Tip Sheet 1 – Focusing on your sales team as part of the debt recovery process

There are many things that a business can do to help improve its debt recovery. Many of these are simple and free. Businesses often do not think about credit control, until after an invoice becomes overdue. Businesses should focus on credit control throughout the sales process. This means that your sales force need to understand their role in credit control.
Your Sales Force
•Ensure that your sales force is trained in debt recovery – do they understand their role in the payment recovery process?
•Ensure that your sales team clarify the legal status of the customer and the customers full business name, at the outset. Is the customer a Limited Company / Partnership or Sole Trader? Ensure that your records include this information because it will become important, should you need to issue a claim against the customer for non-payment.
•Ensure your sales team ask for details of where and to whom, invoices should be sent. If invoices are sent directly to the correct person, this will help to speed up the payment process.
•Where your sales team provide a quote for goods / services, ensure that they understand the importance of sending the customer a copy of your terms and conditions BEFORE the first order is placed. Whilst this might seem minor, failure to send terms and conditions before the first order, can cause difficulties when it becomes necessary to evidence what payment terms were agreed.
•Encourage your sales team (where they are managing customers on an ongoing basis) to look out for signs of a customer’s financial difficulties and to report back to the finance director if the salesperson suspects that a customer may be in financial difficulties. Why? So that your business can take a view regarding the credit to be extended to the customer. Should you limit the credit limit or stop offering credit to this customer in order to limit your exposure?
•It may be more difficult to secure new customers and therefore, your sales team may be inclined to relax procedures; maybe by offering extended credit facilities or undertaking less stringent checks on new customers. Make sure sales staff understand the effect this can have on cashflow.
•Consider linking a salesperson’s commission to “paid” bills where your salespeople currently receive commission based on their sales.
To receive further fact sheets or for further information about our commercial debt recovery service, please contact Rita Wright of Breeze and Wyles Solicitors on 01992 558411 or rita.wright@breezeandwyles.co.uk


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