B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 4 months ago

How to Option Your Financing within the SLED Vertical

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

As we continue to shift into a very dynamic economy, companies must focus on sale campaigns early to avoid budgetary challenges later on.  

One of the best ways to address this: Partnering early on so that they’re equipped with the right programs to deliver the desired outcomes the government needs.  

Melanie Delvalle speaks with Nick Ferrari , account executive at Key Government Finance , and Michelle Hoppock , financial solutions executive at Ingram Micro , about: 

  • The history of Key Government Finance 
  • Engaging early in the sales cycle
  • Where financing of technology in the public sector will go in the future 

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.

You're listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next. It's not about the destination, it's about going someplace you never thought possible. Go to imagine next DOT INGRAM MICRO DOT com to find out more. Let's get into it. Thank you for joining us here today for a B Two b tech talk podcast series. My name is Melanie Devil and I'm your host for today, joined with Nick Ferrari, account executive with key government finance, and Michelle happic, financial solutions executive. Thank you both for joining us here today. Thanks for having me now. Thanks for having us, Noll, thank you. Excited to be able to have you because we're here today to learn more about option you're financing within the sled vertical and learn more about why your industry experience and our partnership with key government find dancing can help our partners be successful. So, Nick, let's...

...take a few minutes and here a little bit about your background with key government finance. Thanks again, Mel for having me on the podcast today. My background in equipment finances over ten plus years within the industry and for the past seven years I've been specifically focused on the municipal finance space. My role here at key government finance is to work with vendors and their sales reps, specifically in the I t space, to help structure solutions that fit, uh, the customers needs to get the equipment that they need now, but within the budget that they have. That's impressive. Michelle, talk to me a little bit about your role and the why of public sector even if you want to elaborate for us a little bit. Is, you know, why we look to choose key as our partner in the space? Yeah, thanks for the question. So I'm part of our financial solutions team here at Ingram with over twenty years experience, you know, working with our partners to really helped them...

...grow their business by leveraging a variety of different financial programs and we have such an incredible opportunity in the public sector marketplace. At Ingram right now we have a dedicated focus and strategic growth initiatives to, you know, really help our partners with financial tools and resources. The relationship with key, it's a natural complement to our state and local initiatives and we really look forward to leveraging their knowledge related to unique sled requirements, along with their forty year history of developing strong financial programs. Appreciate that. Nick and Michelle, you both have very impressive backgrounds in the space. Nick, I'd love to hear a little bit more about who is key in their background in this industry. Well, you heard Michelle touched on it. With the forty plus years of experience in the equipment finance industry. We focus not only within government but clean energy, healthcare, uh, commercial vendor or space, even some bend channel. We have...

...over fifteen billion and assets on the books of last year alone we did over six billion in originations where the fifth largest affiliated equipment leasing company where the nation's fourth largest bank based equipment leasing company. So what's really what's really great about key government finance is that we are solely focused on the municipal space. From our credit underwriters to our legal team, to our contract folks and also to my colleagues like myself, all we do every single day is work with vendors on how to structure deals for municipal clients. So that's something that is really unique to key government finance. It's very impressive and I think that's really critical to being able to help our partners and that space, having those successful resources who know and understand how to talk the talk and structure the deals. So, you know, Nick, based on your background, sound in a little...

...bit of the background within key, you know, in their impressive history. I'd love to hear if you can maybe highlight a success story for us. You know, something where you were able to help a partner get to yes and structuring a deal. Now that that's great. You know, we have a lot of experience, especially with budget shortfalls, where customer only has a certain amount of budget within a year to use, but that's less than what their typical payment would be if we spread it out over three, four or five years. So what we're able to do is use that budget that they have in that particular year and have that be that their first payment and then in sub who could years step their payments up to make sure that they're able to get the full project completed now within the budget that they have. So that's one of the ways, like we like to say, we were able to pull deals forward, able to use the budget that the customer has to get them the equipment in the project that is highly essential to their apartments and...

...then allow them to, you know, have the structure and knowing of what future payments would be as well. And I think it's important to be able to look at those different unique financing structures, especially today as we go into a very dynamic economy and there's a lot of changes day to day, week to week. It's it's really fantastic to know the partners like he have those unique structures to help our partners be successful. So, Michelle, you've been in this industry, you know, for some time. Tell us why it's important to engage early in the sales cycle? You know, a great question. So you know, we really need our partners to bring us in early to be that strategic part of their sales campaign. And you know, typically public sector entities, by what you know, they can afford with their current budget cycle and we really want to make sure that they are equipped with the right programs to deliver the desired outcomes to government needs. Also, you know, budgetary problems and supply chain issues are another reason to bring us in on...

...their opportunities in the very beginning. So you know we can help them strategize and provide effective financing solutions to help the government overcome any obstacles they may be facing. Yeah, and I can only imagine the worst thing that a partner faces is getting that po in hand and then trying to figure out how they can structure different multi year payment options or even, you know, worst case, having to walk away from a deal. So, nick, maybe we'll be helpful to walk through with our listeners here today. What are some of the main offerings that key has in the sled and UNI space? Absolutely so, a bunch of the offerings that were able to present to the customer. We can do monthly payments, quarterly, semi annually, annual payments. We can step payments up based off of budget future budgets. So if they, as I said earlier, they don't have the funds or all the funds in this particular budget year, we could start with a low payment and bring it...

