Digital transformation doesn’t need to be lengthy. With the right plan, and the right solution, you can achieve quick results with minimal risks. There are five steps you need to undertake to improve your finance efficiencies, deliver a better customer experience and bring in more money – faster. Here’s step 4. - Missed Step 3? Click here to catch up. -
Step 4: Go beyond a payment portal
As the B2B space becomes more digital, you might have considered offering customers a portal where they can pay invoices and check their accounts online. Perhaps you have even tried such a portal.
Payment portals are a great step if you want to delight your customers while getting your money in faster. However, an online payment portal won’t help you achieve these goals if your customers don’t use it.
Distributors tell us that many online portals offer a poor experience and make customers jump through hoops just to submit a payment. For example, customers may need to navigate to a link that is buried deep within your website. Or your customers might receive unbranded invoices that make them think of spam.
Another issue with payment portals is that most are built for B2C consumers and don’t have B2B functionality. They may not allow customers to submit short payments or your AR team to add credit notes to an invoice.
Look for a tool that makes it easy for customers to send you a payment – whether they want to pay by credit card online or drop a check in the mail. Your portal should be as intuitive as Amazon and give customers on-demand access to their accounts from both desktops and mobile devices.
Also look for an “all-in-one” solution that improves your entire invoice-to-cash process. It should integrate with your other systems such as your ERP and proprietary, in-house accounting software. Integrations allow you to leverage your existing technology investments while you gain fast access to vital AR data.
With an all-in-one tool, you can:
- Save time. You won’t need to waste hours searching for information about invoices and customer accounts.
- Make your invoice-to-cash process seamless as you can get rid of disparate tools and store all of your data in one central platform.
- Minimize your points of failure. Everyone – from the CEO to your collections specialists – will work from the same, up-to-the-minute data.
- Spend less time training AR staff, as they only need to learn one tool to manage incoming payments and customer accounts
In the next blog in this series, we will discuss the next step in transforming your accounting processes – consolidating your AR tools.
Interested in learning more? Download your copy of the Finance Leader’s Ultimate Guide to Digital Transformation in Wholesale Distribution now.