2015 Sales & Marketing Survey: Security Industry Sharpens Its Methods

Security Sales & Integration’s 2015 Sales & Marketing Survey indicates increasing emphasis on targeted and electronic-delivered promotions such as trade shows, networking, the online community and E-mail.

Just as today’s successful security dealers and integrators must embrace changing products, services and business models, so too must they adapt to equally substantial shifts in sales & marketing techniques. However, upon closer inspection, while the mechanisms and platforms are unequivocally evolving, in both instances of that parallel the core dynamics remain incontrovertible. That is, leveraging technology to solve customers’ needs and effectively communicate with them. Thus, with respect to the latter case, SSI‘s bi-annual Sales & Marketing Survey shows security marketers continue to rely on tried-and-true tools like cultivating customer referrals, distributing sales literature and conducting product demos while concurrently adopting fresh message delivery methods like tablets/smartphones, social media and E-mail.

In support of that, some specific findings of the study include: service agreements, bundled offerings and price discounts as ongoing helpful incentives; Web sites, PowerPoint and original videos as more popular presentation formats; and homebuilders/ contractors, electricians and A/V integrators being among the leading professional referral sources.  In keeping with positive word of mouth, customer referrals (85%) added 10 percentage points to its edge over the No. 2 way of generating new prospect lists (Web site, 56%). And it’s evident throughout the survey results that dealers and integrators have become more closely aligned with their suppliers. They are getting more referrals from manufacturers, using their literature to a larger extent and featuring their branding more prominently than two years ago.

Amid the proven and enduring practices and more recent emerging tactics, some fading strategies are discernible. They include: yard signs/decals, sales contracts and demonstration books as presentation formats; referral fees, financing and promotional items as incentives; locksmiths, Realtors and wholesale distributors as professional referral sources; and less spending on more traditional advertising mediums such as print, radio, television and Yellow Pages.

Some notable overall trends are that 80% of security contractors now use social media for their businesses; a 14-percentage-point rise in companies spending more than $5,000 on marketing per annum; a decline to only 4% of respondents indicating they planned to spend less on marketing than in 2014; and an average increase in spending of 14% among those indicating they would boost their budget this year.

Proceed onward to see how your business stacks up, and to sharpen your sales & marketing approach.

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