Sonos Moving to 100% Direct Service Model, Investing Deep in CI Channel
"Grow with us," states the memo Sonos sent to dealers earlier this week. "We hope it’s clear that we do absolutely value this channel and we are continuing to invest to help you grow your business."
The bold statement comes as part of a bigger agreement from the premium speaker company to drop their existing independent rep program, effective June 1st, and move to a direct service model, complete with a "dedicated Custom Integrator channel management team.”
The industry can enjoy this change of pace as Sonos looks to play nice in the integration space, especially after addressing the fact that they weren't tuned in to the complaints after an otherwise clunky API release in September.
The silver lining is they (eventually) listened to the industry and I think their experiences will provide a lot of positive momentum for the new program.
As a final bit of incentive, Sonos is offering free shipping on orders over $3,000 and a formal demo program. While a bit vague, Sonos plans to detail both those programs in the near future.
Obviously, there is an air of positivity following this news, implying that Sonos has enough confidence to bring everything in-house and respects the community enough to follow through. While rep firms serve a pivotal role in any manufacturers lifeline, the move to an in-house program highlights the success of the 15-year-old company.
Below is the full letter:
Sonos Change to Service Model
Dear Sonos Dealer
In 2012, we introduced our first Regional Sales Specialist (RSS) to the channel. That was our first, dedicated Sonos employee for the Custom Integrator channel. Since then, we’ve grown that to a team strategically positioned across the US, with more on the way. With this team, we’ve been able to create and maintain more direct relationships with you and we’re now ready to pivot to a 100% direct service model.
As part of the continued evolution of our service model and Dealer Program, we have made the decision to bring all of our dealer relationships in-house, and have notified all of our Manufacturer Representative Firms across the US that effective June 1st, 2017, we will have moved to a direct service model.
First and foremost, we want to take a moment to publicly thank each and every one of our Manufacturer Representative Firms for their help in building Sonos in the vital and growing business that it is today. They allowed us to quickly grow our footprint in the US Custom Integrator channel and may have even been responsible for signing you up as a Sonos dealer. While no less disappointing to those impacted, we have tried to be as transparent as possible about our long-term vision to go direct, and are confident that making this tough decision now puts us in a better position to deliver great experiences for the channel and your customers for moving forward. We will forever be grateful to the individuals whose support and partnership over the years have helped get us to where we are today.
In addition to moving to this 100% direct service model, we’re excited to roll out some tangible enhancements to our Dealer Program that you will soon receive as a Sonos direct dealer. Effective June 1st, 2017, we will launch a Free Freight Program for all orders over $3,000. Additionally, we will also be launching a formal Demo Program, to make it easier to put Sonos in front of your clients. The details of both of those programs will be shared later this month. We’re also working on additional benefits that will reward you to grow with us.
We hope it’s clear that we do absolutely value this channel and we are continuing to invest to help you grow your business. From the Dealer Program enhancements mentioned above, to a new field team structure, to a dedicated Custom Integrator channel management team, to better communication, we want you to succeed and we’re going to do everything we can to help with that.
Please reach out to your Sonos Account Manager (formerly known as Regional Sales Specialist) with any questions.
Joern Taubert, US Country Lead
Zack Kramer, US Marketing Lead