectiveness of any border system that provides maximum operational availability is one that remains serviced and operating to specified parameters, is future proof and not made redundant, outmoded, or outdated due to component obsolescence. This includes regular training of operators and first line maintainers.

SUMMARY

Border security depends on precise and real-time information. Security can be provided by reliable integrated surveillance systems. Situational awareness is a key factor for airports, ports, coast guards and land borders.

Recent events increase focus and demands for efficient border control and surveillance. Smuggling, illegal immigration, organised crime, and terrorist threats must be controlled. A factor in providing improved control of these issues is border surveillance and control.

 

Systems to address border protection scenarios require the capability to Detect, Recognize and Identify (DRI) activity, to securely communicate the sensed event to a control facility, and for that data to be of a quality and timeliness that allows commanders to respond to intercept with appropriate resources. Control centres, communications networks, sensor sites, observation posts, patrols, guards, and reaction teams are all part of a Border Security and Surveillance system.

 

Need advice?

If you’d like further information, or to discuss working with us, you can get in touch via our Contact Us page

Read our latest news & articles

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read more

Proelium Law LLP

Proelium Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales No.OC411568.

Proelium Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 629608 (www.sra.org.uk)

VAT Registration No. 242 4002 59.

© www.proeliumlaw.com

Web Design by Tim Mitchell Design | Web Consultancy by John Griffin, Up Marketing Co

Marketing

Marketing

Barry Harris MBE, a senior advisor to Proelium Law LLP and a widely experienced businessman, shares a series of blogs offering practical commercial advice.

Historically Marketing has been pushing messages to convince prospects to take action. The overwhelming influence of the internet is about engaging them in conversation and leading them to the point of taking action. Marketing is now about participation and connection.

There is a significant amount of material available about Marketing. This Blog is an attempt to avoid cliched catchphrases, and provide some “outside of the box” thinking about Marketing.

WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING?
  • Marketing is more than just advertising.
  • PR is for more than just a mainstream media audience.
  • You are what you publish.
  • Nobody likes spin; people prefer the real thing.
  • User experience and participation are stronger than propaganda.
  • Instead of causing one-way interruption, Online Marketing is about delivering content at just the precise moment that it is needed.
  • Marketers must change their thinking from the mainstream of Marketing to the masses, to a strategy of targeting vast numbers of underserved audiences on the internet.
  • PR is not about the boss seeing the company on TV, It’s about your target buyers seeing your business on the web;
  • Marketing is not about winning awards, it’s about the company winning business.
  • The internet has made PR public again.
  • Great online content is needed to drive prospects into the purchasing process.
  • Blogs, online video, eBooks, news releases and other forms of online content engage directly with potential customers in a way they will appreciate.
  • Marketing and PR have blurred

Targeting the safe middle market is not necessarily a safe marketing strategy. Today, it is about Social Selling.

THE SOCIAL SELLING MANIFESTO

Social Selling is about building relationships, not just pipelines. Above all treat people with respect, just as you would your friends and family members.

Use social technologies to facilitate real human interaction, not avoid it. Remember Social Media connects you with people not faceless targets or records in a database.

Share your expertise without expecting anything in return. Help first and sell later. Giving builds trust. Be clear upfront that you sell something for a living.

Sell value – sell something that enriches lives and customers will find you.

A one-way stream of messages is not selling it’s yelling!

Respect people’s boundaries. Be human; admit when you have messed up and do what is necessary to make it right.

Tell the truth, connect with others for the greater good not just for your benefit.

ADVERTISING

Adverts are useful; they can entertain and attract attention. Conveying too much information can confuse the target audience and weaken the message. It is better to inform customers about one thing that is important to them, rather than everything that is important about the product or service. One advert – One message, adverts do not work well on their own and need to be a part of a campaign that features different information in different adverts, and may reach more customers, as those who overlook one advert might respond positively to a different advert for the same product or service.

BLOGGING IS MAINSTREAM

Blogs are a conventional transport for companies to get their ideas into the marketplace. Readers of Blogs view the information shared as one of the few forms of authentic communication. Advertising is often tainted by the viewer’s skepticism, and announcements by CEO’s out of touch with reality.  An excellent Blog commands attention.

