We’re not sure where the rivalry among the sales and accounts receivable department cropped up, but we are sure of one thing: it has got to stop. Truly, this rivalry is not helping anyone and is most likely hindering the business. Yes, sales can impact accounts receivable and vice versa, but it will only impact in a positive way if the two teams are working positively together. Once you have a working relationship you will see sales increase and collection efforts increase, getting you paid more, faster.
Here’s how you can get everyone on board and create a better relationship between your sales team and accounts receivable department.
GET THEM TO SEE EYE TO EYE
The first step is to get the sales and accounts receivable departments to see the value in having a good, positive, working relationship with each other. Show them real facts and statistics of teams that have worked together and become powerful revenue creators. Make sure that you have buy in from everyone, because if you don’t it only takes one negative person to break everyone’s focus.
CREATE A POLICY
It is important to have rules that every person is required to follow. This way, no one in the sales department is making risky credit plans for a customer and no one in the collections department is holding someone back from bringing on a good customer. These policies should include what steps to take to approve someone for a line of credit, what to do when someone is delinquent and other steps for difficult situations that occur between sales and accounts receivable.
As in any relationship, the key to making it work is good communication. Both departments need to know what is going on with customers, whether a new deal was created or a customer is being delinquent. A great way to do this is leveraging technology. Software has made it even easier to send automatic notifications when an action was completed, so no one forgets or leaves someone out.
HOLD MONTHLY MEETINGS
Once the two teams have created lines of communication, you can then hold monthly meetings where they can discuss what is happening among their two departments. Keep everyone updated on what is happening, whether customer facing or internally. They can also take this time to discuss extending credit to risky accounts, problem customers and action plans.
Once you have a working relationship between sales and accounts receivable, you will see revenue increase exponentially. This type of relationship allows sales to bring on more customers and gives the collections department the support they need to collect on every open invoice.