Importance of Sales To Integrators - Statistics

By Brian Karas, Published on Jun 23, 2017

One of the top trends in the industry over the past few years has been the rise of across-the-board sales (e.g.: Hikvision Sales, Dahua Sale, Multi-Manufacturer Sales ) as part of the race to the bottom. Once something rare, now such sales are happening multiple times per month.

How much do integrators actually value those sales? 

In this report we analyze responses from 150+ integrators, showing trends, outlining aspects of these sales they like, and what they would prefer manufacturers offer instead of sales.

Overall *** *********

**** *********** ****** ***** sales ** *********** ** their ********:

 

*** **** ****** ******* these ***** ****:

  • ******* ***** ******* ** inventory, **** ** ** 'sale' *** ***********
  • ****** ** * ***** of **** ** ***** and ********
  • *** ****** ***** *********** often ***** *** **** advantage

*** **** ****** *** the ***** **** *** minority ********** **** *** (1) *** ******* ** stock ** *** (*) the ******** ** **** overall ***** ***.

*** **** *********** ********* from *********** *** ******* registration *** **** ********** discounts *** ****.

Selection **** / ******* *********** ******** ****** **** ********

*** *********** ******** **** were ********* ** ************* with **+ *********, ********** 100+ *********. ** ******* these ************* *** ********* a **** *** *** these *****. **** *** communications **** ************ *** manufacturer *********, ***** ***** definitely ******** * ******** response ********** **** ******* scale *********** / ***********. *** these ******, ******* ***** may ** **** **********, and ******* **** **** on ******* ***** ***** projects, ***** ***** *** more ****** ** ******** with ***** ********. ** manufacturers *** ******* ** attract **** ******* ***********, ******* sales *** ** * good ********.

Large ********* ***********

**** *********** ****** **** sales **** ** ****** on ***** ****** *********, as **** ** *** stock ***** ******* ** inventory, *** ******** ********* only **** **** *** ready ** ***** * job.

  • "*** ********* ** *** case. ** **** *** material **** ** ******* an *****. ***** ** no *****."
  • "***. * *** **** I ****, **** * need **."
  • "*** ********* ** ***. We ** *** ***** much ******* *** ******** are ********* *-** **** ahead ** ******* ****. A *** ******* *** a ****** ** *** enough ** *** ** to *** ** 
  • *********."
  • "*** ****. ** ***’* keep * ***** ********* of *******, ********* **** ordering **** ** ****, when ** **** **. If ** ********* **** a ****, *****. ** not, ***** **** ****."
  • "***, ***** ** ***'* stock *********, *** ***** for ******** *********."
  • "*** ** ********* ** I ** *** **** a **** ****** ** stock. * *** **** I **** *** **** that **** **** ********."
  • "**** *****. ** ******* does *** *** *** stock. ****** ** ***** sales ******** **** *** project *****. ****, ** have * *********** ********** and '****** *****' ** their **************."
  • "** ** ****** ** have * ******** ** place *** *** **** is *********. *****. ********* it ***** ******* ** us. ** *** *** going ** *** ******** to *** ** *** shelf. ** *** *** a ***********."
  • "* ********** *** **. We ***'* ***** ** just ***** *** *******. Unless ** **** ***/* we ***'* ***** ***** inventory **** ** *** on *** ******* ******* it *** *****."

Integrators *** ***** **

* **** ***** ****** of ********* **** **** integrators *** **** ** keep ********* ** ****, and *** ***** ***** to ********* *****. 

  • "**** *********. ***** *** bottom ****. *** ** love ***** *** ******* sales. *'* **** **** for ******** ******** *** when **** *** * monthly ****."
  • "**** ********* - ** keep ******** ** ***** so ** ***** ** when ***** ******. ***** slammers *** *** ***."
  • "**** *********, **** ******** is ********* **** ** stock ** ** *** common **** ****** ****."

Waste ** ****, *****, ********

**** ******** **** **** integrators ******** ******* ***** very **********, *** *** at *** ******* **** how **** ** ******** or *** ***** **** want ** ******* ** customers.

