10 Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Security Dealer Program
Shopping for a dealer program to access advantages like sales & marketing muscle, co-op funding, dedicated tech support and more? Ask these 10 questions before making your decision. Also included is a dealer directory.
7) What are criteria to be admitted into your program?
Bosch: Membership is at the recommendation of its district sales team and is based on the dealer’s commitment to representing the Bosch product line in a manner consistent with the brand’s reputation for quality and innovation. A web dashboard displays program benefits and offers an online application form: www2.boschsecurity.us/dealers.
CMS: CMS asks dealers to fill out a basic application about their business. Proof of licensing [where applicable] and insurance is also required.
Guardian: We look to partner with entrepreneurs who are aligned with our strategy to bring on high credit score, low-attrition, three-year and five-year customers. Ideally, these individuals align with our sales footprint; they want to “own” their geography, and as a result are aligned with Guardian on go-to-market strategies and overall vision for their company. They may already be in the security industry, or, may come from parallel verticals that do business in the home, such as locksmiths, HVAC contractors and utility concierge companies.
Honeywell: We are looking for dealers dedicated to growth and those who are looking to participate in all aspects of our program, including a commitment to offering Honeywell products from our different lines of business. Once a dealer is admitted, it is a tiered program and movement between these tiers is based on hitting program requirements, participation in program activities and meeting or exceeding purchase commitments.
MONI: Our flagship dealer program requires only that your company be in good standing, compliant with any state/local licensing requirements, be properly insured, and that owner(s) have no background issues that would interfere with owning a security company. Our RISE dealer program is a great option for those who are not quite ready to start running a complete alarm dealership but have the ability to sell alarm systems and want to start working toward owning an alarm company or have an outlet to maximize their sales potential without having the extra effort of running a back-office and/or tech network.
Russound: The program is open to Russound installers who buy the company’s products through all authorized sales channels, whether it is through a distribution partner or direct dealer.
Dynamark: For the wholesale dealer they must be a licensed alarm company. For the authorized partner, they must also have experience generating alarm accounts, as well as the insurance and bonding requirements required in our industry to partner with Dynamark. Volume is not important to us. What is important to us is integrity and honor. We want partners that are proud of their company and passionate about this industry.
8) What are some of your latest dealer program developments or enhancements?
Bosch: We recently introduced four digital packages that help dealers to improve their online presence. In support of these packages, we offer a digital scorecard to help dealers understand their on-line performance and how they compare with competitors in their area.
CMS: The 2017 launch of CMS Compass, our exclusive dealer portal — for more information dealers can visit the CMS YouTube page.
Guardian: Our two-option selling strategy — traditional and nontraditional — is relatively new. We’re also looking at technology and working to add new services and state-of-the-art devices to our approved equipment list.
Honeywell: In 2014, we instituted Marketing Development Funds (MDF) into the program. It is an incremental source of marketing funds that are offered after the dealer uses their accrued co-op. We wanted to provide support for those who want a nontraditional way to market and for reaching new audiences, such as a full-blown social media campaign to reach Millennials. Therefore, to be considered, Honeywell reviews these unique projects to ensure they meet certain criteria, and once the funds are used, our dealers openly share the results so others can benefit too.
MONI: In 2017, we launched a new Click-to-Submit feature on our eContract software. It fully automated our back-end, enabling an even faster funding process. MONI recently announced a partnership with Nest Secure. This will open new markets for our distributor network.
Russound: RCI specialists are treated as VIPs, with a growing selection of training videos and other resources at their disposal. Russound’s RCI dealers are always the first to hear about new products, promotions, and tips for staying ahead in the current market.
Dynamark: We have expanded our sales tutorials to include many on-demand modules that will help our dealers and partners grow their business. And recently, we have made most of these services free to the public. You don’t have to be a dealer with some secret password to view the training programs. Simply go to our website and click the resources tab. We believe that if we give, it will come back to us one day.
9) What advice would you give dealers on how to vet the best program that meets their needs?
