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Why Payment Cycle Management Should Matter to You

When I started my career in sales at Control Data, I was given a desk, a phone, a list of zip codes and a stack of D&B cards that corresponded to the zip codes that made up my territory. My job seemed pretty simple. I just needed to look at the D&B card, find the right contact, pick up the phone, make a call, and then put a note on the card. Lather, rinse and repeat.

This process worked for the first seven years of my career at Control Data, but things changed as PCs were introduced to the office. Software products such as ACT helped automate the process of keeping track of accounts, detailing notes, producing letters and more. We were among the first ones using data in sales to become more strategic as we approached new clients.

tray full of different types of candy

Fast forward almost 20 years and you can see how strategic and vital products such as Salesforce have become to all successful enterprises. Large organizations that once used a paper file system now have a strategic automated end to end solution to handle all their CRM needs. Think about it. Did anyone even think about the term CRM 20 years ago? Did we know that it would help us solve significant business challenges? We couldn’t have imagined how much automation would improve our work in sales.

If you think CRM has enhanced business, think about the deep impact ERP solutions have made. My Dad was a sales executive at a distributor in Illinois for 37 years of his career. Every Memorial Day, from the late 60’s all the way to the mid to late 70’s, the entire company would be called in to help take manual inventory of what was in the warehouse. Imagine the tedious process of going item through item to ensure that every item was accounted for.

Today we can see how the entire ERP space is automated. No one needs to spend their Memorial Day vacation counting boxes of candy. 25 years ago the idea of enterprise resource planning software might have been a twinkle in someone’s thought process. But I can assure you they never envisioned the automation that has come from it and the value that it provides.

Which brings us to Payment Cycle Management, or PCM. PCM is the process of getting invoices to customers using a variety of methods, accepting payments in any number of forms, and then finally applying cash into the business. An automated PCM solution will digitize this process, speed it up, and remove the likelihood of human error.

Think of PCM as the CRM and ERP for your entire invoice-to-cash process. You’ll get some important benefits – automation, reduction in costs, increased customer loyalty and satisfaction, reduction in DSO and an overall better experience for your customers. PCM creates a strategic solution to the problem of how to increase cash flow into your business. If you look to solve this problem manually, then you’re probably the type of person who still likes using D&B cards, and spends all of Memorial Day weekend taking inventory. If you want to bring your business up to speed, think about the impact a PCM solution would have on your AR department.

Article written by Kirk Dauksavage, Chief Revenue Officer at Billtrust

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