The results and feedback from our March Poll are in:
CMA Member Poll: Does your company policy require Sales to participate in collections? (257 responses)
- • 53% Yes, Sales is required to participate in collection
- • 33% No, Sales is not required to participate in collection
- • 13% Other answer…
- • 1% We are considering making it policy
The following comments were submitted:
Most of the issues that need resolution, require buyer’s approval. Our customer’s A/P dept. is unable to make the call, they need approval from the buying department. Therefore, the Sales Rep is our connection with the buyer. We rely on them to help us collect.
It is not a company policy but a good business practice. Many times the Sales Rep has an inside track that can push an invoice to get paid if it needs special approvals.
Raj Prasad, CBA
No, we do not require our sales to collect or pick up checks etc, however, when customers stop responding, we reach out to our sales force to help with collections. They give us a better insight about the company and verify if they are facing cash flow issues.
F. Scott Wilson
Sales has been an invaluable partner in our credit and collections efforts. We work closely with the sales reps and VPs, and inform them of major decisions that are in the offing for their customers. We don’t ask for their *approval*, but we make sure that no-one is blind-sided by a Credit decision, be it Sales, the customer, or the plant. Often, Sales is able to find people who can champion our getting paid, and help us overcome A/P’s reluctance to let our money go out the door. It’s not so much a mandated requirement as recognition that if Sales and Credit are on the same page, our customers tend to be more current and better customers.
We work close with our sales department. The majority of the account managers in sales have a difficult time wearing two hats; sales / collections. Every monday each account manager receives in their e-mail an aging of all accounts in their territory. Surprise, many have no clue what to do with it. By sending this each week, there should be no surprise when an account becomes past due and goes on “credit hold.” Placing an account and “credit hold” normally captures the account managers attention.
We work closely with Sales whenever there is a problem and/or billing issues. Often times we are stopped by the gatekeeper when trying to collect on past due invoices so we will ask our sales team to reach out to their contacts. Maintaining a good relationship with Sales is key to the success of any credit department and goes a long way in ultimately reaching the goal which is to have good paying, repeat customers.
You have to make the Sales People aware that no sale is a good sale until the Company is paid. In this current economy the you have to make sure that the Sales People are made aware of their responsibility to get involved in collection and write them up if they violate policies.
We have a close relationship with our Sales Dept. We notify the Sales rep of the past due account and keep him updated on the status until it is paid. When the past due balance reaches 60+ days, the VP of sales is also notified. Our Sales Dept doesn’t want any surprises. They want to know the problem as soon as it happens, so they could provide any assistance needed to resolve it right away.
If it is a dispute (ie pricing, freight, damage etc) the appropriate Sales rep or dept is notified immediately to resolve it.As far as collections, it depends on the division and the sales rep. Some of our Sales reps are excellent partners helping to get issues resolved quickly, others not so much. They all have access to aging reports (on demand) and some of them choose to stay well informed, others not so much.When an account gets put on hard hold I try emailing the rep so they aren’t blindsided (unless it’s a chronic problem account), I also inform them immediately of any nsf’s. When accounts age into 60-90 days my collectors must attempt to involve the rep in the resolution process. When they age into 91+ days, I attempt to bring the Division Manager into the process so they can determine if they will instruct the rep to pursue it.
Not a policy of ours,however, we do work closely with our sales group and will reach out to the them to help collect before taking legal action if needed.
Thanks to everyone for their participation.