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Improve your Department’s Relationship with Sales
Michael C. Dennis, MBA, CBF

Business Credit Concepts
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Often, the relationship between sales and credit is contentious. The good news is that there are basic steps the credit department can and should use to improve its relationship with sales, including these simple but effective ideas:

  1. Recognize that sales and credit provide a check and balance as it relates to selling to new and active customers.

  2. Whenever possible, give the salesperson advanced notice of a negative credit decision or an upcoming credit hold.

  3. Try to pre-qualify prospective customers so the sales department does not waste time and money on customers that will probably not be able to generate the desired sales and profits.

  4. Talk with, not at salespeople.

  5. Do not blame the salesperson for a bad debt write off.

  6. No matter how strongly they advocated for the customer, they were only doing their job. Ultimately, the decision to release was yours as are the consequences for that decision.

  7. Don’t lie to your sales department – either by misrepresenting facts or failing to disclose information.

  8. Do not lie to them, and don’t make promises you cannot or will not keep.

  9. Make releasing orders and evaluating credit applications among your department’s top priorities.

  10. Always return calls from customer the same day you receive them; ideally these calls should be returned almost immediately.

  11. Take the time to explain that logic or rationale for your decisions to the sales department. Failing to do so makes these decisions appear arbitrary.

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