What Security Pros Should Seek in Manufacturer & Distributor Partners
Two experts provide guidance on how to seek out attractive attributes from the manufacturer and distributor communities.
Relying on their manufacturer partners for new product introductions, and the needed training and support to implement them, is something dealers and integrators have come to expect. And with good reason.
Dealers and integrators are among their greatest ambassadors for their brand, and manufacturers should nurture and value these relationships as part of their own success strategy.
Meanwhile, the distribution channel plays a pivotal part in the day-to-day workings of the industry. Dealers and integrators also often look to their distribution partner for product introductions, technical trainings, flexible credit term, on-time product delivery and networking opportunities.
Here, Axis Communications’ Ryan Zatolokin, business development manager, senior technologist; and ScanSource’s Tracey Boucher, vice president, Supplier Services, help provide guidance to seek out attractive attributes from the manufacturer and distributor communities.
How do you promote new product offerings to dealers and integrators?
Ryan Zatolokin: We target people in different ways to be contacted, use tradeshows such as ISC West and GSX to show new products, and we have a large sales force close to integrators to do a lot of face to face. We also do a variety of webinars on new technologies and products, and once products are launched we have good support on our website, like white papers, etc.
Tracey Boucher: We listen closely to our partners to ensure we have the right solutions available, in addition to the support, training and services they need to be successful. We share our offerings with our customers through personal outreach, sales support, education and training, our website and digital tools, web seminars, internal and industry events, road shows, social media among other ways.
What is the product training and support you offer like when you launch a new product?
Zatolokin: We have a lot of contact with our integrator partners, and our sales field engineers do local classroom training. We’ve offered Axis Academy for over a dozen years, which is a sophisticated learning process where people can attend classroom-based training. Cyber is becoming more important and we’re integrating that into our training. We provide module-based training on demand as well. White papers are posted to our website, and we also have a YouTube page with installation videos.
Boucher: Not only do ScanSource teams receive extensive training every year on new products, solutions, trends and opportunities, but we also offer that same level of training to our partners.
How can dealers and integrators assimilate new offerings into their existing business model?
Zatolokin: There are so many products out there. You need to be as efficient as you can. Keep your ears and eyes open and rely on the relationships so you can ask the right questions. We encourage our integrators to call us if they have a question. I’d also advise them to attend at least a couple of trade shows, walk the floor, see what’s coming out.
Boucher: We would recommend that our partners listen closely to their end customers with a goal of becoming a trusted advisor and true partner to them. There are likely many opportunities outside of just what the end customer is asking for. For example, if they need a physical security solution, do they also need to upgrade the communications system? Improve the network? Do they need remote management of technology solutions?
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