Home > Peak Performance > Note to Integrators – Sell Value

Note to Integrators – Sell Value

in the last few years, business executives, security directors, technology integrators and manufacturers have been discovering new ways of creating value through smarter security systems. Software, computers, and networking are sweeping across the security industry.

In the next few years, companies will achieve more value from security investments than any time in recent history. The reason for this strong increase in benefit and flexibility is the maturity of information technologies like Internet Protocol (IP), new software and communications standards, and improved understanding of how to measure the value of security.

But the key to success will be the integrator’s ability to sell or more precisely to “upsell.”

Customers are not often security experts, but they are experts on their business. They may know enough to request surveillance cameras at the loading dock, but they rely on the security integrator to suggest the most efficient and effective solutions to the business problems.

Customers are also more IT savvy these days, so they expect more intelligent choices, such as video analytics, as opposed to simply more cameras.

Manufacturers and resellers have to learn to sell in a new way. Not just sell security. Information technology is the language, but business is the nuance. Security doesn’t even have to be part of the vocabulary. If the security technology or process truly is a “solution” then it solves a business problem. Business is first, security should always be secondary.

Besides, outside of the security profession, everyone on the planet thinks security is an annoying layer of cost and inconvenience. You say your are a security installer, and the customer hears that you are an annoying layer of cost and inconvenience installer.

integrators need training in the new technologies from vendor sponsored symposia or Jim Gompers’ IP Institute, then they also need awareness of and senstitivity of complementary software applications, like single sign one, and network access control.

It ain’t rocket science and it makes the difference between an order taker who fulfills a request for more cameras, and a business problem solver who finds the most efficient route to solve a loss prevention problem, fpr example.

I’ve found some really exceptional integrators who know how to sell and solve problems in this way. And I’ve found some completely clueless integrators who are merely dumb order-takers.

I’ll publish my list of favorite integrators soon.

Categories: Peak Performance
  1. Steve Surfaro
    February 16, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Steve ~ a really long article for the many points you’ve made! I like forums over blogs for long posts. “Manufacturers and resellers have to learn to sell in a new way. Not just sell security….Security doesn’t even have to be part of the vocabulary.” This is something that I’ve recognized quite awhile ago. Emphasize Solutions, not just Security, when you are selling and offering services, otherwise you may be limiting your customer base unintentionally. Mass Transit, Intelligent Transportation Systems represent surveillance, not security opportunities first. Well said.
    “Business is first, security should always be secondary.” OMG the only time I ever want any integrator to take this seriously is if I’ve decided to rob a bank (just kidding).
    Believe me, in a world without acceptable resolution standards for video-based security, many integrators have no problem putting their profit margin before the quality of an end user’s system, stating “well, that’s what they bought.” Steve, you don’t need to encourage this!
    I am very encouraged by consultants like Gompers who is pushing Integration professionals to deliver more services that are directly beneficial to an end user’s physical security program.

  2. February 16, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Great article. Frankly I think manufacturers share responsibility for some of the inability of integrators to sell value. In the video surveillance market, you’ve seen manufacturers focusing almost exclusively on operational efficiency and incremental improvements of “more” (more pixels, more terabytes, more/better compression, etc.) But are these the biggest opportunities for return on investment? Of course not.
    For integrators to “sell solutions”, they need products designed to address real business problems. The biggest areas for ROI come in reducing losses and proactively stopping looming threats. For example, a banking DVR may only cost $6K, but the branch purchasing it may lose $30K-$150K annually to check fraud. At 3VR, we’re focused on combining video with search, biometrics, and analytics, to deliver solutions for costly problems like check fraud and organized retail theft.
    Integrators should become better versed in the biggest problems facing their customers. But manufacturers need to commit to innovating on behalf of their target markets to solve those business problems.

  3. February 18, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Steve S. Good point. I’ve moved the post to the dreamer forum, under Peak Performance. Please keep the comments coming.
    Tim – I see your point and don’t disagree. But I already see the manufacturers taking some steps. I don’t see the integrators doing the same. I either see integrators running to be great sales organzations (rare), or spinning around like lost puppies. This post is really meant for the lost puppies.

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