In the past, the tech industry has sold its products in a one-time purchasing model. But over the last decade, subscriptions and recurring offers have started to increase in demand. This shift has made it easier for end customers to speed up their transformation and access the latest technology, without the upfront investment.
However, vendors and partners struggle to offer the subscription services that end customers demand. This is largely because vendors still expect payment upfront, while partners need to deliver a subscription service to their end customers, placing strain on their working capital and cash flow.
Luckily, there are flexible payment solutions available that can help vendors and partners overcome these challenges and offer the subscriptions end customers need. Here are 5 benefits of flexible payment options that can help partners.
Get the best deal now but pay over time
Price increases are inevitable. But by using a flexible payment solution, partners can afford to buy the tech today before the price increases. For example, our partner, an AI-driven security provider in Belgium needed to secure a 3-year deal for their end customer but a price increase was on the horizon. The end customer wanted the deal closed before the prices went up.
By using Flex, Westcon-Comstor’s in-house flexible payment solution, the partner could secure the vendor discount and spread the cost over 3 years. This meant the end customer got the technology they wanted before the price increase.
Speed up new technology adoption
Balancing adoption of the latest tech with budget constraints can be tricky. End customers want the latest tech for the innovation and more robust security it brings. But the cost to invest upfront can be a burden. By offering end customers a flexible payment plan, they can afford to upgrade their technology and avoid a large upfront payment.
When our partner, a Spanish telecommunications company, needed to replace their end-of-life cybersecurity equipment, they used Flex to help them structure a custom payment plan they could finalise before their existing tech was made redundant. After reaching out to our Flex team, they’d secured a flexible payment plan that suited their budget and allowed them to replace all their legacy equipment, ensuring enhanced security with the latest tech.
Give customers the subscription model they want
End customers are demanding more subscription-based offers for the flexibility, predictability, and scalability they bring. And they don’t want the financial burden of having to pay upfront for their tech either. Partners often feel the pinch because they’re caught in the middle of a customer wanting a subscription but the vendor needing payment upfront.
Instead of our partners carrying the financial burden, we help partners give their end customers the subscription they want.
For example, our partner, one of the largest telecommunications service providers in the Netherlands had a sizable opportunity with their end customer. The end customer wanted an annual subscription over 3 years, which Flex facilitated, and the deal was finalised.
Simplified billing cycles
Aligning billing schedules can be complex. Many vendors require payment upfront which means partners not only have to take on the financial responsibility of collecting the capital back from end customers, but they must also manage a recurring billing cycle which can be admin intensive.
With Flex, payments in are mirrored to payments out. So, when you request a flexible payment solution, Westcon-Comstor settles the vendor account upfront and bills you periodically.
For example, our partner, an IT management consultancy and specialist cybersecurity service provider in Italy, used Flex to close a large deal and simplify it. Their customer opted for a 3-year, annual payment schedule which was designed for the partner to simply mirror to their customer. All they needed to do was add their margin and copy the payment schedule we provided, in their system, making sure the billing cycles were aligned.
Managing subscriptions can be complex and time-consuming. Some third-party financial institutions lack the flexibility to change the financial structure to suit a partner’s exact needs. In contrast, Flex is simple and customisable, particularly for our existing partners.
For example, a German IT provider, managed services and software development specialist, approached Westcon-Comstor for a flexible payment solution where their end customer wanted to pay for their products in annual instalments, but the partner needed to pay upfront.
Since the partner had already used Flex before, and was a long-standing partner, Westcon-Comstor was able to offer them a Flex solution. Their credit check was done inhouse, using the strength of the partner’s credit profile with Westcon-Comstor. The result was a painless process that delivered a flexible payment solution suiting the vendor, the partner, and the end customer.
Adding a flexible payment plan to pay over time is easy
Westcon-Comstor’s Flex gives partners the option of converting their quote into a flexible payment solution. This means they can pay for their deal over time by selecting the payment terms, schedule, and currency ($, € or £) that suits them. Existing Westcon-Comstor partners who are eligible for Flex, can add it themselves from within PartnerCentral’s Partner Marketplace. Because it’s contracted and invoiced by Westcon-Comstor, there’s no wait for third parties and the Flex deal is assessed based on their creditworthiness with Westcon-Comstor.
Top tip for closing the deal faster
There are many benefits of flexible payment options and partners can help end customers choose how they pay. By providing end customers with two quotes – one with the full payment upfront and the second with a subscription to pay over time – they can decide which is best for them.
Find out more about a flexible payment plan or ask your account manager for more information.