...to a higher payment. We also can offer up to six month deferral. So if it's something that they have no budget left in their current fiscal year, we could potentially offer a six month deferral to get them to their next budget cycle. So again pulling that deal forward to allow the customer to get the project that they so sorely need right now at it with fit, with fitting into their budget constraints. That's great and you know, Nick, when we think about it, we have partners who run the full scope of maybe there's somebody who has been in the sled space for a while or maybe there's people who are looking to break in and start that area of their business and offer financing options. So, as we start to enter the height of the buying season, what are some key things that our partner should listen for when they're talking to their customers? Now, one of the key things that your vendors want to listen for is when they say budget. What is their budget? What do they have? How are they think King of paying for this?...

You want to shift the focus from the total cost of the project to what payments they could fit within on the project. So how much could they afford within their fiscal year to make this project work? The key thing there is is vendors love to have that po in hand for just that project. Shifting the focus from the total cost to payments freese up that budget allows the customer to hopefully spend, you know, additional dollars throughout the year with the vendor on other projects allows that project to take those funds and apply it elsewhere as well. So it's a great benefit. If they hear a customer saying they just don't have the budget or they're cutting pieces out of the project because they don't have all the funds, when you bring up financing and shift the focus to payments, allows the customer to get the full project at a cost they can afford, and I think it also helps out partners show up more...

...strategically with their customers. Right they're able to blend in the conversation, not only being able to have payment options, but what can the technology do for the business? That could then equal cost savings and help them better manage their their budget as well. So you know, Nick, we've been in this industry for some time and one of the key things that's on a lot of our sales team's mind is how can they get paid more right. I think you've had some good successes where you've helped people be able to structure deals and get paid, but, you know, maybe talk to us a little bit about how it can help with closing the deal and what might be in it for the sales person on focusing on these different payment options. Now, as you know, compensation drives behavior and one of the great things that financing offers is, as I mentioned, it takes the focus off the total costs to a payment. So every time you're within talking with the customer, they're going...

...going to try and get to get you to lower your price as much as possible. So they're consistently chipping away at margin and profit. So the way that financing helps is instead of a project that might be they might try you whittle down from a million dollars to nine thousand, they're now looking at a payment of two hundred thousand over five years. Another way that we can help is a lot of times we see customers only getting one year of software or one year of maintenance. Well, if they're financing a project over five years, why not get the maintenance and software to go with that term? So it's a great way if someone's going to finance a project, you can up sell with maintenance and software to go along with the length of the finance terms. So those are two easy ways that a sales rep can not only protect margin but also upsell the customer and I think you brought up a really good point with, you know, being able to move for a one year agreement...

...to a three year agreement, because it also helps lock in pricing protection. You know, we're in a dynamic environment where things are constantly changing and being able to pull that one year into a three year can have some really great long term benefits for the client as well. So, Nick, I hear you have a good mantra. I heard that maybe you have a story that you want to tell us, a joke that was told to you early in your career. It's something that stuck with me. Very early on in my career. I had a manager say to me, Nick, if we all had to pay cash for our homes, we would all be living in smaller houses. As as kind of hokey as it sounds, it really rings true that if you had to pay cash for your home, you're probably going to be in a smaller house than you currently are. But if you're looking at your mortgage payment, you're able to for for the home that you're in. And that's what we want to do here is shift the focus from total acquisition...

...costs to what to a payment plan, and that's it. That's the way the customer can get the project that they need and at a price they can afford. I love it. And if you think about two you know, why would you invest in technology? And technology is a depreciating asset. Right, better to use that capital to be able to fuel your growth and not have to invest in something that's not going to earn you more, you know, over time, like in appreciating asset. So one of the things that we like to ask our guests is where do you see technology going over the next year? But I'd love it if we could focus a little bit more on this episode of where do you see financing of technology going in the public sector? Michelle, let's start it off with you. Yeah, great, so you know what, interest rates going higher. It really creates an opportunity to deliver, create a financing solution such as, you know, consumption based or as a service or option your financing. You these programs. They're all...

...about delivering outcomes rather than relying on a low cost of money for traditional financing. And Nick, what are your thoughts? So, kind of building off of what Michelle, with interest rates creeping up, we're able to lock in project costs and payment certainty. Now, if you're gonna wait for a year or two years to move forward on a project and the type of environment that we're in right now, that project could be anywhere between fifteen higher than you're looking at now. was able to leverage financing scrow agreements where we fund the complete costs of the project up front and we do takedowns throughout the life of the project. That provides certainty in an uncertain world. Thank you both. I think that's great insight and appreciate your knowledge and your expertise and helping our partners really be successful in the sled space, to offering financing options and really setting themselves apart from their competition. So, Michelle, where should customers go...

...if they want to learn more about what we discussed here today? Yeah, they can, you know, to have a more in depth conversation. They can email us at financial solutions at Ingram micro dot com or visit our imagine next site for additional information on all of our program offerings. Thank you so much and thank you both for joining us here today. Thanks Mall, thanks Nick. Thanks so much. You've been listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next B two B tech talk is a joint production with sweet fish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform.

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