Finance Bundling For Hardware And Software – Making It A Plus

Mitch Williams.

 

 

Getting potential customers over the line when selling bundled software and hardware solutions can be a time consuming challenge even for the most seasoned salesperson, in the IT & T Reseller game. Buyers’ expectations these days are much higher and their patience for inefficient deals and processes will quickly scuttle a good opportunity.

Financing can be a real barrier to closing a hardware and software deal fast. Everything from large upfront costs to antiquated paper-based application processes can sew doubt in the buyer’s mind and make the deal much harder to close. The good news is that, today, the shift toward subscription pricing models and automated application processes means packaging up financing can actually help close deals.

 

New payment plans are an opportunity to reset customer relationships

As always, the most opportunity lies with existing customers. They already like you and know you. So why upset the status quo if they seem happy enough on that perpetual licence agreement you sold them a few years back? A few things to consider in response to this mindset are that it’s more than likely they are learning more and more about the benefits of SaaS and subscription plans. It can be very appealing to gain more flexibility in their IT infrastructure and to move capital expenses to operating expenses. So they may be feeling somewhat “trapped” in your perpetual licence. If they assume you aren’t offering these options – you may not find out they are making the shift until it’s too late.

 

You don’t necessarily need to wait until their current licensing arrangements are up. You may be surprised by just how willing they are to shift to a new plan – particularly if you revitalise the offering and give them access to new services or products. It’s important to innovate the offer so they don’t just see it as a pricing change.

 

Automated application processes are a “must have”

Customers prefer to avoid paper-based, complicated finance application processes that require them to fill in the same information multiple times or take weeks to approve. This is just no longer acceptable. Businesses today expect the application process to be easy, fast, uncomplicated and efficient. No one has the patience for long approval waiting times anymore.

 

In choosing a finance partner – the customer application experience is as important as the financing terms and model. Multipli spends time and resources continually improving the process for clients. An application process should keep sales moving quickly with seamless and ‘straight-through’ creating and processing of customer payment plans. It must integrate online sales order processes with finance approvals and payment systems. The aim is for customers to receive close to instant notification of approvals. This is the industry standard today. If you’re current finance provider is unable to deliver this level of automation – we would suggest it’s time to make a change! Why make the sales process any harder than it needs to be!

 

Offer your clients what they want

Newer financing models and tech driven application processes mean the sellers of hardware and software bundles can create distinct subscription offerings for different customers. It’s much easier to differentiate offerings through different software and hardware bundles, pricing architecture, customer-success services and contract term flexibility.

 

It’s inevitable your customers will do the math on a subscription’s total cost over a given period and they may baulk at the total cost. However, if you can showcase and then deliver real value to the business, churn should remain low and customers will gladly keep paying – often beyond the life of the original contract.  So while it might seem easier for them to cancel subscription agreements – you may well end up increasing overall customer lifetime value.

 

You focus on the sale – we protect your cashflow

Offering customers a range of payment options is great for the sales process but can be tough on a business’s cashflow and revenue. Or it used to be. With Multipli’s subscription pre-payment funding, you can still get the value of the contract up front – regardless of the terms agreed with the customer. So don’t let complicated and slow financing get in the way of your hardware and software sales. Talk to us about how you can build flexible and easy financing options into the sales process – so you can focus on making more great deals.