Playing Cupid With Sales & Finance
On this day of love, I thought I would take a look at rebuilding the relationship between sales reps and the people who pay them – I’m very Cupid like that.
You see, not too long ago, before a rep would leave for an appointment, a sales manger would say, “Come back with the purchase order or don’t come back at all.” In those days, the sales cycle consisted of getting the lead, chasing the deal, fighting over redlines that were being faxed back and forth, generating a purchase order, and then waiting for a “wet” signature to finally book the business.
Unfortunately, after all that hustle companies would often wait until the next month’s pay cycle to hand over a commission check – assuming further still that the calculations were automated and not manually flawed. By the time the check was received, reps had already moved on to chasing new business, and the last win was no longer on a rep’s mind.
When reps were finally paid, the link between their hard work and the incentive payment was tenuous at best. Yes, they got paid, but it took far too long – and the delay was solely due to the company’s antiquated systems and processes, not with their work as a sales rep.
The world has changed; instead of faxing information back and forth, companies can now use DocuSign to get the deal done faster. The only problem is that even after the digital signature is quickly recorded, companies are still waiting way too long to pay their sales teams. This takes an incentive program and turns it into a battle between the reps and finance. We want reps selling, not standing around asking finance asking when they’ll get their check, or arguing over disputes.
There is no reason to delay – pay the sales team as close as possible to when their role in the deal is done. Once the deal is “Docusigned,” it should be automatically entered into the financial system, and that should trigger a calculation of the rep’s commission check. All of this is handled easily with integrated software systems, and automation of the process. Now, you can quickly go from digital signature, to purchase order, to commission check and get reps back on the street selling, instead of focusing on paperwork.
Don’t let the work of your sales team be unrequited – help them and they will make greater strides in return. Like any good relationship, sales and finance need to work together to become better. Use your employee incentives strategically so that they inspire performance. Take advantage of the modern digital world and let your sales team benefit from automated connections by paying out their incentives accurately and on time. If the deal is Docusigned, it’s time to pay the rep.
CFO Call to Action: Aligning Sales and Finance
Sales and Finance are notorious for butting heads. Finance makes life difficult with their penny-pinching ways and Sales adds fuel to an already hot fire with their never-ending requests. But the days of contention between the two are numbered. Find out how technology is the solution to bridging this long-standing divide.