Axis Sales Essentials Training Reviewed

By: Derek Ward, Published on Nov 05, 2013

Axis has been barnstorming across the US, with a 1 day training course to "ignite new and run-rate business" for attendees. And at $99 for the day plus a camera included, it certainly is not expensive. But is it even worth the time invested? In this note, we share our experiences with the training, commenting on strengths and weaknesses plus who is the best fit for this.

Axis Sales Training Summarized

Axis' training consisted of a full day, broken up into multiple sessions, covering both general sales topics as well as Axis-specific information and approaches, including:

  • Steps of the sales cycle 
  • Types of salespeople
  • Common objections and how to overcome them
  • Demonstrating Axis product
  • Sales presentations

Sales Topics

The non-technical portion of the day was fairly standard, with fairly typical claims:

The Sales Cycle

The presenter's outline of the sales cycle including prospecting, qualification, presentation, closing, etc., was fundamental. He recommended looking for leads via progressively lower-level investigations:

  • 30,000' view: Investigate the potential lead online, research their products and services, etc.
  • 10,000' view: Check the facility using Google maps, keeping in mind potential threats in the surrounding area and location.
  • Ground level: Investigate the facility in person. Drive around the building, note existing security equipment in place.

Tips were also given on how to assess whether a project is fully qualified based on budget, actual need, and timing. 

The presenter strongly recommended live demos be part of the presentation process, and the potential client be left with a functioning demo to "test drive" to further the sale, a point which was met with mixed reaction by attendees. Only a few attendees did this, and numerous questions were asked about how long the client should be left with the demo, potential for the demo user to become overwhelmed and confused (potentially reducing the chance of a sale), etc.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The demo / test drive section led to a discussion of Axis Camera Companion, and its simple operation, which reduces the possibility of confusion. However, since the majority of integrators likely use third-party software with Axis cameras, this has limits.

Types of Salespeople

The presentation went through non-technical ("Salesie") vs. technical ("Techie") sales people, a perpetual debate in the industry. It suggested a combination of the two (which they called simply "Expert") was most successful, and promoted their Axis Certified Professional program as one way to increase technical expertise.

Overcoming Objections

Attendees of the session we attended reflected the biggest objection to IP cameras (and Axis especially) as price. Though steps have been made (lower cost "budget" cameras, serverless systems such as Axis Camera Companion, etc.), IP cameras remain more expensive in many cases than their analog counterparts or low cost Chinese kits.

Axis suggested that systems be sold on "value", a term often vaguely mentioned by most manufacturers when the issue of price comes up. Some of the points listed as their value proposition were fair, and indeed some of our integrator members' comments on Axis, such as:

  • Wide product line, so cameras may be best suited to the application.
  • Better product longevity and stability
  • Quicker product selection through Axis-specific design tools, more thorough than most manufacturers.

However, some were vague or debateable, such as these two most glaring examples:

  • "Never sell direct to End Users": This was the strangest claim made in these benefits, considering poor channel protection is one of the number one complaints about Axis by integrators, and it may be readily found from literally hundreds of sources online.
  • "Best choice for your customers, we guarantee it": Guarantee is a strong term but it was not clear if anything stood behind such a guarantee.

Overall, this portion of the presentation felt more like it was overcoming integrators' objections to Axis' often higher price than giving real information on how to overcome end user objections.

Axis Buyback Program

One valuable point Axis did bring up was their tech upgrade and buyback program, which is not highly publicized. This program offers a discount up to 20% off MSRP (at Axis' discretion) when replacing obsolete competitor and existing Axis products:

Technical Presentation

Axis opened up the technical portion of the presentation with images showing a comparison of analog vs. megapixel viewing a license plate, an marked increase in detail. They then moved on to another showing a single 2.0 megapixel camera covering more area than four analog cameras in a parking lot, a comparison which ignores any number of key factors including light performance, WDR, lighting, etc. 

They went on to discuss PPF requirements for identification, specifying 80 pixels across the face, which averages to about 150 pixels per foot. This is much higher than most estimate, but does not take into account lighting or image quality issues which can drastically affect identification. Users should see our PPF guide for further reading.

