7 Steps to Sell the Value of Open Platform IP Video

Learn the skills and methods to sell prospects and existing customers on the benefits of IP video management systems. A VMS provider reviews course material it offers dealers/integrators to educate clients about open platform advantages.

<p>A key value-selling parameter includes presenting a global ecosystem of hardware and integration partners that encompass a full circle of multiple choices in value-adding video surveillance solutions. These range from access control, building automation, sensor systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and much more. ©iStockphoto.com/mark wragg</p>3. Explaining Product Value

Salespeople can educate prospective customers and demonstrate they are the subject matter experts with the answers that can be trusted. In other words, you are fit to solve industry “super problems,” especially those that currently exist in the transition from analog to IP technology. 

Dealers and systems integrators should aim to define challenges that commonly occur and affect real-world installations. This can include core infrastructure input and output, pre/during/post-install support issues, user interface friendliness and training requirements, security and other systems interoperability, potential scalability and flexibility scenarios, etc. You should learn how to “do the math” and illustrate examples of how such problems are met and solved by the open platform approach. It is helpful to identify unexpected design issues and build consensus among the decision makers.

Credibility comes from being respected, likable and competent. Client focus is essential; you have to genuinely care about the customer’s comprehension and collaboration. Articulation plays a strong role. It is not just what you are saying but how you say it that is equally important. Leadership qualities influence a sales situation as well. The only way to command attention is to have a presence and be confident in knowing the subject and addressing it with the customer’s perspectives in mind.

Knowledge is power, and educating customers will enlighten them about the solutions made possible by open platforms. Informed customers make better buying decisions, which results in more successful implementations and greater loyalty. Thus, word of mouth goes a long way toward building the customer database, and attracting new prospects.

4. Utilizing the Whole Ecosystem

Another value-selling parameter includes presenting a global ecosystem of hardware and integration partners that encompass a full circle of multiple choices in value-adding video surveillance solution
s. These range from access control, building automation and sensor systems to all kinds of analytics, retail transactions, enterprise resource planning (ERP), radio frequency identification (RFID), physical security information management (PSIM) and geographic information systems (GIS), among many others. Today, open platform solutions are infinitely flexible, allowing interoperability with the installed systems, as well as those that will come in the future and are yet unknown.

As an example, Milestone has more than 150 documented integrated solution partners, and new ones signing up all the time. Here is where the firm’s value-selling course teaches customers how to leave their options open for new technologies and innovations coming later down the road.

Following are key factors affecting the surveillance technology ecosystem today:

  • The microprocessor is the main agent of change in the market
  • Operating systems are very important
  • Commercially off-the-shelf hardware equipment is becoming more widely utilized and cost effective
  • Network camera devices comprise the fastest growing segment of the industry
  • VMS has become the key middleware of solutions
  • Solution partners represent significant growth opportunities through interoperability

5. Servicing Demanded Value

Knowing and understanding a customer’s needs thoroughly is one of the most important aspects when selling value. What are the specifications, management issues and realistic project timelines? It is important to agree with the prospects on clearly defined expectations, especially since industry hype cultivates unrealistic customer expectations. Salespeople must manage this by educating the customer on system capabilities.

Ongoing maintenance, regular support for the latest cameras in the market, flexible licensing expansions and upgrades are big advantages to present in a sales situation. As technology grows and changes, so do customer demands and expectations, so the future-proof framework is a core concept to explain. It points out the value of a true open platform VMS as the center of a future-ready solution.

6. Shaping Client Requirements

This topic in value selling covers objection prevention versus objection handling. Ensuring that customers’ perceived challenges are completely understood is necessary in order to offer their ideal solution. This is what shapes the final steps in selling open platform IP video. Salespeople must analyze the audience, where there can be different people influencing the sale throughout the sales process. Determine their interests and goals, positioning specific features based on what they need.

Knowing the buyers is all-important to closing a sale: A security operator wants optimized live video for fast response; security directors want remote access; a company director watches the bottom line and wants to realize ROI. There may also be a risk prevention executive who is looking to cut shrinkage or improve employee safety, and an IT professional maintaining the network who is concerned about bandwidth or controlling user access with the ease of active directory.

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Commercial Integrator + Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add to your bottom line.

A FREE subscription to the top resource for security and integration industry will prove to be invaluable.

Subscribe Today!

Get Our Newsletters