How to use the skills and expertise of your funding source to help train your sales people and elevate their productivity.
There are many symbiotic relationships in business, but an excellent example of one is that which exists between an equipment vendor and its finance company. The vendor sells equipment to customers who must often finance it to acquire it. The finance company in turn provides the financing that enables the transactions to happen. The equipment vendor profits from the sale of the equipment, and the finance company profits by deploying its capital.
If the relationship goes no further than this, it still benefits both parties. The equipment vendor can close transactions that might otherwise be difficult, if not impossible to close. The finance company can take advantage of a steady stream of new financing opportunities as the equipment vendor’s sales force continuously prospects for leads and initiates new transactions. It’s the proverbial “win-win” situation, an excellent example of a symbiotic relationship.
What many equipment vendors often don’t realize however is that the relationship with their finance company can and should be much more than that. A finance company should do a lot more than simply finance transactions when they are presented. In fact, the finance company should not only help to find those transactions but it should help to close them as well. The fact is that a successful finance company has, almost by definition, developed an extensive internal marketing and sales capability that can greatly benefit an equipment vendor who taps into it.
From a marketing perspective, your finance company will frequently offer financing promotions that can be used as an incentive to attract new prospects for the vendor’s sales force, or to reestablish sales relationships that may have been lost over time. Depending on the finance company and how much volume an equipment vendor is sending to it, there might be other ways to find new customers as well.
Certain finance companies will help high volume equipment vendors to implement marketing campaigns that include co-branded or even private label collateral, with the finance company doing most if not all of the creative work. These campaigns can become quite effective, particularly after a working relationship has been established, enabling the finance company to hone the messages it uses to promote the vendor’s business. In this scenario, the key to success is to work with a finance company with a capable marketing department with sufficient resources to develop effective campaigns.
Finance companies can also be tremendously valuable to an equipment vendor at the point of sale by showing the equipment vendor’s sales team how to use cutting edge financial products as a closing tool. Many successful equipment vendors have come to realize that equipment leasing is no longer simply a means of acquiring equipment. Properly positioned and deployed, leasing can become a powerful strategic advantage for an equipment vendor who understands how to use it. This is where the expertise of the finance company comes into play.
Based on the experience gained funding many different transactions for vendors in wide range of industries, many finance companies understand precisely how a vendor should introduce the topic of leasing during a sales cycle. Furthermore, and most importantly, since the finance company wants to see the vendor close as many transactions as possible, they will typically share this information in a number of productive ways.
A finance company might simply offer informal advice on closing a specific transaction, relayed from account rep to a sales person. Some finance companies offer documentation on how best to leverage leasing as a sales tool. Other finance companies will go so far as to offer formal training programs for an equipment vendor’s sales force, typically conducted by a seasoned financial sales executive, on the finer points of leveraging lease financing to sell more equipment.
However it is made available, the expertise of an equipment finance company when it comes to selling equipment is invaluable. Equipment vendors in every industry can derive tremendous value by tapping into it.