If you’re an IT solution provider, the type of tech you are selling may differ depending on the customer's needs (devices, software, servers, etc.). However, there’s one question your customer will always ask themselves: "how am I going to pay for this?”
This question has a variety of answers. Your customer could use cash, credit card, bank credit line, or leasing. With all the potential areas of friction in the sales process, don’t let this question become an objection. In your tech sales stack/selling strategy, consider giving your customer multiple options on how they may invest in your technology, allowing you to problem-solve for them and enhance your solution.
What if you’re not a finance expert? How can you help? It starts with a conversation with your customer. Here are five tips about how to do that.
1. Ask your customer about their business priorities
Let’s say your customer needs to optimize and expand their operations. They want to buy the latest hardware and software from you to make that happen.
- What's your business goal with the technology?
- When and how do you expect to reach this goal?
- How many years do you plan to use the tech before upgrading to a newer version?
- How does your technology budgeting process work? Is this a capital or operational expenditure?
- What other technology investments will you need to make in the coming year(s)?
2. Find a finance partner and involve them early on
A good finance partner will answer you and your customer’s questions from initial pricing inquiry to contract terms. They could even help plan for the best options at the end of term.
For example, if your customer wants to lease their devices with a planned refresh strategy, a good financing partner could work out those details. This means you can focus on finding your customers the best tech solutions for their needs.
3. Look at your customer’s financials and make a case for how you can improve them
Oftentimes, technology purchases require substantial investment. Companies need to balance that investment with their other expenses and profit forecast.
Do your research. If your customer’s annual report is publicly available, read it — it could give insight into opportunities where you could help (i.e. where they could save money on tech spends, their upcoming business needs, and where you could provide your tech expertise).
Showing that you did your research and offering a personalized approach can put you ahead of competition.
In addition to doing your research, here are some questions you can ask to learn more about their financial flexibility:
- How do you plan to pay for this technology (i.e. loan? Upfront cash?)
- How soon do you want to generate return on investment?
- How will this purchase affect your balance sheet?
- Which financial results are you optimizing for in the following year?