Collecting past due debts from your customers and clients is an unfortunate part of the accounts receivable process. It's 'unfortunate' because not every customer will pay on time but it doesn't have to be contentious or ugly. Your client will be aware of what they owe, when they owe and how to pay via your contract agreement. But even beyond that, there are steps you can take to ensure payment from your collections efforts.
As a B2B business that supports other B2B businesses, we understand the value of strong client relationships. Much like other relationships, the value can increase over time, offering financial benefits through referrals and upselling. If handled correctly, these relationships can also be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Here's how to create strong client relationships and reap long-term benefits.
You have an amazing software idea and you're ready to make some money with it. Have you figured out your product's niche market? Have a business plan already? Are you already getting feedback from customers? These are just a few questions to consider as you take your product to market and start enjoying that recurring revenue.
Use this checklist when you're ready to launch and grow your SaaS startup!
Whether you're managing a growing accounts receivable department or you're an A/R department of one, it's important to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Is your A/R team doing all of the right things to get paid consistently and on time? Read further to evaluate your department's effectiveness and considerations to get even better.
How effective is your business' accounts receivable department?
Chasing down an unpaid invoice can take away time and resources that could be better served elsewhere in your business. It's important to understand when and how to follow-up on invoices. Obviously you don't want to appear too needy but you don't want your clients getting away with paying late or not at all, either. And when should you get help from a professional collections service?
When exactly is the best time to send an invoice to third party collections?
If you're in sales, and we all are, you've heard the expression that it's cheaper to retain a customer than to get a new one. Sales and marketing is expensive and retention is easier because the relationship has already been established. Instead of losing customers, especially SaaS customers that have been working with you for months or years, let's try to understand why they're leaving.
Is there a way to reduce churn among SaaS customers?
As if the month of December isn't blurry enough, your accounting department is working on year-end activities. Whether your business is a single-person shop or an enterprise corporation, the end of the year may also be the end of your fiscal year. Common activities during this time will provide insights into your business' financial situation including:
- Reconciliation of A/R
- Closing entries and journal adjustments
- Bad debt write-offs
It's time to take a closer look at some of these numbers to figure out exactly how well you're following up on those accounts receivable invoices.
Here are 5 end-of-year activities for your accounts receivable department.
As we've said before, time is money. With that in mind, the last thing you or your sales reps want to do is spend time with a client who:
- Doesn't match your version of the ideal client
- Doesn't have a need for what you're offering
- Doesn't have the money to pay you
Timing is also everything. Your salespeople need to be able to identify if the client meets all of your qualifiers and is ready to buy.
Here are 8 open-ended sales questions to qualify if a client is worth your time.
Yesterday, the LA Times reported "'Work from Anywhere'" is Here to Stay" noting that tech companies are leading the way to making remote work permanent for their employees. IBM's CEO also stated that even with a predicted COVID vaccine, remote work would continue. It's not a surprise that for technology or digital marketing companies, remote work will be the norm, even after the pandemic. What was a bonus for employees before, has now turned into cost savings for these businesses.
For digital or tech companies, remote work saves money.
Small businesses and startups must think on their feet, and that includes getting their accounts receivables paid quickly. Business relationships are an integral part of the success and growth of these companies. Protecting these relationships should be a part of the collections process as well.