By: GreatAmerica on April 27th, 2023
The Finance Process in 7 Steps: How to Offer Financing to My Customers
Updated 4/27/2023. Originally published 3/9/2020.
Solution providers who are new to extending a financing option to their customers often ask us questions like “how do I offer financing to my customers” and “what does the financing process entail”?
Today’s buyer is more thoughtful than ever when it comes to how they will pay for the solution you provide to them. In fact, now more than ever, customers expect a monthly payment option when it comes to acquiring the technology needed to run a modern, efficient business. Our financing programs can accommodate this preference while also setting them up favorably to upgrade their solutions as technology advances – all without having to battle the budgetary constraints of a cash purchase. So once your customer is ready to finance the solution, what can they expect? Read on!
Financing process at GreatAmericaFrom approving your customer for the dollar amount they plan to spend, to getting funded for the solution, we outline the full process below. The financing process is fairly simple, but for the purpose of providing a granular example with the nitty gritty details clearly laid out, today we’ll chunk it into seven main steps.
While we can simplify the process into a few steps, many times you want to know what happens during each step.
- Quote a monthly payment
- We review your customer’s credit and issue a decision
- Finalize the solution and request documentation
- The customer signs the lease or rental agreement
- Send us the documentation and invoice
- Order and install the equipment
- Get paid
WATCH: The Financing Process in 7 Steps
1. Quote a monthly payment
Many of our customers want a ballpark monthly payment for the solution they are considering for their customer. What is the best way to get that monthly payment? While we are happy to help you quote a deal, we also provide three solutions that enable you to get that monthly payment more quickly.
Your proposal tool or PSA
If you use a proposal tool, CRM, or PSA system that we’ve integrated with, you can easily quote and present a monthly payment for your customers. We’ve built connections with many industry relied upon software and systems that allow us to send our lease rate information to and from these tools, making factoring a monthly payment based on the desired term and total cost of the solution very simple. These integrations also automate the credit submission process as well, using information you already have in these systems to populate an application and send directly into the GreatAmerica credit processing queue. Those tools include Salesforce, ConnectWise (CPQ and PSA), and QuoteWerks, just to name a few. Check out our full list of integrations here: Technology Integrations to Simplify the Financing Process
Integrations definitely help automate quoting and credit application processes, but what if you are a rep in the field and want to offer financing to your customers?
Our SnappShot® mobile application is perfect for reps who are constantly on the road and need a solution for quoting monthly payments and submitting digital credit applications quickly from their mobile devices.
The last way you can quote a monthly payment and submit an application is via our customer portal, info-zone™. This tool provides a user-friendly interface where you can create save and access quotes from anywhere you have an internet connection. You can also use the online credit application provided in this portal to quickly and easily submit information needed for the next step, the credit review process.
2. Submit a credit application for decisioning
Once your customer has decided to move forward with a financing option, the first thing we need to do is gain an understanding of your customer’s financial health and their ability to repay their obligations. We do this by collecting the right information through the credit application process. We require only basic information to get the process started:
- Business Name
- Business Address
- Business Phone Number
- Technology Solution Being Considered
- Total Project Cost and/or Total Monthly Spend
You can certainly call or email your team to provide the necessary information for submission, but for the best turnaround time and maximum efficiency, we highly encourage you to use one of the digital credit application submission options mentioned above. Check out our Digital Credit Application webpage for more information on our digital credit application capabilities.
You deserve a quick credit decision, so we strive to get back to you within one hour. Of course, there may be instances where we need more information to make an informed decision. In these cases, we may need more time. Below we list an explanation of the possible outcomes of a credit decision:
1. Credit Decision: Yes
If the credit application is approved, you will receive an automated approval letter via email. You can now move on to the next step.
2. Credit Decision: Pending
A pending credit decision simply means we need more information to move forward. For example, if we are unable to verify the legal name of the business or its address, we will reach out to you requesting assistance with that information.
3. Credit Decision: No
In the instance we must turn down an opportunity you bring to us, we will personally let you know why it was declined with as much information as we can provide you. Finalize the Solution and Request Documentation
3. Finalize the solution and request documentation
During the proposal and negotiation phase with your client, you may change a few things about your technology solution. Once those adjustments are made, you can get updated estimates for the monthly payment.
If your solution is changing drastically, especially if the cost is significantly increasing, we may require an additional review of the initial credit approval, so be sure to communicate often.
Once the pricing and technology are finalized, you will send us the finalized equipment list and request the lease documentation. If you don’t anticipate many changes at the time of credit approval, and have an equipment list, we can provide you with the documentation then. You will receive one document, which is the lease or rental agreement, but we may also include other required documentation for the customer to sign, such as amendments.
4. Acquire customer signatures
A quick and efficient way to acquire signatures is to use Doc-Ease to collect digital signatures from the customer. With Doc-Ease, we can either send the documentation directly to your customer to sign digitally, or, if you prefer to handle this interaction, we can send the documentation to you. In this case, you would use the Doc-Ease delegate feature which allows you to assign a signature to your customer.
5. Send GreatAmerica the signed lease and your invoice
Once your customer signs the agreement, you should send it to GreatAmerica. If you chose the standard print and sign method, you would have to ensure the copy you scan to us is clear. We do not accept photos of the signed lease.
The other critical piece we need from you is an invoice so we can pay you. There are some specific things we require on the invoice to release funds to you, and we will walk you through those items on your first transaction with us.
6. Order and install the equipment
We rely on you to proactively communicate when you have your installation schedule and when installation is complete. As soon as you confirm installation is complete, we will reach out to your customer to verify all the details of the lease agreement, so they know what to expect during the process.
7. Standard Funding
By this point, you are getting close to getting paid.
Before we can deliver standard funding, there are a few steps you’ll take. The order you do these steps can vary:
- Order the equipment
- Install the solution
- Send GreatAmerica the signed lease and the invoice
- Notify GreatAmerica when the solution is installed
7. Get paid
Funds will be deposited directly into your company bank account via ACH, but alternatively you can opt to receive a check. Typically, the process of verification and funding happens on the same day.
What happens next?
Once you have your funds, we will invoice your customer. We encourage you to read about what your customers can expect when they lease their equipment. This explains what their invoice will look like, fees they can expect, and how they pay their bill.
The life cycle of your customer does not end there. We will do our part to maintain a positive relationship with your customer and here are some additional resources for you as the relationship with your customer matures.
GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and now has offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow.