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B2B Collections Collection Tips Loan Advice

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Who Should You Extend Credit To?

The decisions you make at the end of the day will affect your monthly bottom line. That much is undeniable. So who you give credit to, and how much, plays a vital role in your collection strategy both today and tomorrow.

There are many reasons why over 70% of American small businesses have outstanding debt. Decision-making is definitely one of them. At Monetaria, we work with New York businesses every day. We see over and over again smart individuals choosing clients or loan tactics that go against their best interests. It’s time to change that.

In the article below, we’ll guide you through some quick and dirty collection tips that just about any small business can implement. Save time, save money, and learn how to spot clients that are way out of your comfort zone!

When you’re extending credit, ask yourself the ultimate question: How much risk can your business handle?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of different things, but your profit margin is the most important. High profit margins allow for more risk. If you’ve already taken on a lot of debt and your margins are low, stay away from riskier clients.

Got high margins?

More risk potential.

Got low margins?

Less risk potential.

Investment and investigation are like peanut butter and jelly — an irresistible combination no business can do without.

But how do you know which clients are riskier than others? Well, whenever you extend credit to a business or client, you must investigate their ability to make payments. As a general rule, we recommend that you match your investigation to the level of investment.

 

The Bigger the Loan, the Bigger Your (Time) Investment

As you offer more credit, you must venture deeper into the business’ financial history. But what should you investigate? Ask and you shall receive.

First, the essentials. We’re sure you already know this stuff, but we’ll offer it just in case you need a refresher. For literally any B2B commercial loan investigation, you should look into the following level one information:

Level One

  • Business name
  • Owner and Officer names
  • Address of business
  • Duration at that address
  • Phone number(s) of business

As risk climbs, so too should your research efforts. Here are the level two risk investigation categories:

Level Two

  • Credit references
  • Phone number and address of banks where business accounts are kept
  • Applicant’s accountant

Don’t Forget to Choose the Proper Tools

When conducting in-depth business investigations, it’s also important to leverage the latest research tools. In this case, we’re talking about background checks. There are dozens of suppliers out there, but the best companies to use for client background and credit checks are:

You want to choose one of the above companies because they’ll have the most up-to-date and accurate information. Quick note – the information you get should only be used pursuant to local and federal laws. Make sure you are adhering to local and federal laws about using third party companies to do background checks. 

If the business does a significant amount of credit card sales, it’s also worth asking for 2-3 months of merchant statements. You won’t be using them for anything at first, other than getting a baseline for their credit card sales. 

Later, if their payments start coming in late, you can ask for a recent merchant statement and compare the two. This is an easy way to verify that, yes, their sales are down, or they have run into a little trouble and may need more time to pay.

Summing Up

  • The higher your margins, the more risks you can take.
  • Deepen B2B investigations based on your investment.
  • Leverage credit tools such as Experian to reduce risk.
  • Ask for merchant statements to get a baseline on their sales. 

When the Good Gets Ugly, You’re Not Alone

Despite best efforts and sound decision making, every business will acquire a client that, for one reason or another, refuses to pay their debt. When that happens, stay calm and keep it professional. 


Write them a few honest and direct collection letters. If that doesn’t work, give Monetaria a call. We have over a decade of B2B and Merchant Cash Advance debt recovery experience. Above all, remember that you’re not alone — we’re here to help.

Categories
B2B Collections Loan Advice

should sales reps handle overdue account receivables?

Cash flow is the lifeblood of most small to medium businesses and nothing puts a dent in your cash flow like your customers not paying up.

When payment comes due and the customer is nowhere to be found, there tend to be two schools of thought on who should deal with overdue account receivables.

  •     The first school of thought says that collecting on overdue accounts is the sole responsibility of your accounts receivable team or your collections department.
  •     The second school of thought says that the sales cycle isn’t technically complete until the customer has made payment, meaning your sales reps should play a part in credit control and collections.

If you’re thinking “both of those are valid points” then you understand the conundrum. At Monetaria, we understand you need your customers to make payments to ensure consistent cash flow, which means all hands to the pumps.

