For many companies, selling to business customers is seen as better than dealing with retail customers. Instead of selling 1,000 items for a $1 margin each, one B2B transaction could produce the same amount of sales for slightly less profit. Making fewer transactions is seen as an advantage and a way to reduce costs.
Just because there are fewer transactions, however, doesn’t mean there is no need to streamline the invoicing process. Being able to deliver invoices quickly and accurately is still a huge plus to the business’s operations. Businesses are now taking these four steps to streamline their invoicing process.
Invoicing is an important part of the business’s operations, so it should be handled by experienced professionals. Hiring interns to handle invoices is certainly not the way to go. In select industries like healthcare, billing and invoicing are handled by trained specialists. In healthcare, in particular, we have top medical billing and coding schools in AZ and other states training students for this key role.
You too can hire professionals – someone with a strong accounting background and good knowledge of the B2B market – to handle invoicing. You’ll be surprised by how selecting the right person for the job can completely alter the way invoices are handled and managed by the business. You may even see changes in success rates and other metrics.
Create a System
Setting up a system for sending and managing invoices is another step that needs to be completed to fully streamline the invoicing flow in your business. Even when you only have a handful of clients to manage, create a system that governs how invoices are issued.
You can tackle details like invoice numbers, terms of payment, discounts for early payments, and other factors that influence the invoicing process. Setting up a system isn’t about switching to IT-based solutions; it is about creating a workflow that anyone in the company can follow.
The next step is adding automation. This is where your invoicing flow really becomes efficient. With a system in place and capable people looking after the flow, you can start automating certain parts of the invoicing process.
Instead of waiting for sales executives to generate invoices manually, you can integrate the system with shipment tracking and trigger automatic invoice generation after each shipment. Other forms of automation are just as easy to implement.
Automation helps ease some of the burdens of managing multiple invoices. Reminders can be sent automatically instead of manually every time. Some systems can even send print invoices automatically with the help of third-party services.
As the B2B market evolves, you will need to adapt to market changes. The invoicing system that works with certain business customers today may need to be adjusted in the future. Payment terms can be too short for some new clients and further adjustments may be needed.
Regular evaluation is the key to growth. Your streamlined invoicing workflow can be made more efficient when you start fine-tuning parts of the flow to answer new market challenges.