Parag Patel

Should your sales team send out invoices?

What does the invoicing workflow look like at your company? If you’re like many businesses, you probably have a finance team that sends out invoices to customers. You may even have enough revenue to manage accounts payable and accounts receivable separately.

The story probably goes something like this: your sales team is always working their pipeline. When they close a new deal, they hand off the customer contract to the finance folks. Invoices come from employees on the finance team - and that may be where your problems begin.

Sales has just closed this awesome new deal. The new customer is excited to get started, but they might not pay the invoice - and that can be for various reasons. The person who signed the contract may not be the same person who pays the invoices.

Maybe the invoice gets sent from an automated email address, and lands in the customer’s spam folder. Or the customer may have agreed to payment terms that don’t jive with the company’s accounts payable guidelines. And when that invoice doesn’t get paid, in many instances, your salesperson doesn’t receive his or her commission.

There are workflow changes that can keep these issues from occurring.

As part of the contract process, you can require that the salesperson find out who pays the invoices and what the company’s payment terms are - before the contract gets signed. And you can have the recipient add the automated email address to their address book, so the invoice doesn’t go to the spam box.

But consider this: who at your company should be responsible for sending invoices to customers? If your salespeople have huge commissions at stake, why shouldn’t it be them? If securing payment is heavily dependent on their relationship with the customer, then you may want to make them responsible.

Your finance team can still own the management and workflow, but the sales team can own just the piece where the invoice gets sent. And it doesn’t have to be an onerous process for them with complicated tools. Many invoicing systems (Invoiced included) can tie directly to customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

Take a look at these custom invoice-sending processes from our customers:

AJ Tutoring leverages a connection between their CRM and Invoiced to put the invoice-sending power into the hands of their sales staff. For any new customer looking to purchase tutoring services, the sales director inputs customer details in the CRM, which then pushes the data to Invoiced. Invoiced sends both an electronic verification and request for payment details.

Data is constantly synced between Invoiced, the CRM, and AJ Tutoring’s account platform. Sales directors are always up-to-date on the status of invoices, and finance is always current on payment status.

Laurel & Wolf offers online interior design and decorating services. Customers buy initial packages from Laurel & Wolf’s shopping service team, and any upgrades or add-ons are handled by the customer service team. Clients can make one full payment or pay in installments, and each team member (shopping or customer service) is responsible for sending their own invoices and securing payments via the Invoiced platform.

We’d love to learn more about your current invoicing processes and brainstorm ways to improve them. Contact us for a customized demo to learn how Invoiced could support your company’s efforts to get paid.