Addressing client’s financial problems in the COVID economy requires thoughtful solutions.
Many customers are simply hesitant to buy. Those businesses that can proactively offer payment options for the tech they sell are the partners who will get their customers to “yes” sooner.
In this episode of B2B Tech Talk, Keri Roberts interviews Aaron Lehman
, a business development executive at Ingram Micro Flexible Payment Solutions (IMFPS)
, and Bill Tracy
, the VP of Technology Solutions at Structured
. Together they explore how IMFPS offers payment options for the solutions partners sell to customers.
They also discuss:
- How Structured partners with Ingram Micro
- How Ingram Micro tailors financing solutions to individual businesses
- How IMFPS removes common objections that slow down sales
- What financing conversations look like with the IMFPS team
- Where tech is headed
Bill, I’d love for you to start us off and tell us more about your company Structured and your partnership with Ingram Micro.
Structured is a nationwide hybrid cloud solution provider that delivers best-in-class security cloud and digital infrastructure solutions. We’ve built a great partnership with Ingram Micro Flexible Payment Solutions (IMFPS) to help our clients maximize cash flow and take advantage of deferred payments to meet fiscal year budgets in challenging economic times.
Aaron, financing solutions are key for finding solutions for businesses. Can you share with us how Ingram Micro helps figure out the needs of each business and how it helped Bill’s business?
Our goal is to help our reseller partners like Structured offer payment options for the solutions they sell to customers. We take the time to understand the needs and long-term goals of our reseller partners: their go-to-market strategy, their sales process, etc. By understanding their goals we're able to customize finance programs and build components into those programs that enhance cash flow, help partners grow recurring revenue and more.
Bill, why did you work with Ingram Micro’s financing solutions?
The reason we chose to work with IMFPS is because of the flexibility. They helped us offer unique, flexible financial solutions to clients. Through that partnership, we did more financing in 2020 for our clients than we did in the last five years combined.
There’s a saying that time kills all deals. What does that mean and how does it fit into obtaining a sale?
Any time there are delays in the sales process it opens up the opportunity for the deal to die. I believe payment options through our team make it easier for customers to say yes to a technology solution. It removes a lot of those common objections that ultimately slow down a sale.
By offering financing, deferred payment, extended terms, etc., we’re able to save the client money. We’re delivering value to the client and to the executive suite, and able to help satisfy the requirements of our vendor partners as well.
When a customer is struggling financially, what does the conversation look like from the business point of view so that it creates a win-win for everyone and makes the customer feel more at ease?
This year a lot of customers had to transform their environments to enable more secure work from home and to enable new collaboration solutions for their businesses; those things required capital investments. With IMFPS we’ve really been able to bridge the gap between tech, finance and the C-suite within our client environments.
A lot of business owners prefer to leverage a team like IMFPS because they understand that while technology is the lifeblood of their organization, at the end of the day it’s still a depreciating asset. So rather than writing a check today for a tech solution, smart business owners will hold onto that working capital and reinvest it back into their businesses.
When you think of technology as a whole, where do you see it going within the next year?
In 2020 we saw major workplace transformations, and we’re expecting that trend to explode this year as companies re-examine their office footprint and how they want to continue secure work from home. We also saw a lot of cloud adoption as customers began taking cloud security seriously. The key trend we see is that our clients are really looking to consume these technologies as a service.
There are a lot of large, recognizable companies out there selling their services as a monthly subscription, which has changed the ways our buyers want to do business. I truly believe the solution providers who build a payment strategy into their sales motion and proactively offer payment options for the tech they sell are the partners that are going to win for many years to come.