APX ramps up non-door-to-door sales efforts

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

PROVO, Utah—APX Alarm wants to increase the number of accounts it generates through inside sales this year and it’s taken several steps to help achieve that goal.

APX has contracted with a call center in Wisconsin to both sell accounts and “generate interest and leads that can be turned over to our inbound group,” said Josh Houser, APX Alarm VP of service and inside sales.

APX has also increased its Internet advertising and,  “We’ve just gotten into the mailer business,” he said. APX will implement other initiatives to grow the inside sales business over the course of 2010, Houser said. 

The inside sales group is in place at APX’s new headquarters here. “We’ve got ourselves set up so we can handle inbound campaigns and the operation is scalable,” Houser emphasized.

“The inside sales program really kicked off in 2006,” said Houser. That year the group sold 2,000 accounts through its inside sales group. That number grew to 14,000 accounts in 2009. 

Inside sales currently account for more than 12 percent of APX’s total account generation “We believe we’ll do at least 18,000 accounts through our [inside] program this year,” said Houser.

Approximately 15 percent of inside sales accounts are installed the same day that they’re sold; the average installation time is 2.8 days. Houser expects the percentage of same-day installs to increase as well.

APX is the largest summer-model company and among the 10 largest alarm companies in the country. In 2009, it sold roughly 150,000 accounts.

Houser said APX has been closely watching its inside sales numbers since the beginning of the year when it began installing a new alarm panel, 2GIG Technologies’ GO!Control panel. In addition to changing products, it raised its monthly monitoring fees. “We used to get $39.99 or $44.99 a month depending on whether they had cell or not. With 2GIG, our very bottom is $44.99. You’d think that might be scary for new customers but the new product [which at this time of year is sold almost exclusively through inside sales] hasn’t caused our sales to grow or shrink.”

“The other day, we had a customer who was so excited about the new panel, he was taking pictures of the installer putting it in,” Houser said.