Turn to New Profits
Dealers, integrators can turn to security entrances for more money
- By Greg Schreiber
- Sep 01, 2017
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
products such as door hardware, access control systems,
card access readers and software, video surveillance
cameras, VMS software, and many other technologies to help
your customers deploy a complete security solution.
While selling these technologies may provide a predictable, recurring
revenue opportunity, take a moment to think about the volume
that 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 your CEO demands.
This is especially true in today’s competitive environment where
manufacturers are too often locked in a race to the bottom with respect
to pricing. Cameras and card readers sell for just a few hundred
dollars and competition continues to push that figure ever lower. 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. Aren’t there alternatives to
this challenging future?
THE BENEFITS OF SELLING SECURITY ENTRANCES
Security entrances are often overlooked by security integrators as
an access control solution despite their ability to solve the multiple
risks presented by unauthorized entry—theft of property or data,
workplace violence, bad PR, to name just a few—while simultaneously
offering end-users a greater ROI from such a purchase. Security
entrances help businesses control who can enter and exit a building,
and they decrease the threat of tailgating, which has become a top
security challenge as recognized by the C-Suite.
The market for security entrances is also growing with the same
vigor as the overall security industry. 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 (from 3-arm turnstiles to security revolving doors and mantrap
portals) grew from $123 million in 2012 to $159 million in 2014,
or an average of 14 percent per year. The report predicts the entrance
market will continue such strong grow into the early 2020’s. The good
news is that 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 additional
new revenue in the future. 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.
BECOME A VALUED “TAILGATING PROBLEM
SOLVER” FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
One of the biggest obstacles we see today is that most integrators
aren’t familiar enough about security entrances and the positive impact
they can provide to the customer. Hence, they are unable to ask
the right questions to power good, meaningful discussions. The best
sales process for the integrator begins by first gaining a solid understanding
about the different types of security entrances and their effectiveness
related to tailgating mitigation. The significant 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.
Once you’re acquainted with the impacts of the different types
of security entrances, you can effectively identify the end user’s pain
points rather than bringing a preconceived notion of what they might
need. Even when end users know they need some type of security
entrance, they may not be familiar with the different types of products
available, and they won’t accurately communicate their needs.
Everyone uses the word “turnstile,” but turnstile means many different
things—that’s where you come in.
Asking the right questions can “disrupt” all assumptions and get
the customer thinking about what they truly want to accomplish.
These questions enable you and your sales force to find the best solution
for the customer and, in the end, maximize your revenues.
After accomplishing a thorough discovery, account managers should
get a clearer picture of the end user’s application by asking for a walkthrough
at the project site. Think of this as an opportunity to see and
evaluate what type of security is currently at each entrance. Is it manned
by a security guard or is there a card reader? Are they trying to measure
tailgating occurrences? Do they currently have a security entrance? How
is it performing alongside any needed staff and technology in terms of
reducing risk of penetration? These are all crucial questions to ask that
help you form a recommendation that results in the right solution for
the end user.
HOW SECURITY ENTRANCES
FIT YOUR PROFIT MODEL
What might such a recommendation look like? You begin by integrating
the access control system with five or six optical turnstiles
to provide a physical barrier at a manned entrance. Perhaps you discover
there is a data center or sensitive area that only a few people
need access to and it currently has only a swinging door—you recommend
an unmanned security mantrap portal to prevent any chance
of tailgating. 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 your account representative were to successfully make the entire
sale described above, it would result in a minimum of $400,000
in revenue. When you consider how many surveillance cameras you
need to sell to match that amount, security entrances are certainly
worth considering, especially given their potential in long-term ROI
for the end user, deepening your end user relationships, and gaining
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. This creates an opportunity
to show them how they can secure other locations, which
can lead to multiple sales over many years.
By establishing solid, pro-active relationships with new and existing
customers, integrators have enormous upsell potential to increase
revenue without the need to expand to new prospects. A key decision
remains before getting into this business: do you rely on the
manufacturer to provide installation and service on the products, or
invest in technical training and get your own 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.
For all the reasons stated above, integrating security entrances
into your business model will help you more easily meet your sales
targets, while building additional trust relationships, keeping your
customers happy, and increasing your profit margins.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Security Today.