Understanding the Sales Cycle: CRM to Deposit Slip

Written by on October 12, 2008 | Accounting Best Practice, QCDocs Best Practice

Okay here it is- end to end CRM to bank deposit slip!  Understanding how to optimize your sales starts with understanding the paperflow and process best practices- so here it is as I see it!  I so look forward to hearing from the sales guys out there to correct the accountant!!

  1. Leads – They’re everywhere (Yellow pages to Cards gathered at a tradeshow to LinkedIn) you just need to prioritize and record them somewhere so you can go after them! Word, Excel, Maximizer, ACT!, Salesforce.com
  2. Accounts- Now that you have your huge list of leads you start the process of going after them and you move them into Accounts- you start recording more information about them and strategize about how you’re going to sell to them.  Accounts are at the Corporate level.
  3. Contacts- Are all the people within the “account” that you can talk to, email, etc. that can influence or influence purchasing decisions within your Account/client.
  4. Opportunities- Opportunities arise from communicating with your Contacts and they consist of the “please send us a quote, or you should be aware of this RFP (request for proposal) that we’ve got, or we want to add what your selling to next years budget, etc.”
  5. Quotes/Proposals- This is where documents start to take over- These consist of all the materials and communications that help you convince your potential customer to buy!  
  6. Signed Quotes/Engagements/Purchase Orders- I highlight this one, which is really an extension of 5 as it is the first key document that must interface with accounting!  ie. This is when QCDocs connects with the CRM to takeover to ensure Sales connects to Accounting and Engineering/Production!   Signed quotes and Purchase Orders form your Backlog!  
  7. Credit application form- Okay now you’ve landed the sale, and for most you may have figured this out in the CRM but you should get signed credit application on file so collections can monitor and maintain customer records properly.
  8. Work Orders/Pick lists/engagement plans/Time sheets etc.  – This is where production personnel document the inventory items or work items that need to be assembled for delivery.  Sometimes this can involve several layers of subassemblies which are different forms of inventory processing (See Inventory flows).  This step can also consist of time sheets used to record time spent on delivering services.  Unbilled Work Orders are called WIP and are an asset recorded at cost.
  9. Shipping Documents/Packing Slips/Service slips- This is where the products are boxed up and shipped and accounting spits out a packing slip (best practice) is to correspond to a customer invoice (see 9).  The packing slip has no financial information but references the customer PO # above and details the items being delivered.  Sometimes short shipments are made (see Inventory flows) which details on the packing slip what was order and what was actually shipped.   Service delivery slips can be used for one-off field services.
  10. Customer Invoice.  As mentioned, customer invoice should be prepared at the same time as the packing slip.  Accounting applications generally record revenue at this stage so important revenue recognition considerations at this point to consider worthy of stand alone blog.
  11. Customer Statements- Okay, customer is past their 30 day credit terms so you send  them out a customer statement.  Practices differ significantly here- some do this only with problem accounts others with good collections practices do this as a matter of course.  Interest charges on late payments are an interest discussion which I’ll preserve for another blog.
  12. Customer Cheque/Check-This is a critical document for obvious reasons in accounting because you really only get a chance to record this right once and they can get screwed up easily if you have multiple cheques on one deposit or short payments, etc.   Best practice- scan your customer cheques into QCDocs before depositing and/or keep a really orderly deposit book- see 13!
  13. Deposit Slip-  Deposit slips serve to document who paid you and are especially important if you deposit more then one cheque in a day.  Trick for ATM deposits- deposit one at a time but waste of envelopes…makes accounting for deposits really easy though!!  Key rules- no outstanding deposits at month end (lazy accountant!) and messy month end close!  Credit card deposits 2-3 day lag unavoidable.

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