Top Sales Leads Sources (Statistics)

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 16, 2015

Where do integrators and manufacturers get leads for new customers?

We asked 100 sales people this question.

The short answer: 'old school' techniques, though the methods / sources of integrators were the opposite of manufacturers.

In this note, we examine the differences, sharing color commentary from both groups, and conclude with an analysis of the problems / opportunities available.

Integrator #1 - 'Word of Mouth' / 'Referrals'

The clear top choice for integrators, with more than half citing this, was having their existing customers and colleagues recommend them.

  • "Referrals and word of mouth keep me busy"
  • "Usually all business is word of mouth. Generally, we are people's favorite contractors due to the little things such as respecting property and cleaning up our workspace when finished."
  • "Leads are generated by Word of mouth"
  • "Word of mouth only"
  • "Word of mouth. Keeping everyone happy."
  • "Just about all our leads come from referrals."
  • "We try all newspapers, events including cold calls... but the most successes we have had were almost always good referrals from happy customers/resellers/friends."
  • "We do very little advertising or promotion; thus, most of our leads come from referrals (word of mouth)"
  • "Almost 100% word of mouth. We target specific industries and get a lot of referrals."
  • "Most of our leads come from word of mouth or from our other techs out in the field. We have a unique way of picking up customers for CCTV or access control since we are a full service locksmith as well. So, a small job just to re-key a lock or install some door hardware in a company can lead into an access control, CCTV, or alarm estimate when the tech evaluates their needs."

Manufacturer #1 NOT Notable - Word of Mouth / Referrals

To the contrary, only a few manufacturers cited word or mouth or referrals as a key source of leads. Since no manufacturer offered an explanation of why, we cannot be confident of what the cause is for this. We suspect that since most manufacturers sell indirect (i.e., through integrators to end users), that this contributes to the lack of referrals (i.e., integrators are often unlikely to recommend products to other integrators for competitive concerns).

Manufacturer #1 - Trade Shows

Whether they called them 'shows', 'events', or 'exhibits', by far the most common source of leads cited were trade shows. No manufacturer gave a glowing endorsement of trade shows or cited specific success. Nonetheless, the fact that so many cited trade shows and so much more than any other option shows their importance.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

What's fascinating about this is the cost of leads from trade shows is very high. $200 - $500 for a new lead is a fair estimate, considering that even a small tabletop 10x10 booths at the back of major trade show floors cost $10,000+ all-in. Though one may talk to a few hundred people, one is unlikely to come away with more than 20 - 50 leads. Despite this, that so many cite it shows that most manufacturers have not found a better alternative.

Integrator #2 - 'Networking'

Back on the integrator side, right behind 'word of mouth' and significantly more than any other source, networking was commonly cited, such as:

  • "Our sales people are involved in networking groups."
  • "I try to network with people I know in business and with contacts in the industry."
  • "I have a great network of professional friends who are always sending me leads. It's not what you know, it's who you know, right?"
  • "Networking in business network groups."
  • "Leads are generated through networking. The biggest challenge is spending enough time networking."

Integrator Notable - Cold Calls, Trade Shows and Manufacturers

Though word of mouth and networking were, by far, the big two for integrator leads, there were a few other (less common) themes / sources mentioned.

A notable minority cited cold calls, though generally not enthusiastic or their top choice. As one noted, "biggest challenge is getting salespeople to work cold leads." However, one did declare, "Cold calls have yielded the greatest returns."

A similar minority cited trade shows though none, unlike the manufacturers, they were relatively few and without the priority / importance that shows were for manufacturers.

Finally, like trade shows, a small minority cited their manufacturer partners as bringing them some leads.

Integrator NOT Notable - Website and Email Newsletters

The Internet, as a whole, was simply absent for integrators. Just a few integrators even mentioned it.

Manufacturer Notable - Online

Unlike integrators, online tools (like websites and emails) were a common lead source, coming in only second to shows. Manufacturers noted:

  • "targeted email campaigns" and another "an outgoing email program"
  • "checking loggings on our website, (Leadlander)"
  • "our web site brings in leads" and "website requests are another source along"
  • "1) customers searching for us online, we capture their information and follow up."

However, a few emphasized the downside of online leads, noting, "Biggest challenge for getting leads through email and / or website is that people looking for systems on the internet are price oriented" Related, "Many of our call-ins are people who should really be going to Costco and buying a $200 kit."

Integrator - Other Notable

Lastly, though not fitting in any one trend, a few integrators had interesting lead sources worth highlighting:

  • "Several leads come from electrical contractors bidding on construction jobs."
  • "Our best new lead efforts come from local County Deed of Records Offices, getting the most current mortgage data on the newest property owners in the area daily and weekly then targeting those persons listed with direct mail, telemarking and drive by door flyers."
  • "We monitor public RFQ's through various services"
  • "I have the luxury of being part of large Cisco Gold Partner. Most of my leads come from direct referral or directly from our sales reps assigned to the Cisco side of the business. It is a distinct advantage because those rep usually are dealing at a very high level inside of the client organization."
  • "We are a huge company that most people have heard of so that helps in that a lot of contractors contact us."
  • "The best process, once you've been in the industry a while, is simply keeping up with contacts. Call on a schedule, just to see how they're doing. Budgets run in cycles. Simply because someone "doesn't have time to talk" two months ago, doesn't mean they don't have a desperate need today."

2 reports cite this report:

This Unicorn Aims to Get Integrators Sales on Sep 29, 2015
Getting new customers is one of the hardest challenges for integrators as our sales leads survey results show. Now, a billion dollar unicorn tech...
Top Barriers to New Security Sales on Mar 30, 2015
Only 25-30% of both integrator and manufacturer sales are to new customers, according to new IPVM statistics. Many integrators and manufacturer...
Comments (11) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Ambarella on Computer Vision and US Hikua Ban on Sep 10, 2018
Ambarella, a widely-used video surveillance component supplier, is betting on the rise of computer vision and is already seeing a sales impact from...
Stanley Security Acquires 3xLogic, Kushner Becomes Product President on Sep 10, 2018
Stanley Security acquired 3xLogic a few months ago. However, the company has still not officially publicly announced it, leading many to wonder...
Access Control Course Fall 2018 on Sep 06, 2018
Registration IS CLOSED ends this Thursday. Register now. If you are looking to strengthen your ability to design and deploy access systems or...
Dell Launches IoT for Surveillance on Sep 05, 2018
Historically, Dell has been a PC and server provider (e.g., "Dude, you're getting a Dell") and widely used for surveillance storage. However, in...
Sell Dahua or Hikvision At All, Banned From Selling to US Federal Government, Says US HASC on Aug 29, 2018
The US House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Communications Director has confirmed to IPVM that if a company sells Dahua or Hikvision at all, they...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact