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Sales momentum in a changing world….Rob Inchley, Business Development Manager, Siemens Financial Services, Commercial Finance UK

I have been reviewing the various pundits who started this year with their predictions for tech trends in the UK, to see which still seem relevant in the light of turbulent world events and recovering economies. My conclusion is that the predictions and trends noted at the beginning of the year are, if anything, even more relevant today.

Analysts were finding common ground about the rise of artificial intelligence, which is creeping into everyday applications such as call centre and customer service software rather than being the realms of rocket science. Cyber security remains a major investment area. And the continued move to cloud infrastructure is requiring substantial systems and software upgrades.

In other words, there are great opportunities for tech vendors to keep their sales momentum going on the back of these trends. However, from the client’s point of view, quite a few challenges to making those investments have arisen.

Interest rates are only going one way… UP! So on the buy-side, organisations are increasingly keen to lock into deals based on current rates and secure funding at competitive prices for the tech acquisitions that must be made to stay competitive. This is where smart, flexible financing helps deals to keep closing.

A reseller’s clients are also looking to fix the price of software licences for up
to 5 years. With many software vendors increasing pricing year on year, funding software through longer term subscription financing is a great way to give your clients business certainty by getting a deal at today’s rates. In fact, the whole movement to the cloud means that your clients want access to financing that spreads the cost of this investment over time.

Smart financing keeps the sales pipeline healthy in many other ways, to the benefit of you, the reseller, and your clients. Buyers want to preserve their capital for rapid reactions to changing markets, so they need alternative sources of finance for your solution. Having financing options at the point of sale is particularly compelling this year.

Even if the buyer has capital to commit, it may not be budgeted, and getting something onto the budget line inevitably takes time. Many of our reseller partners, rather than wait for budget availability are bringing forward the sale with a competitive finance solution and spreading the cost of investment.

As a Greek philosopher once said, “The only constant in life is change.”
How incredibly relevant is that quote today. For resellers, the customer’s
needs are constantly changing. For instance, home working and/or mobile working is challenging and changing the environment… and that change demands new technology and more security. Customers need to be able to have the right technology in place now and refresh it regularly – and smart finance options give the flexibility they need.

So where do you get this flexible finance? The answer is from a brand- neutral specialist. Most solutions you deliver to customers will involve many hardware and software brands. Unlike many other finance companies, here at Siemens Financial Services (SFS) we are not tied into any particular vendor – we finance all tech products. By working with a specialist like us as a partner, you can drive new business (whatever its component parts) into new and existing customers, improving margins, generating new sales and retaining customers for many refresh cycles.

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