Collaboration across departments is important to get the most from credit management
Credit management may be the responsibility of a company’s finance department. However, if that department works in isolation, the results of their labour won’t be as effective. It is therefore important that businesses stimulate collaboration across a variety of departments in order to get the most from credit management. But who should credit management teams collaborate with, and how can your business facilitate this? And how can credit management software stimulate collaboration?
Often, we see a real disconnect between the way sales and credit control teams work. However, in reality, the activities of the two departments are very closely linked. Traditionally, sales teams set up a sale and then their involvement ends. It then becomes the credit control team’s responsibility to ensure payment is made. However, a sale isn’t complete until payment has been received. As such, the sales team should really be more involved in the entire process. Particularly as the sales team are likely to have had more personal interaction with customers.
Credit control teams should also improve their relationships with the marketing team and collaborate more. This will enable them to keep up-to-date with marketing activity that may impact customers’ accounts. For example, the marketing team might run a campaign to sell a new product which will result in a number of customers wanting to increase their credit limit. By alerting credit managers to new campaigns as early as possible, the credit control team will be better placed to handle these requests and increase credit limits. This will help the team to be more prepared and have a better understanding of the company’s current focus. Most importantly, it will create a better customer experience.
How can you achieve this collaboration?
One of the most effective ways to improve relationships between departments is to reach out to them. Scheduling time to sit down with different departments will help the credit control team to understand what different parts of the organisation are working on and will help these departments to better understand credit control.
Additionally, credit management software, like CreditManager, can also help to stimulate collaboration. Teams are able to log information, such as customer complaints and the department currently handling that complaint, within the system. This means that the credit manager gets an up-to-date understanding of what is happening with each customer account. They can then, if necessary, talk to the department dealing with it to find out the full picture. This ensures that the credit manager is aware of what is happening with each account, even if the problem or query didn’t originate with their team. Also, as credit management software automates much of the manual dunning processes, credit managers have more time to collaborate with other teams.
What are the benefits of increased collaboration?
With more time to align with colleagues, every department will have a better understanding of what other departments are working on and how this may impact them. For instance, if marketing is promoting a new product, the sales team has the opportunity to sell this product to new and existing customers. Meanwhile, the credit manager is aware of any changes to their customers’ purchasing habits and can act accordingly. This will stimulate greater openness and understanding between teams. As a result, the organisation is happier. It has greater clarity and a better understanding of each team’s position within the business. After all, every department will work better if they are not working against each other.