In late August, NSCA offered a free webinar on the topic of recurring revenue. It’s not a new subject, but the presenter offered listeners a slightly different take by examining the emerging technology trends that are affecting integration and technology users, and associating the services that could be positioned around these changes.
As the webinar continued, covering more new and different ways to deliver recurring revenue, I wondered whether integrators are really selling all the things they should be.
Are integrators looking at the whole picture—from the earliest parts of a client discussion all the way through delivery—to maximize the potential sale while adding meaningful value that benefits the customer?
There are many additional opportunities for integrators to create revenue; so many, in fact, that I started formulating a list of some of the amazing areas in which integrators could be selling more, but aren’t. I know a few integrators that are doing a few (if not all) of these, but it wouldn’t hurt for business owners and leaders in the integration space to take a moment and ponder: Should we be selling these services and technologies?
• Services You Should Consider Selling:
—Design and Consultation: For big projects, a number of specialty firms do this. However, with so many choices for products and service in every category, today’s clients could use some real advice on how the technology actually aligns with their business needs. On the surface, it may be what we do for clients every day, but we all fall into the habit of selling what we know and are most comfortable with. Although an intensive design and consultation process may lengthen the sales cycle, it’s often a very profitable endeavor that can lead your company to more work and happier clients down the line.
—Room Maintenance (Remote and Onsite): This one may seem obvious, but I talk to many integrators that attach service to less than 20% of their integration sales. Whether done using remote management software or with boots on the ground, room management and maintenance is a low-hanging fruit that integrators should focus on selling more. Not only is it sticky, but it’s usually a highly profitable line item.
—Training: Most integrators already do some level of training for customers when they deliver systems, but with employees coming and going, along with small system adds, moves and changes being made, a continued training service is a great way to regularly bring in revenue for completed projects. Having a few specialists on staff who are great at showing clients how to use the technologies they purchase is a great way to earn supporters for your company and the technology you sell.
• Technologies You Should Consider Selling:
—MNEC: Mass notification and emergency communication (MNEC) systems are a hot topic that I find myself speaking about regularly. From schools to office buildings, there is a need to audibly and visually communicate when an emergency takes place.
With regulations around this topic growing, the technology is becoming a must in some cases. Given that integrators are familiar with the distribution of audio and video, and many of our current vendors sell these solutions, integrators should consider getting on this bandwagon.
—Digital Content Services: Our industry has talked about digital signage as an opportunity for quite a while, but many companies have failed to capitalize on it. One of the biggest reasons why: Integrators were qualified to sell and install the signage hardware, but few have embraced the importance of the content that must come with it.
The few integrators that have gotten behind this have been very successful. Not only is it recurring revenue, but it also adds to your strategic importance: You’re now involved in your client’s operations. There are several partnering options out there for integrators that are interested in offering this but lack the resources to do so.
From services to technologies, there are many places integrators could look to expand offerings. The items I outlined are just a few that immediately came to mind when I was considering ways for integrators to attach more revenue without drastically changing their businesses.
Where do these items fit into your current and future deliverables? Is your business driving revenue from any of these sources? In what other areas are you finding opportunities that weren’t thought of before? NSCA would love to hear how and where you are extending your business to grow and meet your customers’ needs.