By: Lisa Rollison on February 17th, 2021
How the Buyer Behavior Transformation is Good for Technology Solution Providers
A Guide for Technology Providers to Adapt to Clients’ Consumption Behavior
In the 1800s, food shopping was an arduous affair. Need meat? Head to the butcher. Vegetables? Stop by the greengrocers. Bread, milk, fish, and flour? Count on stops at the bakery, dairy shop, fishmonger and dry grocer, too.
In the first half of the 20th Century, entrepreneurs moved away from counter-service specialty shops to one-stop, self-service grocery stores. The result? On average, Americans now grocery shop 1.6 times a week for an average of 43 minutes each trip, a significant reduction in time and overall effort. Interestingly, while we're spending less time shopping, we're definitely buying more - statistics suggest that 20% of what shoppers buy at the grocery store is bought on impulse.
The ability to get everything in one place is an attractive model for busy consumers, and gave rise to the megastores of the present. Who would have thought that the day would come where one could get a lawnmower, jewelry, pajamas, eggs, television, dog food, prescription medication, and an oil change all under one roof? It was a win/win for all parties - if consumers didn't HAVE to go anywhere else, then they WEREN'T going anywhere else.
What Do Your Customers Expect Now?
Consumers expect convenience. It's the reason they engage with MSPs, because they want a one-stop shop for all their IT needs. Helpdesk, NOC, backup, storage, vendor management - your customers love the convenience of dialing one number for anything IT-related. When your clients need new equipment, they rely on your expertise to curate a solution that is typically made up of hardware and software from several different manufacturers. You take care of all aspects of ordering, installing, and managing their networks.
So, why leave clients to figure out how to pay for technology on their own?
Companies of all sizes finance. From tech giants like Microsoft and Apple to the mom-and-pop dry cleaner down the street, wealthy and cash-strapped alike. In fact, 78 cents of every dollar spent on technology in 2018 was financed in some way - to the tune of $1.17T!
There are many reasons customers finance. Often, it's a strategic move that allows companies the ability to invest precious working capital into activities that earn a return - inventory, hiring, advertising, etc. Others may be looking for tax breaks or simply a predictable monthly budget.
Whatever the motivation, the bottom line is that your customers are financing in some way, and if they're not doing it through you, they're going somewhere for it. Sometimes, this is accomplished by a bank loan or utilizing manufacturer financing.
Bank loans can take time to process and typically only finance hardware, leaving your customer to figure out a way to pay for soft costs associated with the project (install, migration, running cable). In addition to a potentially lengthy application and underwriting process, banks will often place a lien on the building, business, or other asset that can potentially impact your customer's ability to borrow/finance in the future.
Manufacturer financing, while typically taking less time to process than a bank loan, brings with it some things to consider. Carefully curated solutions often consist of equipment from several manufacturers, leading to difficulty in getting the entire project onto one finance agreement without changing the bill of materials. Another component to consider with manufacturer financing is the potential for that manufacturer to then begin marketing your customer directly for hardware and licensing. For MSPs, this can easily translate to significant revenue loss.
Bring a Monthly Payment to the Table – Here’s How!
Your customers rely on you for every aspect of their technology needs. Bringing a proactive monthly payment to the table can help your customers hold on to working capital, keep lines of credit open for revenue-generating activities, keep the competition at bay, and above all: position yourself as a strategic partner and one-stop shop for everything IT.
GreatAmerica makes it quick and easy to offer a monthly payment option through sales tools and integrations. If you aren’t familiar, learn more here.
Reach out to your GreatAmerica advisor today, or contact us here to take the first step toward aligning your business strategy with all your customers’ technology needs.
Lisa Rollison is a Business Development Manager for the Unified Communications and IT business unit at GreatAmerica Financial Services. She creates, develops and grows relationships with technology providers. Lisa joined GreatAmerica in 2017 after nearly 20 years in consumer sales and management. She enjoys baking, volunteering, and spending time with her husband and two young sons.