As a security integrator, you’re used to having a predictable revenue model selling security hardware and software to end users. Your portfolio likely contains door hardware, access control systems, card access readers and software, video surveillance cameras, VMS software, and other technologies to help your customers deploy a complete security solution.
While selling these technologies may provide a somewhat predictable revenue stream, take a moment to think about the volume you need to sell to meet, let alone exceed, your sales targets. If you’re looking to sell millions of dollars in security products, your team needs to work overtime to get the margins needed to fuel growth.
This is especially true in today’s competitive environment where manufacturers are often locked in a race to the bottom with respect to pricing. This is a new and frustrating reality for the integrator community. With decreasing profit margins, account managers face increasing pressure to sell higher volumes than ever before. What alternatives are there to this challenging future?
Security entrances are often overlooked by security integrators as an access control solution, despite their ability to solve the multiple risks from unauthorized entry — property and data theft, workplace violence, bad PR — while simultaneously offering end users a substantial ROI. Security entrances help businesses control who can enter/exit a building, and they decrease the threat of tailgating, which the C-Suite now realizes has become a top security challenge.
According to the IHS 2015 survey “The Market for Pedestrian Entrance Control Equipment,” the total market size in the Americas for all types of security entrance products grew from $123 million in 2012 to $159 million in 2014 — an average of 14 percent a year and forecast to continue well into 2020s. Unlike cameras and card readers, the margins on security entrances continue to be healthy and stable.
Selling security entrances provides the opportunity for integrators to build a strong relationship with customers and produce significant new revenue. By asking the right questions and understanding exactly the solution required, account managers can potentially sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in product to a single, existing client by leveraging their current “trusted advisor” relationship.
Are You a “Tailgating Problem Solver” for Your Customers?
One of the biggest obstacles we see today is that most security integrators aren’t familiar enough with security entrances and the positive impacts they offer the customer. Hence, they’re unable to ask the right questions to create good, meaningful discussions.
The most effective sales process for the integrator begins by first gaining a solid understanding about the different types of security entrances and their effectiveness in tailgating mitigation. For example, there is a major difference between what an optical turnstile with barriers in a lobby can do, and what a security revolving door can do. The difference in performance is measured in terms of tailgating prevention, upfront costs, annual expenditures, managing throughput, available metrics, guard force reduction, ROI, and other important factors.
Asking the right questions can “disrupt” all assumptions and get the customer thinking about what they truly want to accomplish. These questions enable your sales force to find the best solution for the customer and maximize your revenues. One good question is, “Do you want to detect and respond to tailgating when it happens, or do you want to prevent it from happening in the first place?” Most end users will tell you they have never thought about physical security in that way.
After a thorough discovery, integrators should ask for a project site walk-through. This as an opportunity to evaluate what type of security is currently at each entrance. Is it manned by a security guard or is there a card reader attached to a locked swing door? Are they currently trying to measure tailgating occurrences? Do they even have a security entrance? How is it performing alongside any needed staff and technology in terms of reducing risk of penetration? Such questions help you form a recommendation that results in the right solution.
What might such a recommendation look like? Begin by integrating the access control system with five optical turnstiles to provide a physical barrier at a manned entrance. You may discover there is also a data center or other sensitive area that only a few people need access to and it currently has only a swinging door — recommend an unmanned security mantrap portal to prevent any chance of tailgating (no guard needed, providing tangible ROI). Move out to the perimeter and perhaps there’s an employee parking lot where sets of full-height turnstiles can ensure that only employees enter from that direction into certain buildings. Another possibility could be employee parking garages leading directly into side entrances of buildings where several security revolving doors can take the place of security guards.
If you were to make the entire sale described above, it would result in a minimum of $400,000 in revenue. Consider how many surveillance cameras you need to sell to match that amount, and security entrances are certainly worth considering, especially given their potential in long-term ROI, in deepening your end user relationships, and gaining future business.
We typically see end users increasing the number of entrances they purchase as their security needs change and grow. There are several reasons for this, but usually the customer will bring up new security pain points they have at other buildings once they see how their first security entrance project is functioning. By establishing solid, pro-active relationships with existing customers, integrators have enormous upsell potential to increase revenue without expanding to new prospects.
A key decision remains before getting into this business: rely on the manufacturer to provide installation and service on the products, or invest in technical training to get your staff certified to grow the business? Both methods can be successful strategies provided you partner with an innovative, proactive manufacturer that can provide a true partnership for your future growth.