But, at the same time, should you be diverting your sales team away from their own responsibilities to help with collections?

This is particularly relevant to smaller businesses that may not have a dedicated collections team and using their sales reps might seem like the only option.

Today, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of the situation and trying to answer the question, should sales reps be responsible for collecting overdue account receivables?

The pros of using sales reps in collections

  1. An existing relationship

Calling someone to ask for money is uncomfortable, regardless of context. However, having an existing relationship in place can make the whole process a lot smoother.

Your customers already know and trust your sales reps. That pre-existing relationship can counteract, to an extent, the discomfort of having to call a customer to press for payment on an outstanding invoice.

Because the customer already has a positive relationship with your sales team, it’s also harder for them to simply ignore a collections call or email. Customers generally find it much easier to ignore an unknown accounts receivable person than a sales rep with whom they already have a personal connection.

  1. It’s not a collections calls

Getting a call from a collections team sets the tone for conversation to come and can immediately put some customers on the defensive, making it harder to get a positive outcome.

However, if your sales rep is simply calling to make sure the customer is happy with their product and conduct some sales aftercare, then they have the opportunity to connect with the customer and set them at ease before gently reminding them that payment is outstanding.

Sometimes an approach that is less obviously focused on collections can yield better results.

The cons of using sales reps in collections

Unfortunately, when it comes to using sales reps as part of the collections process, there are some obvious downsides, including:

  1. Your sales team aren’t selling

The most common argument against using sales reps as part of your collections efforts is that, while they are making those collections calls, they aren’t selling.

The primary focus of your sales team should always be making sales.

Additionally, as obvious as it seems, your sales team isn’t a collections expert.

Even with training on the gentle persistence approach, they might just not have what it takes to convince the customer to make payment on an overdue account.

  1. It puts customer relationships at risk

As we’ve already mentioned, making collections calls is a difficult and uncomfortable process, especially for the customer.

Your sales team has worked hard to cultivate the relationships they’ve built with your customers and wrongly timed or toned collections calls can ruin all of that hard work.

In the customer’s mind, contact with the sales rep has now shifted from an opportunity to add value, to an uncomfortable request for funds they might not have, making future sales calls much more difficult.

For companies who are reliant on repeat business, putting the customer relationships that their sales team has carefully crafted at risk can be a real impediment to using their sales force in collections.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution

As you can see, just like the original arguments for and against using your sales reps in collections, both the pros and cons are fairly convincing.

With good arguments on both sides, it can be very hard for business owners to make a call on whether to use their sales reps in collections.

The good news is that there are other options, including:

Connecting sales commissions to completed payments

By releasing the commission generated by sales only once payment has been made, businesses can encourage the sales team to have a vested interest in seeing customers make a timely payment.

Since commissions are connected to completed payments, sales teams are more likely to focus on their due diligence, vetting customers properly during onboarding, and making sure the customer fully understands your business’s payment terms.

A greater focus on completing the entire sales process, from initial contact to payment can discourage some sales teams from pushing through customers with poor payment records in order to inflate their numbers.

Having your sales team put the necessary precautions in place at the beginning of the sales process can help to prevent the collections team from needing to get involved further down the line.

Create a customer success team

As a rule, the customer success team sits in between the sales team and collections and enjoys some of the benefits of both.

They can draw on the information and relationships that your sales team has built to connect with the customer and present themselves as adding value by helping the customer get the most from your goods and services.

At the same time, futures sales aren’t contingent on those relationships, so your customer success team can be used to gently push for payment on recently overdue accounts, perhaps less than 30-days, before handing any persistently outstanding accounts over to collections.

contact the B2B debt specialists

Instead of employing your sales force to assist in your collections efforts, you can contract with commercial debt recovery specialists like Monetaria.

We specialize in B2B and Merchant Cash Advance collections and have more than a decade of experience in helping businesses collect what they’re owed.

Our expert collections teams employ custom-tailored recovery strategies based on your specific circumstances. We know there isn’t a one size fits all solution and we’re flexible enough to find the right solution for you and your business.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help with your outstanding accounts receivables and let your sales team go back to what they do best. Selling!

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