Selling security as a service has become top of mind for systems integrators, especially as the pandemic creates poor economic conditions. With security services, dealers can receive recurring monthly revenue (RMR) from customers, making it easier to withstand a slowdown in business. The question no longer seems to be whether dealers will add recurring revenue to their portfolios, but when.

But, like any additional offering, you want to make sure you approach it correctly, and do your research beforehand. Here are some best practices to keep in mind for when you are selling access control as a service.

  1. Choose Your Products Carefully

The first step towards a successful security service business is choosing the right products to offer. Look for companies whose products are simple to install, easy for customers to use and adaptable to keep up with changing technology. Since RMR contracts are long-term, it’s essential to offer high quality products that will satisfy customers for years to come. Vet manufacturers carefully to make sure they are cyber-secure — customers considering a cloud access control system will often ask about data protection, so be sure the manufacturer you choose uses bot monitoring, authentication and encrypted storage and communications.


  1. Incentivize Your Team to Sell

If you want your business to make a profit off of subscription services, you first need to incentivize your sales team to, well, sell. Define your business goals, and then align employee incentives with those goals. Also, try to hire some salespeople who have experience and are already comfortable with selling recurring services. For those who are used to selling one-time solutions, asking customers to pay every month may be out of their comfort zone. Then, make sure your compensation plans reward RMR sales; otherwise, employees will likely continue to chase high-dollar installations, and your RMR won’t grow.


  1. Emphasize Customer Service

In an RMR model, you are creating a long-term relationship between your business and your customers. Build loyalty by providing great service long after the installation is complete. It’s harder for customers to walk away when they have a positive personal relationship with your company and your people. Take the time to assess whether your service hours and staff are adequate for supporting the ongoing needs of customers.


  1. Consistency Is Key

When building an RMR business, slow and steady wins the race, so it’s essential to be consistent and not give up when the rewards aren’t immediate. Your RMR customer base needs to be built up over time to be profitable. Consider limiting the number of RMR customers you sign on at first, so you can work out the kinks in this new model before expanding. If you’re persistent and patient, adding RMR to your business will pay off with more revenue and added value to your company.