  • "***** ** ****, *** how ** ****."
  • "*** ** ***. *** sales *** ***** ** solutions **** *** *** canned *** ** ** not "****" ******** ***** on *** **** ** discount."
  • "*** *** ***. **'* tacky *** ******** ********** when **** *** ***** on *******."
  • "*** ** ***. ** are * ****** ******* and ** ** **** to *********** ****** ******* on *****."
  • "*** ** ***. ** sell **** *** *** time *** * **** of * ****** ***'* going ** **** ** sell ****. ** *** solution *******, ** **** to ***** ********, *** push ********."
  • "* ** *** *** attention ** ***** ** all."
  • "*** *********, *** ******* annoying. *** *** ** work ** ** *** quotes *** **** *** projects. * **** *********** in *******, *** *****'* special."
  • "****, ******* **** ***'* really **** ** *** way ** ******** **** their ********."

Bad ******

******* *********** **** ******* inventory, *** ******** **** when * ******* ******, the ***** ****** **** up **** ***** ****** requirements. ********* ** **** advantage ** * **** reduces *** ***** ** integrators.

  • "** *** ******* ******. Sales *** *** ********** to **** ** **. It ** ***** *** right ***** ** *** exact ***** ****."
  • "*** ****. *** ***** cycle *** ********* **** long, ********** ** *** mid ** ******-*** ********. So * **** ** a ******* *** *** month ******** ***'* **** us ** * *** that ***** * ****** to ** ****** ** close."
  • "********* ********, ***** *** bad. *** **** **** to ** ** *** the ************* ******* **** it ****** *** *** other ******* ** *******. Price *********** ***** ** hard ** ***** ******** that *** ***** *-** months ****. ***'* *** me *****, **'* **** when ** **** ****** to ** ******** ****** a ****, *** *** sales ****** ****** **** we ***** *** ** little ** ******** ****** new ******** *** * vendor."
  • "** * **** * don't **** ********* ***** due ** *** **** frame *** *** ***** seldom ******* **** *** purchase ** *** ******** come *****."
  • "*** ** ****, **** sometimes, *** ***** ***** to ** ** *** right *****."
  • "****. *'** ****** ** ever **** **** ** line ** * **** with * ********* ******** decision. ** ********* ***'* buy **** ***. *** only ********* *** **** term ******** ****** *** a ****** ******* **** education."

Would **** ****** ******

******* ********* ********* **** products ********* ** **** prices ***** **** **** bought ******, ****** *** sale * ****** ******** for *** ************:

  • "** ** ******* ** align **** * ******* I ** ***** ***** it. *** * ***'* always ****** **."
  • "*** **** ****; * discount ***** **** ** stock **** *******, *** it ** ******** ******* we ***** **** ********* anyway."
  • "** *** **** ***** in **** **** *** construction ******** ** ** an ***** *****. *** my ********* *** *** product *** *** ******** most ** *** ****. but * ***** ***** say ** ** * sale."
  • "* **** **** ******* specials, *** ****** *** any. ** **'* * product * ** ****** to *** * *** I'll ***** ** *** I ***'* **** ** have *** **** ***** inventory ** *** *****."
  • "*** **** ******-****. *** business *****'* ****** **** like ****. ************ * sale/spiff **** ***** **** a *******." 

Project ************

******* ************, ***** ********* benefits **** *** ********** that ***** ******* **** a ********, *** ********* several ***** ** ** alternative ** ****-***-*** ********* that ***** ** **** as ****** **** *****.

  • "*** ******. ** ****** special ******* ************"
  • "****** ** ***** ** all ****** *** *** lucky *** * ******** happens ** ** ******** moving ******* **** * project ** *** **** of * ****. **** is ******* ** *** project ********* ******** ** time ** *** **** some ************* ******* **** follow *** ******* *** don't *** ** *** end ** * ********* timeframe."
  • "*** **** ********* ** us. ** ****** ******** deal ************. ******* ** do * *** ** quotation ****** ******* * job."
  • "*** *** ****. *** us ** ** **** more ********* *** ******* protection. *** ********* ******'* be *** ** **** a *****-******* ***** ************* what ** **** ** our ****** ** *** country *** ********* ****** us. ***** *** ******** are *** ** *** discount **** ***** ** on *** *** ** some ************."
  • "*** *********. **** ********* are ******** ********* *** competitive **********. **** ************* work **** **** ** to *** ***** ******* sold ** ******** ********, particularly **** ** **** a ****** ******* ** going ** ******* * more ************ ****. ****** have * **** ** or ***** ** ******** figuring ** **** *** specified, **** **** ** worries ... **** ** the ***** ********."

