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Selling in a hybrid environment

By Kathryn Vassilissin, Vendor Finance, SFS UK

Isn’t it extraordinary how much the world of office technology has changed in the last two years? And it looks set to keep doing so across 2022. We have spent two years in the office… not in the office… back in the office again, the jury is still out on where the eventual balance will land.

Clearly, the future is hybrid when it comes to the world of work. One recently published survey neatly sums up the way the world is going. It tells us that:–

  • 76% of respondents confirmed that their companies shifted to a hybrid working model
  • 63% of respondents claim that their companies have not made any significant changes to their workplaces to adapt it to this new way of working
  • 46% of respondents revealed that there are no restrictions on coming and going to the office at this time
  • Employees are mostly required to come to the office 3-4 days a week
  • 26% of employees said they missed meeting their teams face-to-face when asked about why they like going to the office.

It’s a time of great change – and that (in my experience) should mean a time of great opportunity. Didn’t the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu – who famously wrote The Art of War – say “Victory comes from seeking opportunities in problems.”

In other words, there are great opportunities for document technology vendors to keep their sales momentum going on the back of these trends. In just one example, a major office technology OEM went on the public record recently3 recasting office resellers as managed service providers who help their clients manage their environmental footprint.

However, from the client’s point of view, quite a few challenges to making those investments in the changing office environment have emerged.

First, we are seeing a series of rising interest rates, fuelled by central banks. This is precisely the time, then, to help your customers lock in multi-year deals at today’s competitive rates, through smart financing. As the reseller, with a partner like SFS, you can lock in the price of hardware/software solutions for up to 5 years, as well as using our digital capabilities to close those deals quickly with no need for face-to-face contact.

Smart financing keeps the sales pipeline healthy in many other ways – to the benefit of you, the reseller – and your clients alike. Buyers want to preserve their capital for rapid reactions to changing markets – so they need alternative sources of finance for your solution.

Then, in these volatile times, there’s the need to acquire equipment and technology which hasn’t been budgeted for. Many of our reseller partners – rather than wait for budget availability – are bringing forward the sale with a competitive finance solution spreading the cost of investment over time.

Add to that, how many office tech refresh stages are we going to see over the next few years? It’s a real challenge to plan ahead with great certainty. So smart, flexible finance is one key enabler to help your customers adapt to new circumstances as they present themselves.

So a specialist financing partner such as Siemens Financial Services (SFS) with appetite and ability to finance solutions built from many providers and office tech brands, is a powerful friend for resellers in 2022. You can drive more new business (whatever its component parts) into new and existing customers, improving margins, generating new sales and retaining customers for many refresh cycles.

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