Trust and respect between credit and sales will build a strong
foundation for increasing sales and profits. Unfortunately, in
some companies a competitive, even confrontational relationship
currently exists between sales and credit. Some would say this
is a natural result of the fact that to some extent credit and
sales sometimes have radically different points of view on topics
including credit limits, credit holds, and about credit applicants.
Some of the ways to build respect and trust between sales and credit
Honesty. Both credit and sales must recognize that withholding
critical information not only could cost the company money
in the short term, but it also harms the relationship between
sales and credit in the long term.
Work to improve the ways in which you communicate information
to the sales department. Your goal should be to provide detailed
information in a timely manner to the salesperson, and allow
them time to review and to comment on the information provided.
Ensure consistency in the credit decision-making process otherwise
the operations of the credit department appear arbitrary.
Respect the fact that salespeople need and expect prompt answers
to their questions since they in turn often must provide their
customers with information or explanations.
Increase the frequency of your department's communications
and discussions with sales.
Don't ignore differences of opinion. An issue may not be resolved
to the satisfaction of the sales department, but ignoring their
opinions is counter-productive.
Never allow a disagreement with sales to degenerate into an
argument. Stick to the issue at hand. Do not bring up old issues.
Always look for a win-win-win outcome [For the customer, and
the sales department, and the credit department]. While this
outcome may not always be achievable, it will almost certainly
not be achieved if it is not a specific goal of your credit
Trust and respect is a two-way street. The credit department must
be willing to give it to the sales department and the company's
customers in order to get it back in return.