Prefer ****** *******

******/***** ******* ** ******* was **** ********* ** an *********** **** ***** be *** **** **** enthusiasm **** ***********.

  • "** **** **** ******* at *** ***** ***** sometimes ****** ****** *** is ****"
  • "*** ***** *** *** important ** **. **** important ** *** ********** level ** ********."
  • "*** *********. ** ****** manufacturers ******* ** *** best *** **** ********** pricing ********, *** *** time!"
  • "***** ****** **** ********* across *** ***** ******* of *****."

Sales ********* *** ****

***** *** **** ***** were ********* ** ***** business **** ********* **** concerned **** ***** *******, sales **** *** ****** as * *** ** earn ******* *******.

  • "**** *********. *** ****** is * **** ******* where ****** ********** ** dictated ** *****."
  • "******** **** ***** *** bottom **** ** ****** good."
  • "** ** ********* ** we **** ******** ****** throughout *** **** ** it ***** ** **** sales **** ** *** fall **** ** ****** certain ****."
  • "**** **** * ***. If ** **** ** have * *** ****** up *** ***** ** a **% ******** ** product, **** ** **** place *** ***** ****** to **** **** *****."
  • "**** ********* ******* ** determined *** ****** ****."
  • "***** *** ******** ** today's *********** ***********."

IPVM ********

**** ****** ****** **** while *********** *** ***** better ******, ** *** to ** **** ** a *** **** **** works **** *** **** run ***** ********. ******* registrations, ** **** ****** better *********, ***** *********** to ******* ***** *****, and *** **** ***********.

**** *********** *** *** view ************ ***** ********** as ****** **********, *** in **** ***** **** them **********, ***** ******** against *** **** ** increasing ****** *****, *********, and ********** **** ***** sales *** ***** ***** to *******. ************, ******** showed **** **** *********** would **** ******* **** or ******* *** ****, making ** **** ********** strategy *** ************* ***** this ********.

Comments (19)

You can put me in the “Not Very” category. Distribution simply can’t help drive my sales with discounts. The sales cycle is too long. Multiple “limited time” discounts and special offers will come and go in the time it takes me to close a deal.

Norm, 

Thanks for the reply. Are the typical products that go on sale applicable to the deals you work on? I'm curious how much impact these sales would have for you if the timing DID line up.

 

Every great once in a while we’ll get a fast track project that closes very quickly where we can jump on a discount offer and save a few dollars. But, it’s not just the timing. For most deals the product selection is determined by external factors, client preference, add to existing systems, specifications, etc.

When is a "Sale" truly a "Sale" if its "On Sale" every month? At what point do you stop getting excited about a Sale, and start to laugh every time theres another Blow Out, Limited Time Only, Stock Up Now Or Lose Out Sale? These sales come off VERY gimmicky and only hurt the integrity of the manufacturer. Now this doesn't apply to the every so often Sales that are truly Sales - i.e., when a Disty has too much stock, or if a product is EOL and needs to be cut loose. Those actual Sales can definitely be enticing. 

How do you budget, or competitively quote a product that is supposed to regularly be $X, but may or may not be on sale once the customer is ready to proceed? If you quote at your everyday price, you may be too high. You quote at Sale price, your margin could be next to nothing when the deal closes. When you offer, spec, and deploy a wide range of models and manufacturers like we do, it doesnt make sense to sit on inventory and maintain stock, when stock is only a day or two away at Distribution.

Everyone loves a good sale, but like a Mattress or New Car, whats the actual price when theres a Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Secretaries Day, Take Your Dog To Work Day, or National Green Bean Celebration Day SALE right around the corner at any given moment. 

These are just my two cents...which you can get for 50% for a limited time only!!

every time theres another Blow Out, Limited Time Only, Stock Up Now Or Lose Out Sale?

You left out LAST CHANCE! ;)

I cannot agree that any manufacturer lowering a price is in any way a gimmick. If you asked any to raise the price so you would feel better about buying the product?

There is a difference between lowering price and a sale... the urgency close method of sales.

When you purchase your next suit at K-Mart maybe you should ask for them to throw in some shoes? That will save you a trip to pic-n-pay....until next time!

