Bob Schultek
Author of The Gauntlet

Without customers, there is no business. New orders from these customers are the lifeblood of every company. As a result, sales teams are incented to close more orders.

But getting the order is only the beginning of the sale tale. Until the customer pays the invoice, new orders are just promissory notes, reflecting your commitment to deliver your promised solution and the customer’s promise of payment if satisfied. The order may be booked, but the sale isn’t closed until you get paid.

Compensating a sales team exclusively on orders booked, without consideration of all that is required to fulfill your solution’s promise, satisfy the customer and get paid, does nothing to help your team build enduring customer partnerships or raise appreciation about how producing promised results for the customer sustains the success of your business.

Every day that payment is delayed – because results didn’t match your promise, or delivery took longer than what you specified, or your quoted price didn’t reflect the customer’s history of paying later than agreed terms – reduces the value of the booked order for your organization. Why? Because to deliver what is promised, your business invests resources to produce and deliver your solution, and then waits for the return on that investment in the form of payment. Delays in receiving that payment as planned inadvertently increase your investment, costing you money.

An order can’t become a sale until you get paid for it.

How informed is your sales team about how your business makes money?
How comfortable is your sales team addressing payment terms as part of negotiations?