Try using bloggers, online news site, eBooks, public speakers, and consultants that reach the targeted audience your company requires.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND MARKETING

Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are phenomenally popular. The numbers reached are in the multi-millions, while those figures are impressive what does this mean to Marketing? Consider the reach of influential people on social networking sites, rethink the notions about who can best spread ideas and tell stories. Many involved in Marketing want to be quoted in an important publication or have their products or services mentioned on TV. These media hits are the holy grail of marketers (and who would not want to be on the BBC), but is that the best thing for your business? Consider who has the power to reach your target audience, Bloggers using Social Media or mainstream media?

A Marketer might be tempted to create a page on lots of Social Networking sites; this might be necessary, or useful since each one appeals to different users. The top Social Networking sites are often viewed as directly competing with one another, but the fact is that each site occupies a slightly different niche.

The following are some ideas to get the most out of Social Networking sites for Marketing:

  • Target a Specific Audience – Create a page that reaches an audience relevant to your organisation. It is usually better to target a small niche market.
  • Be a Thought Leader – Provide valuable and interesting It is better to show expertise at solving a problem than to babble about a product or service.
  • Be Authentic and Transparent -Do not impersonate others, be original.
  • Create Lots of Links – Link to your sites and blog, and those of others in the same market sector, and network.
  • Encourage People to Contact You – It is the most compelling call to action, make it easy to be contacted, and be sure to follow up personally.
  • Participate – Create groups and participate in online discussions. Become an online leader.
  • Make it Easy to find You – Tag your page and add it to subject directories. Encourage others to bookmark the page.
  • Experiment – Sites are always trying new things, and that makes them great if it’s not working, tweak it or remove it. There is no such thing as a Social Networking expert – we are all learning all of the time.
START A MOVEMENT

An interesting aspect of Social Media is that people talk about you and the company, its products, and services. Much of this discussion takes place outside of your influence. However, it is possible to be creative and guide the conversation. This strategy is to bet on the continuing omnipresence of the internet, and popularity of Social Media. Social Media takes that pervasiveness further, and, what is certain is that Marketing on the internet will continue to evolve – success comes with experimentation. The trick to benefiting from Social Media and Online Marketing is to participate in it.

The internet provides a fantastic opportunity to reach niche buyers directly with targeted messages at a fraction of the costs of the past where there were two significant choices: buy expensive advertising or get third-party ink from the media.

The internet is different. Instead of one-way interruption, Marketing on the web and via Social Media is about bringing useful and insightful content at the precise moment that a buyer requires. The internet has changed the rules. Today, companies and organisations communicate directly to the purchaser. The internet makes public relations public again. Blogs, online video, press releases and other forms of online content allow communications directly to the customer.

The main ways to generate attention, awareness and activity in the marketing landscape of today are:

  • The profile can be raised by purchasing TV commercials, magazine adverts, trade show floor space, and through direct mailing.
  • Knowledge can be related through editorial gatekeepers at Radio and TV companies, Magazines, and Trade Journals.
  • A Sales team can generate attention one person at a time, calling, emailing, meeting leads.
  • Awareness can be earned online by creating something interesting and publishing online for little or no cost.

Opportunities can develop very slowly; it may be years from the time a new lead is made until it grows into business. Waiting to initiate a Marketing effort may be too late to help get through a downturn. Do it now!

Propel your enterprise to a thought leadership position through Online Marketing and Social Media without a huge budget. It will drive sales:

  • If a boy meets a girl and tells her how much she is loved, how beautiful she is, and how he can’t live without her – that’s Sales Promotion;
  • If a boy meets a girl and immediately impresses upon her how wonderful he is – that’s Advertising;
  • But if the girl seeks him out because of what she has heard about him – that’s Marketing!

“Marketing involves all types of activity. It is about making your company and its products and services as visible as possible. Do it, and have a plan!”

Need advice?

If you’d like further information, or to discuss working with us, you can get in touch via our Contact Us page

Read our latest news & articles

ISIS security risk in Iraq after the territorial defeat of the group

With the liberation of Rawa on Friday November 17th, ISIS lost its last town in Iraq and so it’s entire occupied territory within the country. While ISIS almost certainly still operates in unpopulated land in Anbar, northern Diyala and Niveneh governorates, this victory marks the defeat of ISIS as a territorial based insurgent organisation in the country.

read more

Proelium Law LLP

Proelium Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales No.OC411568.

Proelium Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 629608 (www.sra.org.uk)

VAT Registration No. 242 4002 59.

© www.proeliumlaw.com

Web Design by Tim Mitchell Design | Web Consultancy by John Griffin, Up Marketing Co

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