Organizations often feel like being paid on time is out of their control. It’s normal for an Accounts Receivable department and the sales team to think, “Well, we did our part. Everything is in the contract and in the invoice. Now it’s on the customer to make the payment.”
But there are a few more strategies and tactics an Accounts Receivable team can control to speed up cash flow. Today we want to give you five quick tips for sending an invoice that are both easy to implement and require little to no cost.
Thank you cards, Christmas cards, wedding invitations, those will always be better in a physical mailbox than an email inbox.
But an invoice isn’t one of those things. If you send invoices by mail, you’re already starting 2–3 days behind. A customer may also decide that the 30-day clock starts when they receive the invoice. “Payment is due” could be interpreted as when the check needs to be sent in the mail. Just like that, 30 days has turned into 36 days. And that’s one of the better case scenarios.
It’s also an unnecessary cost. If you’re sending 100 invoices a month, that’s about $600 a year spent on stamps. Throw in envelopes too. Plus the time it takes for someone on staff to write out the names and billing addresses. That adds up.
Maybe the most important and serious question to ask yourself is this: Do I want to lick 1,000 envelopes this year?
Send it the same day
When work is busy and filled with back-to-back meetings, it’s easy for certain tasks to get pushed off. We see this happen all the time in Accounts Receivable. A mental note made at 8:55 a.m. may not turn into action until 4:45 in the afternoon. Might be pushed to the next day. Sometimes the invoice isn’t sent for another 2+ weeks.
To combat this, we recommend blocking off time each day to work on sending invoices out. Put this on your calendar, make it so people don’t book any other meetings in that space. If there are no invoices to send that day, you can use this time to run reports of which deals are still outstanding and send out follow-ups.
Double check on LinkedIn
Really quick step, look up the person you’re sending the invoice to on Linkedin. Make sure they are still at the company and that their role makes sense.
If their LinkedIn headline says, “Retired and loving it!” you might need to try somebody else.
Use an email tracking app
Re-purpose the money you would have spent on stamps and envelopes toward a software that allows you to see when someone has opened an email.
This allows you to get ahead of certain problems. If it’s been a week, and there’s no sign that the email was delivered successfully, you could send another email or give them a call to say, “Hey, just want to confirm you got my note.”
And there’s a good chance your sales and/or marketing team already has a license to one of these types of services. All you’d need to do is add your Accounts Receivable reps to the existing license.
Here are 10 of the best ones out there to choose from. Or you can use our tools/software to do all these things for you. Email tracking is one of the several features within our software.
CC the sales rep
The only risk with an emailed invoice is sometimes the attachment could route everything to spam.
One thing to try out, CC the sales rep onto the invoice email. Because of all the email back and forth they had during the sale, this might lower the chance of a new email going to spam. Every spam filter is different, but this should at least raise the chances of a successful delivery.