Why Lenbrook America Realigned Sales Force
Dean Miller, president and CEO, says new sales structure using factory-direct sales will help NAD and PSB support new product lines.
Approximately 18 months ago, under its previous administration, Lenbrook America downsized its dealer network and now is taking it a step further. Soon after his appointment, Miller terminated 15 of the company’s 17 manufacturer’s representatives, which quickly became a source of public criticism by the newly terminated reps.
Miller says before he made the decision to terminate the reps, he took a step back to view the company as an outsider. “It helps [when running a company] to act as a consultant,” he explains, adding that Lenbrook has had 15 years of relatively flat sales, which he calls “unsustainable in a world with increasing costs ... Lenbrook needed a change.”
Under the new structure, the NAD and PSB products will be sold by a motivated direct-sales team that consists of four factory-direct regional sales people plus the two retained rep firms. Miller believes this structure is the best way to grow Lenbrook’s revenues, noting that rep firms today are often being forced to carry too many lines, which divides their attention.
Increased Dealer Support
Miller made similar moves in the past during his tenures at Bang & Olufsen and AudioQuest. In both cases, the companies’ switch to a direct sales force increased sales dramatically, according to Miller.
“I’m really excited about it [the future], communication is already better,” he says. “Where we’re at now, and the direction we are heading, I feel this is the best way to go.”
Miller says he would like to grow the dealer base for NAD and PSB, along with growing the company’s revenue, through the brands’ existing dealers. The company also aims to differentiate itself with increased dealer support in the areas of education/technical training, warranty, margin and product availability, along with an equivalent or better-performing product.
According to Miller, the improved dealer support is vital in this sluggish economy in which the only way many manufacturers are growing is by “stealing other people’s cheese.”
Beyond the newly aligned sales force and dealer networks, Miller says Lenbrook’s future also includes the introduction of several new products and other initiatives that he believes will position the company to allow its long-time and new dealers to capitalize on the new trends that have emerged in the consumer A/V industry. More details on those product initiatives will be forthcoming.
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Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at email@example.com
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