Stampede president and COO Kevin Kelly welcomed more than 125 representatives from 65 of its manufacturer partners this week to an expanded 2015 Stampede Vendor Summit in Buffalo, N.Y.
The three-day summit, which ran Oct. 4-7 at the Marriott Niagara Falls Hotel, consisted of exhibits, one-on-one sales meetings, training sessions, and two full days of presentations that included three keynotes from Futurists and industry experts. It also had the first-ever, industrywide panel on Drone Video Systems with manufacturers, end-users, market and legal analysts, and educators.
“The only way to succeed in this new era of pro A/V sales is to work with a distributor that maintains a 100 percent laser focus on the pro A/V market and all of the many richly varied opportunities it now presents to dealers, manufacturers, and, most importantly, the end-user customers in all of the vertical markets we serve,” said Kelly in his opening keynote presentation.
“Stampede does not sell appliances. Stampede does not sell PCs. Stampede does not sell motherboards. Stampede sells incredibly well thought out, integrated pro A/V solutions that meet highly customized individual customer needs. You can’t succeed in doing this year after year unless you are 100 percent focused on the industry and the channels the industry serves.”
Stampede executive team, left to right: Mark Wilkins (founder/CEO), Beth Clune (marketing VP), Kevin Kelly (president/COO), and Jeff Willis (product management & marketing senior VP)
And the result of this focus for 2015 speaks for itself, Kelly stressed. “Stampede is having a record year in sales this year and, more importantly, a record year in sales in virtually every major product category. We are enabling our dealers to capitalize on every available business opportunity. This is what a high value added distributor can do for its retail partners and it’s something that a mass market focused distributor will never do.”
Kelly added that Stampede has been able to deliver these results at a time when the B-to-B selling process is becoming more like the B-to-C marketplace. “The pro A/V buying process is becoming less linear with buyers conducting far more research online prior to their involvement with a sales professional. As a result, our strike zone to make a sale happen is shortening and our window to drive the spec of a sale is changing. The bottom line in all of this is that we have to enhance collaboration to respond faster than ever before to influence the purchase decision.”
Stampede said it’s responding to this challenge by making the investments necessary to enrich the customer experience. These investments include adding to its field sales management team; opening new offices in the Mid-Atlantic region and Montreal, Calif.; and increasing its team of vertical market specialists. The company is also going to continue its aggressive move into new product categories, such as drone video systems.
“DVS offers unprecedented revenue opportunities for end-users in specific vertical markets,” Kelly explained. “However, these new categories are not a replacement for traditional pro A/V solutions. They are in fact new categories that will drive sales in all traditional product categories.”
Drone Panel, left to right: Gene Payson (president, Troy Built Models), Greg Frasca (president, SkyWeb Media), Vincent Cowie (president/CEO, G2 Digital Solutions), Ted Ellet (partner, Hogan Lovells), Josh Rowe (market research sssociate, Cleveland Research)