Integrated Sales Inc.
Integrated Sales provides solutions to customers, representing manufacturers throughout Iowa and Nebraska.
By Stephanie Crets
Founded in 2008, Integrated Sales Inc. is a manufacturer’s representative providing sales and marketing services for manufacturers that produce lighting, lighting control, shading and electrical solutions for residential, commercial and industrial markets. The company works throughout the Iowa and Nebraska area, representing manufacturers and partnering with distributors, dealers, specifiers and contractors.
“We are involved in everything from the original planning and design all the way down to the end-user, including commercial facilities and residential customers,” President Jarret Golwitzer says. “We try to show, tell and sell our products so we can make sure our clients feel comfortable with the solutions.”
Integrated Sales says it represents manufacturers from the technical side of things, rather than purely focusing on pushing volume. It provides resources and services and offers products from a solutions and systems-based approach. Some of its core competencies include project management, design/build assistance, education and training and budgeting assistance.
“We are there from start to finish,” Marketing Director Brenda Golwitzer says. “We work with all these different disciplines from design to execution using an integrated team approach. Being customer service-oriented, we want to make sure we don’t just sell them a product but also a solution to make sure it’s exactly what they need.”
Knowing all facets of the products it sells is an essential part of Integrated Sales’ business model. The company works with its clients to help them understand the functionality and performance of the solution it recommends rather than just focusing on the price point. “If a customer doesn’t fully understand what a product can do for them or their client, they may be accepting a price for a bill of material that doesn’t provide what they desire,” Jarret explains.
“People think that technology is difficult sometimes, but really, we can make it pretty simple for the customer,” Brenda adds. “Yes, a lot can go into the backend build before it gets to the end-user, but we try to help them understand that it doesn’t have to be a difficult user interface.”
Like its name, Integrated Sales wants to keep everyone in the loop, from educating clients on how to make the most out of their current systems to promoting the latest and greatest products to customers. Integrated Sales does this through a CRM system it implemented at the onset of the company and through phone calls, face-to-face meetings and product- and solution-focused newsletters that go out to distributors, dealers, specifiers and targeted end-users. “That’s one of the hallmarks of the company; we are very customer service-oriented and want to make sure everyone is in the loop,” Brenda says.
Integrated Sales started as a small operation with just a few people working out of their homes and traveling throughout Iowa and Nebraska. Jarret was part of the electrical industry already, so he put the company together thanks to a lighting controls company called Lutron Electronics that needed representation in those states. Both Golwitzers credit Lutron for encouraging them to form the business and helping the new, start-up company meet their goals during the downturn of the economy in 2008.
Now, the company has grown to 12 employees, including the Golwitzers, with no intentions of growing out of its Iowa and Nebraska territories. It gives its sales representatives much latitude as managers of their specific territories. “At the end of the day, Brenda and I are here to tie all the territories together and assist where necessary,” Jarret says. “I tell our people they’re less about sales and more about managing, educating and marketing because of how we style our agency.”
Integrated Sales’ representatives go out to the customers and demonstrate how to use the products. They’re not only salespeople, but also teachers with a vast resource of knowledge as an arm of the manufacturers. “We want to be that phone call when someone isn’t sure how to do something,” Jarret says. “Our people need to be getting the first phone call. Customers find it to be the only call they need to make.”
The small, family oriented company fosters a supportive culture. “Brenda and I are married, so our people are an extension of our family,” Jarret says. “We’re trying to build something long lasting and you can’t do that when people feel like it’s a job. It needs be friendly and supportive.”
Integrated Sales gives its people the opportunity to lead their markets and territories. “When they need assistance, we’re here to do that,” Brenda says. “Everyone has specialties and each calls on the others for support and to help grow their territories. Internally, we make available our company financials so that each employee can make an impact on the shared profitability of the company.”
The Golwitzers are proud that, including their own, 11 families are better off today than when the company was founded. And they’re proud that the company survived, despite starting when the economy was at its lowest point. “Starting an agency these days is a rarity,” Jarret notes. “Not many pop up from the ground up. But we were able to pull together the talent and foster the career camaraderie.”
“Our goal is to provide customer service they can’t get elsewhere,” Brenda adds. “We always hear good things about our employees, how helpful they are and how they make our customers’ lives easier. That keeps us top of mind with all the various groups of people we service. We have good people in place and they know what they have to do for our clients and do it.“