Camera applications and features were reviewed in brief, such as VMD 2.1, Crossline Detection, Cognimatics, corridor format, and Lightfinder. These were not reviewed in extensive detail.

Non-Security Uses of Video

What followed next was our presenter telling attendees to "think outside the box", meaning using the same offerings to solve different problems or arrive to new, innovative solutions. An example given was at a pet center, where customers could view and watch their animals remotely through surveillance cameras. Essentially, he wanted the attendees to think of ways to use surveillance in an atypical way that would add more benefits to an existing system.

Should You Attend?

For those new to the industry, the Axis Sales Essentials is a fair intro to the sales process and some basics of selling IP video. For $99 for a full day session, and a M3004-V camera provided, it is inexpensive.

However, the information was fairly rudimentary, both on sales techniques and technology, so for those who have even modest experience already, it is probably not worth the time.

Comments (3) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Train Your Team With IPVM Courses From Experts on Mar 01, 2020
You trust and use IPVM for reporting and research and you can also have your team trained by our experts. One of the most common requests our...
Video Surveillance 101 Course - Last Chance on Feb 20, 2020
This is the last chance to join IPVM's first Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the...
Last Chance - Camera Course Winter 2020 on Jan 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training exists...
2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
Security Sales Course January 2020 - Last Chance on Jan 02, 2020
Notice: This is the last chance to register for the course. This sales course is customized for the current needs and challenges specific to...
IPVM Opens 12,000 Sqft Testing Facility on Dec 16, 2019
IPVM is proud to announce the opening of the world's first video surveillance testing facility that will allow us to significantly expand our...
Beware African 50,000 IP Camera Contract Scam on Jul 12, 2019
A “Nigerian Prince” scam for the video surveillance market is going around. You, or at least we, could be lucky enough to be the single bidder for...
ASIS Sells GSX 2019 Education Sessions on May 01, 2019
New for 2019, ASIS is selling GSX education sessions, an ethically problematic approach and something we have not seen before in this...
The Embarrassing Story of ISC West's Best New IP Camera on Apr 24, 2019
A sad but simple situation: Only 2 companies paid SIA the thousands of dollars required to compete for the best new 'cameras IP' The judges...

Most Recent Industry Reports

USA's Feevr Thermal Temperature System Examined on Mar 31, 2020
This US company has burst on to the scene, brashly naming itself 'feevr' and branding itself as a "COVID 19 - AI BASED NON CONTACT THERMAL...
JCI Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 31, 2020
JCI has made coronavirus cuts, the company told employees in an email that IPVM has reviewed. Inside this note, we examine the cuts made, the...
Add Door Operators To Fight Coronavirus on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM recommends that integrators advocate and end-users consider adding door operators to fight the spread of coronavirus. This delivers...
Video Surveillance Business 101 on Mar 30, 2020
This report explains the fundamental elements of the video surveillance business for those new to the industry. This is part of our Video...
FDA Gives Guidance on 'Coronavirus' Thermal Fever Detection Systems on Mar 30, 2020
The US FDA has given IPVM guidance on the use of thermal fever detection systems being marketed for coronavirus, as an explosion of such devices...
Worsen: Integrators Hit Even Harder By Coronavirus on Mar 30, 2020
Integrator's problems have worsened over the past 2 weeks, according to new IPVM survey results. Inside this report, we share statistics and...
Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter of a billion dollars in VC funding, and multiple failures to gain...
Athena CEO Criticizes 'Deplorable' 'Nitpicking', IPVM Refutes on Mar 27, 2020
UPDATE: NBC News Report Cites IPVM On Coronavirus 'Fever Detection' Cameras Athena Security's CEO Lisa Falzone has strongly objected to IPVM's...
Hikvision Admits Sanctions Harming Its Financial Performance on Mar 27, 2020
While Hikvision initially downplayed being sanctioned for human rights abuses, the company is now admitting a significant impact in a new PRC...