By: Lisa Rollison on May 15th, 2019
Why does GreatAmerica need to approve you, the Technology Provider, prior to transacting business?
Approval Process for Technology Solution Providers to Offer Financing
A common question MSPs and Solution Providers that are looking to work with GreatAmerica ask is: “My customer is looking for credit, so why does GreatAmerica need to approve my business?”
Understandably, it can be confusing when you receive our Solution Provider Information Request form. Don’t we just credit underwrite your customers? Why do we need to approve the Solution Provider? There are a number of reasons we need all that info! First, we want to make sure we are providing you the best financing options for you and your customers. Second, it is our first line of defense against fraudulent activity.
Building a Long-Term Relationship Built on Trust
GreatAmerica was founded on principles that lead us to operate a little differently from other finance companies. Our mission is to “help our customers achieve greater success”. We do that by delivering finance solutions that help Managed Service Providers, Unified Communications providers, System Integrators and other Technology Solution Providers stand out from their competitors. While other finance companies may look solely at the end-user as their customer, GreatAmerica focuses on helping you grow through a mutually-beneficial relationship.
Think about some of the trusted relationships with providers in your life – doctor, mechanic, contractor, lawyer, accountant, etc. You put your money, business, vehicle, home, and even health in their hands, trusting them to represent your best interests. Chances are you performed some research on your providers before taking them on to make sure that the quality of services they provide were in line with your needs, values, and expectations.
Since we view our relationship with you as not a referral provider, but a true collaboration we want to ensure we are working with somebody with similar values. We encourage you do to your research on us too to make sure we’re the best financing provider for you.
Why We Need the Information on a Solution Provider Information Request Form
The Solution Provider Information Request Form is part of our due diligence and onboarding process. Here are some of things we look at, and why:
Knowing how long you’ve been in business helps us understand how well-established you are in your industry, how mature your sales and support processes are likely to be, and if your business has been through cycles.
Knowing your year-over-year numbers helps us better understand how to help.
Revenue Split and Hardware Breakdown
Understanding where your revenue comes from helps us develop a finance offering that supports what you’re best at, while also identifying areas to increase profitability.
We work with organizations and peer groups within a variety of verticals, which means we have access to tools and resources that can help you in your target market.
Product Line Information
Letting us know what you sell helps us understand what we can expect to finance for your end-users. In addition, we have programs with several manufacturers and IT-focused companies that have programs designed to help you sell more and realize increased monthly recurring revenue or MRR.
Peer Groups and Industry Associations/Events
We want to be where our customers are! It’s important to us to understand the challenges MSPs face on a regular basis, and IT events are the perfect way for us to learn what tools you need and ways we can help you to be even more successful.
Using the Solution Provider Information to Build Custom Finance Programs
When GreatAmerica takes enters into a new relationship with a Solution Provider, we intend for it to be long term; not to ‘get a deal’ and move on. Each question provides clarity into each partner’s go-to-market strategy, specific products and services, and future growth plans. This insight helps us develop customized finance solutions that support your initiatives and long-term growth strategy.
The Not-So-Pretty Truth: The Risk of a Relationship
The other reason for the due diligence process is the risk associated with long-term relationships. When we begin working with you, we are both opening up ourselves to risk. For us, the largest point of protecting ourselves against fraud comes from selecting our business partners and the information request helps protect us from potential risk.
Similarly, you are opening up your customer base to us. We don’t share your customer’s information with your would-be competitors, but that may not be the case with every financing provider. Therefore, it is a risk worth evaluating and doing research into your potential partners first.
How the Solution Provider Information Request Benefits You and Us
The due diligence process GreatAmerica goes through with each potential customer – including the Solution Provider Information Request Form – is for two primary reasons. The first is to gain a better understanding of our partners’ business and programmatic needs so that we can be the best provider possible for you and to help you achieve greater success. The second is it also helps GreatAmerica to evaluate business risk and opportunities associated with potential customers.
I hope you understand now why GreatAmerica not only needs to approve your customers, but you as a partner first. If you have any more questions on the topic, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask us at ITinfo@greatamerica.com.
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.