Should the sales team assist with collections?

Understandably, at times credit managers may be "at odds" with the sales team. They have somewhat conflicting goals. Credit managers want to protect the company's cash and manage risk. The sales team wants to sell and acquire new accounts. Frequently, the sales force's first loyalty is to their customers.

However, a sales person can be a very valuable asset in assisting with collections. They know the customer and most likely the conditions causing the customer to become delinquent or pay slowly. If the sales person calls on the customer, the sales person may see signs that a company is experiencing trouble, such as disorganized offices; full warehouses, but little activity; or a recent reduction in staff-valuable intelligence.

Some companies have instituted policies that require sales to help with collections. One of the most effective methods is to issue commissions after the company receives payment - not when the sale is made. The best-case scenario is when credit and sales cooperate and work together to achieve the same goal: boosting their company's bottom line. At some companies, credit managers join sales meetings and assist with training new sales team members.

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