Is Your IT & T Financing Model Up To Date?
Is your business overdue for a rethink on customer financing options? Evolving from IT supplier to trusted advisor comes with an expectation that you’ll aid customers into the purchase, once their buying decision is made. Read on to determine if your IT&T financing solutions are helping or hindering your sales process.
The only thing constant is change, and IT&T resellers are not immune to this reality. Over the past decade, digital transformation has driven down pricing for front-office equipment, given rise to cloud offerings that have reduced the appetite for on-premise back-end technologies and altered negotiations around maintenance and management contracts. IT decision makers are looking for intuitive self-service, self-provisioned options, and expect flexible IT&T financing solutions that will support a move from CapEx to OpEx models, driving a huge swing toward SaaS adoption.
SaaS growth means the traditional reliance on high-value contracts and one-time transactions is being replaced with monthly recurring revenues, placing real pressure on cashflow and margins for IT&T resellers. Savvy operators have mitigated these pressures by transcending their traditional role as suppliers to become trusted advisors relied upon to keep customers ahead of rapidly changing tech trends. This includes retooling IT&T financing models to ensure that customers are seamlessly supported into the final purchase.
What funding options do you offer your customers? This shortlist of questions will identify if it’s time to consider more innovative financing instruments.
“Forward thinking resellers are retooling their IT&T financing models to aid smooth, seamless transitions from customer buying decisions to final purchase.”
Is your customer different?
The first thing to do is take a step back and take a look at what differentiates your emerging customer base. The highly savvy millennial generation is now 45% of the workforce and are IT purchase decision makers. They expect funding options more aligned with the as-a-Service model and they place importance on their experience as buyers. Fast, easy approvals to seamless billing and flexible terms are proof points that your business is more customer-centric than the competitor.
If your current financing partner can not support seamless integration with your sales process and a high standard of on-going customer support, you could be missing a chance to differentiate yourself from the next sales team.
How easy is your application process?
Signing up a new customer needs to offer as few hurdles for them as possible. Delays in getting contracts in place, long waits or unanticipated hitches to finance approvals or other poor experiences in the post-decision stages can delay or even de-rail a deal.
Nailing the purchase at the moment of truth is essential. To achieve this you need seamless, ‘straight-through’ creation and processing of customer payment plans, while you are still in front of the buyer. When you can collect and upload customer information, then submit and receive funding approvals in no more than a few minutes, your opportunity to close leaves much less to chance.
By keeping the finance approvals and processes smooth and seamless, sales teams can maintain their focus on the relationship with the customer while the business receives up-to-the-minute dashboard data on approved IT&T financing, to maintain visibility over pipeline build and win.
Options, options, payment options – do you have any?
Sticker shock is a common barrier to the final purchase. Having a broad and flexible range of payment options is the best counter-strategy but IT&T resellers are often constrained by rigid vendor or bank finance terms, or can not support the cash flow pressures that come with tailored customer payment arrangements.
Multipli’s customer payment plans give customers access to a subscription type payment model while your business receives immediate contract value payment up front. This provides a range of advantage to your business, including:
- Saying yes to unique customer payment term requests, without placing pressure on your own cash flow.
- Offering interest free terms to your customers, for increased competitive advantage
- Reducing the heavy discounting that often follows pricing objections
- Quickly countering pricing objections keeps the customer focused on the benefits of getting the technical solution in place for the business.
Does your financing package up?
If your deal has a number of components, it helps if your financing instrument can package them all up, for a smooth close and final purchase. The more paperwork involved, the greater the potential for unanticipated objections to come up.
One contract, one payment plan for a range of services takes the focus off haggling over individual line items, and places emphasis on the overall strategy and service you offer as their trusted advisor. This will also prove valuable when it comes time to recommend upgrades, additional licenses or services over time.
Innovative financing solutions for forward thinking IT&T resellers
The rapid transformation from on-premise, perpetual licencing and large one-off CapEx deals is only just beginning. As the market continues to mature in its use of and appetite for as-a-Service models, IT&T resellers will have to ensure they can secure the purchase, not just the sale. If you don’t have existing finance options or your current arrangements are too rigid to really provide true customer-centricity, it’s time to Multipli your business so you can meet changing expectations head on, and close more deals, faster and more often.
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