Bosch: As a manufacturer, we’re looking for quality dealers who are committed to our products. As a dealer, you should feel passionate about the products you sell; customers will see that when you are speaking with them. The dealer program should simply reinforce those goals.
CMS: Do your research. Make sure you know what questions to ask. Remember that price isn’t everything — you get what you pay for.
Guardian: Treat it like a job interview. Ask “cultural” questions: Who am I going to be able to talk to on a regular basis? What help should I expect in onboarding a customer? Also, ask how long the program has been in existence — this will give you an inkling as to its stability.
Honeywell: It goes without saying that the quality of the product is extremely important. However, the value of being able to reach out to the most successful companies is a real benefit. Particularly in the residential space, when there are so many players, it is extremely helpful to have a support structure.
MONI: The top criteria to look for in a program are consistency and longevity. Additionally, being part of a community of successful dealers is important to long-term success. Our top 20 dealers are not rivals; they share ideas, collaborate and participate in each other’s success.
Russound: Dealers must be part of the process. Talk is cheap, but an effective dealer program will provide clear parameters and an easy-to-manage system for unlocking products. RCI dealers are continually consulted about what features will help grow and reinforce the program in the near- and long-term.
Dynamark: Look at your own company and make a decision on what type of business you want it to resemble. If the answer is, “I want a massive-volume, fast-selling, widget machine that moves quickly on to the next customer!”, then we are not your type of partner. However, if your company’s attributes are “integrity, passion and honesty, with quality as priority”, then you should call Dynamark.
10) What are the most significant benefits of your program?
Bosch: Dealer Locator Badge — when a customer searches for a dealer by zip, BASDs stand out with a badge icon and priority listing. Marketing on Demand Center — a web-based marketing automation platform. Co-op funds; premier partner logo and promotional items; product literature from the Bosch print-on-demand site; Bosch Security Dealer App; a video library, downloadable product data sheets and brochures; and a unique presentation card deck.
CMS: CMS Compass, our all new, exclusive Dealer Portal, is one of the most robust available to any central station. CMS has three different dedicated departments just to support our dealers.
Guardian: Guardian is a privately held company and extremely strong financially — we have no restrictions on volume. Our dealers never need to worry that they won’t be paid for qualified customers, regardless of how many they produce. We offer our dealers’ customers best-in-class monitoring services.
Honeywell: Usage of the Honeywell brand; specialized marketing support; Dealer Development Group; dedicated webinars and product and training support; our Business Builder dedicated customer portal; networking and sharing of best practices with the foremost independent security and fire dealers; co-op advertising; rebate program; marketing development funds; and priority tech support.
MONI: Dealers are assigned a personal account executive, account manager, support specialist and sales trainer to help guide and grow their business. In terms of revenue sharing, our authorized dealers can earn the highest percentage in the security industry. We offer a full-service online dashboard to track important business metrics. Our dealers can service, manage and directly monitor their accounts in one place on the web.
Russound: The company’s current and upcoming controllers and related products are shipped locked, and may only be installed a Russound Certified Installer. There is no complex unlocking process. A Russound Certified Installer merely needs to enter a username and password into an RCI product using the web browser on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. All RCI products are Internet-enabled and instantly verify the identity of the installer to unlock for use.
Dynamark: We want you to succeed as a dealer/partner as much as we want success for our own company. We clearly understand that we can only be as successful as those that we align ourselves with in business. So we believe in the old saying, “Do to others as you would want them to do to you”. If you want just an uncaring funding source or a silent central station, we are not it. We want to be honest partners with you on this long trip called a career. We believe we can both be winners, not just us. Ultimately, we want more than just a business relationship, we want a long-lasting partnership.
Where to Find Dealer Programs Online
- Alarm Capital
- Arecont Vision
- Axis Communications
- Brivo Blue
- COPS Monitoring
- Frontier Alliance
- Guardian Protection Services
- March Networks
- Protect America
- Rapid Response Monitoring
- Salient Systems
- Software House
- Vector Security
Erin Harrington has 20+ years of editorial, marketing and PR experience within the security industry. Contact her at email@example.com.
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