Making a sale is a great feeling, but if it is on unfavorable or unsustainable credit terms it will ultimately cost you time and money in the long run. We too often hear stories of sales people extending a risky amount of credit just for the sake of making a sale. Taking risk has its place in the credit process, but these should be informed risks that take both negative and positive outcomes into account. This is why we recommend that all sales people have at least some understanding of the collection process.
Communication is key
Many work place disagreements and arguments stem from a lack of understanding and appreciation for someone else’s job. If sales people understand the job collectors have and what they are looking for, a more productive dialogue can take place. More importantly, if a sales person is forced to see how hard it is to collect on an account that does not have up to date contact information or possesses very few assets, they hopefully will make better credit decisions in the future.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
Sales people can sometimes get caught up in making the next sale. This is understandable as their primary job is sales, but seeing the bigger picture can be equally as important. By forcing them to see another side of the business, they may gain a greater appreciation for the process. It shows them that their decisions will have lasting effects that other people will have to deal with.
By having your sales people work closely with those responsible for collections, you open up the possibility of streamlining the process. Collectors may actually have suggestions for sales people. Since they are the ones constantly seeing what types of customers do not pay, they may be able to offer some insight that sales people can later use.
Understanding the collection process does not mean that all sales people need to know how to collect debt, but it does mean they should appreciate and understand the work collectors do. It may not show any immediate benefits, but more well informed sales people are always a benefit to a company in the long run.