I rather see an overall price reduction that averages the sale and regular price so it's just consistent. That would help us more. 

I rather see an overall price reduction that averages the sale and regular price so it's just consistent. 

In fairness, since e.g., Hikvision has done such sales month after month after month, it is effectively an overall price reduction but done the 3rd week of each.

Im curious if they are using these sales more as a marketing tool as opposed to "beefing up sales volume"  

I think maybe they are using them to lure in new customers that would have not otherwise tried their brand. I wouldn't be surprised if sometimes they are being utilized as a loss leader.

I think maybe they are using them to lure in new customers that would have not otherwise tried their brand.

Certainly, that is part of it but the way they are structured, everyone who buys get the discount, including the certain majority that are not new.

Sean, what type of sales have you tried for your business? What have you found works best?

"Very important - we keep products in stock so we stock up when sales happen. Trunk slammers buy per job

 

Am I a trunk slammer? I have 2 full time techs, 2 company trucks, a state low voltage license, and insurance. Are we small? absolutely. trunk slammer? I do not think so.

 

Since we customize each project for the clients needs, we do not always use the same equipment every time. If a company is stocking a certain product line, they may be pushing that product, and not offering the best solution.

 

I know there is a general rule of thumb on how often inventory should turn, not sure what it is.

 

Personally I would rather use my money for advertising and marketing.

I had the same thoughts. I am also a small company (licensed & insured) and I prefer not to keep a large volume of inventory. I will however buy a few extra cameras when making a large purchase just to have some on hand for immediate replacement or if a customer wants to add more during or shortly after an install. The only time I might take advantage of a sale is when happens to include an item I use frequently.

 

I hardly think that someone who only buys materials per job classifies them as a trunk slammer. That's just smart business. A large volume of inventory sitting on a shelf does not earn money.

Maybe they hired marketing people from Kohl's? Every week is the biggest sale ever?

I guess if you are the type of integrator that uses the same 3.6mm turret for every application this would appeal to you?

Maybe they hired marketing people from Kohl's? Every week is the biggest sale ever?

If you start to see "Hik Cash" or "Dahua Dollars", then you know that is where the marketing people came from :)

They could always just staple a $100 bill to each camera before shipping at this point.

I disagree with the trunk slammer notion that people who buy for the project are in someway inferior. We've been in business for over 50 years, have our own central and have several Fortune 500 accounts.

Even we do not purchase inventory we do not need to simply save a little money. If it is something we know we are going to use in the next few months or something consumable we can move- sure.

But running a camera sale does not make us go out and buy 300 cameras saving $15 each to sit on our shelf. Cash flow is king and when you have to bill out $1mm+ per month to make a profit and break even you start looking at turnover days held metrics of your inventory which is something that I assume a lot of smaller and medium companies do not track. I would rather be more liquid in case a large job comes up or we have a payment collection issue from a previous job rather than tap a line of credit or be limited on what we could do. To me the stock up sales are just channel stuffing and the integrators that really think ADI sales are the key to business success and winning market share are being pennywise but pound foolish.

Eventually, these monthly sales will end, and then what? DW recently stopped a promo that had been going on for a long time (over a year at least), and we stopped buying their servers because of it, they lost a lot of our business. I was going to start another thread, and then I found this one.

Up until recently, DW gave 8 camera licenses when you purchased one of their servers. In the past we considered building our own servers, if we did so, we would save about $600. At the time it wasn't worth the hassle of ordering parts, dealing with warranty issues in-house or the time it took to build the units for little savings, getting 8 licenses was nice, so it enticed us to buy their servers. DW recently eliminated the "double down" promotion that had been going on forever, each unit now comes with four licenses and not eight bringing the difference to almost $900. So we decided to build our own servers, we can build twice the server for $900 less than we can buy it from DW and keep plenty of parts on hand for in-house warranty repairs.

All of these sales are good if you get them while they're going on. But it's no way to build a long-term client base. We recently decided to stop all discounts and promotions at our own company, we found that all too often sales, discounts or promotions brought in customers that would go to the next sale the first chance they got while clients who paid full price would stay much longer. We want to attract only the best clients, presenting the value without the "sale" we offer has helped us do that.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Eventually These Monthly Sales Will End And Then What?

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