As Buyers Now Prefer Digital Transactions, A Financing - First Approach Will Boost Sales
This is an exciting time to be working in B2B equipment sales. The pandemic years have accelerated buyers’ comfort with and preference for a more digital, e-commerce-based sales experience that more closely mirrors the smooth user experience that has come to dominate B2C sales.
One very telling statistic demonstrating how far B2B e-commerce has come can be found in the research of consultancy McKinsey & Company, whose B2B Pulse survey found that 71% of B2B buyers would spend more than $50,000 in single transaction in a remote or hybrid sales model, and 27% would spend $500,000 or more.
As the size of B2B digital sales tickets grows, successful sales teams will find seamless ways to connect customers with the essential ingredient behind the vast majority of big-ticket B2B sales: financing.
At APPROVE, we have observed for years that financing often takes a backseat in even the most traditional B2B sales processes. This is unfortunate, given that data from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association shows that nearly 8 in 10 U.S. companies use some form of financing when acquiring equipment.
As B2B sales increasingly migrate from in-person to digital channels, there is tremendous opportunity to improve sales performance by embedding financing options and estimates as early as possible in the sales process.
Giving customers financing information, such as estimated monthly payments, earlier in the sales journey has many benefits:
- Proactively presenting monthly financing costs can give you a competitive advantage over sellers who only quote the full purchase price of an expensive piece of equipment. Reminding customers they can acquire equipment without a large cash outlay can often be the determining factor for the customer to move forward with the equipment acquisition.
- Seeing the monthly cost can help customers better understand their buying power—leading to larger average tickets and presenting new opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.
- Making the financing process easier for your customer breeds loyalty and can help move deals along faster.
Advancements in fintech have made it easier than ever to connect your customers with financing. But not all solutions are created equal. When seeking a financing partner, it’s important to look for:
- User-friendly software that will integrate easily into your existing website and ecommerce setup.
- The ability to let your customers apply for financing without leaving your website, or without passing them to a third party.
- An application process that moves quickly without burdening your customer with an onslaught of phone calls from lenders.
- Digital tools that enable you to track the status of applications and move deals along seamlessly.
- Access to a variety of lenders who can serve the various customer categories in your market.
The points above aren’t just platitudes—they are real-world lessons we’ve learned through our work with B2B equipment sellers on the APPROVE Financing platform. And we want to use them to help all B2B equipment sellers grow their sales.
APPROVE’s SaaS solution allows equipment sellers to give their customers access to a curated network of lenders, with tech-based tools that make it easy to display monthly financing costs and allow for a fast and easy application process.
While we are tech-driven, we are people-powered, and have learned that applying some human expertise to these tech-enabled deals improves conversion rates for the customers we work with. We set up our Financing Operations department specifically for this purpose.
We’ve also learned that the best tools are easy to use. For that reason, we are constantly building tools that make it as easy as possible for equipment sales teams to increase their sales by sharing financing information early in the sales process—and at every point of influence along the buyer’s journey. Our APPROVE on the Move mobile app and equipment finance application builder are two good examples.
To boost sales and stay competitive in the evolving B2B equipment sales landscape, take one step today to move financing higher up in your sales process. Help your customers understand how their monthly equipment investment can be instantly profitable when the equipment is generating substantial revenue.
To learn more about how APPROVE can help your sales team, set up a meeting with us.