Sales in the electronic security distribution industry

October 2015 Security Services & Risk Management

The security industry is one of the largest in the world. It is technologically driven and, at the same time, not completely dependent on the economy i.e. a better economy drives smarter products and solutions, while a slower economy promotes crime and demands at least the basic surveillance and control solutions. The demand is always there and the requirement will never disappear.

Eckard Gerber, Sensor Security Systems.
Eckard Gerber, Sensor Security Systems.

Besides the driving power of distributors, it has become essential for the security sales force to educate themselves on products, providing complete solutions, and most importantly, building sustainable relationships.

Sales success in our industry comes down to two factors, namely your organisational support and the individual sales consultant’s ability to form sustainable business relationships.

Organisational support

For a sales consultant to be successful in his/her personal capacity, they require the support and successful operations of the organisation. A poorly run business will almost definitely ruin the sales consultant’s reputation, thus negatively impacting the consultant’s future in the industry.

Some of the most important factors impacting an organisation’s success are:

Competitive pricing: Besides many important factors and abilities, price is still one of the key decision makers. It is of utmost importance for the organisation to perform adequate market research and apply the results to its strategies. Buying power, active negotiation and sound logistics form part of a company’s ability to provide competitive pricing.

Stock holding / availability: Having competitive pricing means nothing without a healthy and accurate stock holding. This forms part of a process that can make or break a company. The majority of security products are imported from all over the world with Asia and Europe being two of the larger contributors. Thus a key factor to the entire process is exchange rate driven and the rate of technological evolution. Having exactly the right stock at the right time and having enough of it proves to be a science on its own. This is a critical process that is key to the success of a company.

Investment and education of the organisational team: Success can only be obtained by employees educated adequately in their tasks; the entire business operation depends on it. Apart from the essential technical function, the sales team needs to be actively involved in constant product, feature, solution and marketing/sales training.

Currently we are experiencing product line evolution in periods as short as three months. To be competitive and successful you need to be completely up-to-date on products nearing their end-of-life and up-to-date on their replacements. Another very important part of a successful sales force that often gets overlooked is the support teams comprising administration and warehousing.

Individual sales consultant

Make it personal. It is up to you to gain the client’s interest, respect and ultimately a sustainable business relationship that serves both parties. Following a company’s or sales manager’s script is similar to selling ice-cream in the winter; the odds are one or two will buy from you because they wanted something and you were available by chance. You cannot fully express your belief, passion and confidence in your product or solution if you are not comfortably and confidently yourself.

The most important task of the sales consultant is to build sustainable relationships based on trust and respect.

Trust entails various aspects of business ranging from being able to advise on the absolute correct solutions to confidence in your after-sales support. For your client to gain trust in your ability, it is key to have above average product and requirement knowledge. Telling your client that you will get back to him on every other question asked is a great way to lose all your credibility. You should be the expert in your products.

Your client also requires a number of additional services, ranging from up-to-date product and sales training, telephonic and onsite sales and technical support to even assisting him/her closing a deal with the end user.

Respect for your client, irrespective of his monthly spend should always be your foundation during all aspects of the relationship. Sell confidence and respect in yourself rather than an ever changing product bound to price. Sell the service you can deliver to your client. The ability to communicate effectively to all people on all levels and instantly picking up on body language, positive or negative to keep the meeting/discussion/training effective and not to waste your client’s time are factors that set you apart from your competition.

Advice for interested students

The future of this industry is based on education, research and application. The majority of surveillance products are IP based and depending on the solution are becoming more and more dependent on advanced network infrastructure. All significant further developments are also only based on IP products. This offers a great industry opportunity for IT students studying networking or even software developers with the great demand for cross platform integration of VMS.

For more information contact Sensor Security Systems, +27 (0)12 653 1941, [email protected],


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Natural catastrophes and fire risks top concerns
Security Services & Risk Management Asset Management Residential Estate (Industry)
Natural disasters are the highest risk in the real estate industry, followed by fire and explosions, and then business interruption. Estates must prioritise risk management and take proactive measures to safeguard their assets, employees, and reputation.

Building a solid foundation
Alwinco Security Services & Risk Management Asset Management Residential Estate (Industry)
Understanding the roles of a Risk Assessor and a Risk Manager is like building a solid and secure foundation in the security world. Andre Mundell makes it easy to understand.

Using KPIs to measure smart city progress
Axis Communications SA Residential Estate (Industry) Integrated Solutions Security Services & Risk Management
United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities is a United Nations Initiative that encourages the use of information and communication technology (including security technology) to support a smooth transition to smart cities.

Enhancing estate security, the five-layer approach
Fang Fences & Guards Residential Estate (Industry) Integrated Solutions Security Services & Risk Management
Residential estates are designed to provide a serene and secure living environment enclosed within gated communities, offering residents peace of mind and an elevated standard of living.

Local manufacturing is still on the rise
Hissco Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
HISSCO International, Africa's largest manufacturer of security X-ray products, has recently secured a multi-continental contract to supply over 55 baggage X-ray screening systems in 10 countries.

Detecting humans within vehicles without opening the doors
Flow Systems News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
Flow Systems has introduced its new product, which detects humans trying to hide within a vehicle, truck, or container. Vehicles will be searched once they have stopped before one of Flow Systems' access control boom barriers.

A standards-based, app approach to risk assessments
Security Services & Risk Management News & Events
[Sponsored] Risk-IO is web-based and designed to consolidate and guide risk managers through the whole risk process. In this article, SMART Security Solutions asks Zulu Consulting to tell us more about Risk-IO and how it came to be.

Cybercriminals embracing AI
Information Security Security Services & Risk Management
Organisations of all sizes are exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI, in particular, can benefit their businesses. While they are still figuring out how best to use AI, cybercriminals have fully embraced it.

Integrate digital solutions to reduce carbon footprint
Facilities & Building Management Security Services & Risk Management
As increasing emphasis is placed on the global drive towards net zero carbon emissions, virtually every industry is being challenged to lower its carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices.

Visualise and mitigate cyber risks
Security Services & Risk Management
SecurityHQ announced its risk and incident management capabilities for the SHQ response platform. The SHQ Response Platform acts as the emergency room, and the risk centre provides the wellness hub for all cyber security monitoring and actions.