Milestone Adds Manufacturer RepsBy Carlton Purvis, Published on Jan 06, 2014
A number of prominent manufacturers, like Axis, Avigilon, Genetec and Milestone, use their own internal sales people rather than manufacturer representatives. Now, in a surprising move, Milestone is adding manufacturer representatives in North American. In this note, we share feedback from Milestone and our analysis of the significance of this move.
Milestone responded to our questions about the move. Here is the full text of our questions and their answers:
Why has the company started using rep firms?
Due to ongoing commoditization in certain market segments Milestone believes we can better serve the full breadth of the market by also utilizing manufacturer reps in select geographies.
Which rep firms are you using? In what territories?
We have finalized agreements in Canada and are negotiating for some other territories in the Americas, however, they are not ready for announcement at this time.
Is this related to the rollout of Husky appliances?
We do believe this move will help us with the Husky series, as well as our software-only products. All go-to-market sales personnel including rep firm partners will provide sales support to both our software-only and NVR product lines. Adding manufacturer rep firms is intended to increase Milestone’s sales support capabilities towards integrator, distributor and eco-partners alike.
Will this change you current sales model/approach?
There is no change to our overall go-to-market and sales strategy, using a combination of field sales personnel to support integrator partners’ enterprise business and inside sales personnel who provide additional support to new and existing partners developing their Milestone business.
What Do You Think?
Overall, we think this makes sense for Milestone, primarily, because of their expansion into the NVR business and, secondarily, because of the Exacq acquisition. Manufacturer reps excel in reaching out more broadly and for smaller deals than an internal sales force can handle. In their local territories, reps tend to know and be involved in lots of projects that would not make sense for a manufacturer employee to be dedicated towards. And since dealers who rely on reps tend to be less IT sophisticated and doing smaller projects, having NVR appliances is important. Plus, since many dealers have been shaken up by their largest rival, Tyco, buying a product that was a mainstay for many, this is an opportunity for Milestone to counter.
One challenge may arise with Milestone's relationships with camera manufacturer. Rep firms typically have a recorder line, a camera line, an access control line, etc. For instance, most Exacq rep firms also represent Arecont, so you frequently see those two bundled and pushed together (by the rep firm). Depending on what cameras Milestone's new firms represent, this could help that combination while alienating other Milestone camera partners.