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Survival of the fittest: 5 ways to survive (and thrive) during SLED buying season

March 04, 2018

Survival of the fittest: 5 ways to survive (and thrive) during SLED buying season

Learn how Ingram Micro can help you overcome your biggest buying season hurdles

The busy SLED buying season may be right around the corner, but for most partners, it’s preceded by an equally hectic timeframe—the “bidding” season—which is in full swing now.

You know how it works: From February to April, you’re inundated with RFPs, E-rate forms, a never-ending task list and doing all you can to lock in as much SLED business as you can. It often means an extra-heavy workload, as you’re defining technical solutions, checking product availability and securing great pricing—all while nurturing relationships with schools, districts and libraries, and trying to set yourself apart from competitors who are bidding on the very same work. It’s a short window of time, and every second counts.

If you’re an Ingram Micro SLED reseller, however, there’s hope in sight. Here are 5 ways we can help you sail through the busiest time of the year with plenty of projects in your pipeline, and your sanity intact.

Challenge: Saying no to new SLED opportunities because you’re too busy

Solution: If you’re a smaller SLED partner—or simply juggling too many projects at once—you no longer need to pass up new opportunities just because your team is stretched thin. Ingram Micro’s professional services team can expand your technical resources by assessing, designing, deploying, managing, training and disposing of customer solutions on your behalf. Or you can take advantage of Ingram Micro Link, which can fill gaps on your team by providing temporary technical engineers, installers and support staff, without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees. Think of it like your “on-demand” staff, ready to step in whenever needed.

Challenge: Too few technical engineers to address last-minute work

Solution: By the time SLED buying season rolls around, most partners’ dedicated engineering resources are already committed to major projects. If an immediate project presents, there’s simply no engineering bandwidth to respond. But with Ingram Micro’s Technical Support resources, you’ve got immediate access to pre-sales tech support, field-deployable tech support and post-sales support—all the engineering strength you need to capture even unplanned projects.

Challenge: Funding SLED opportunities, while managing and protecting your day-to-day cash flow

Solution: Ingram Micro offers a number of credit and finance options that can help, including one called the NOWaccount. With it, even when your SLED customers require an invoice, you’ll get paid immediately in a way that feels like taking a credit card. For each invoice, you can choose from three different payment options, which eliminates the hassle of accounts receivable, improves cash forecasting and lets you know exactly when you’ll be paid.

Challenge: Managing product stock availability and ship dates

Solution:  During the busy SLED buying season, stock availability and ship dates are critical pieces of information that must be managed carefully. Incorrect dates can delay installation, ultimately affecting an entire chain of deployment—during a time when little leeway exists. Fortunately, the Ingram Micro website always reflects product stock availability in real time. And you can share project timelines with your Ingram Micro sales representative, who can communicate directly with vendor partners to help ensure critical ship dates are met. 

Challenge: Winning bids with excellent pricing

Solution: Securing SLED projects comes down to two things—providing the right solution and offering the most competitive price. Ingram Micro can help on both counts. Our pre-sales technical support team can help you build out the full bill of materials (usually with several options that match the end user’s criteria). Next, you can connect with your sales representative and market development team to learn about any discounts and promotions that just may help you present the lowest price—and beat the competition.