When Marketing, Sales, Credit and Collections are not in Lock Step the Risk of Something Going Wrong Increases

April 25, 2017 Amy Shiptenko

BusinessConnect connecting departments for revenue

BusinessConnect helps departments work better together to minimize risk 

There’s a right way to do things, and then there’s real life. In a perfect world, it makes sense for marketing, sales, credit and collections teams to constantly collaborate and work from the same customer data files and customer relationship management (CRM) system. With your key customer-facing teams sharing and updating their data in real time, imagine the customer view it would create? You could see customer activity, opportunity and risk from every angle, no matter how a customer enters or engages with your company.

Think about it. You could now see which of your customers have multiple relationships with your business across multiple geographies that were previously thought to be distinct relationships. If you could recognize customers with a history of default or collections, you might preserve your resources by not marketing to them or protect your business by updating terms. With increased cross-functional connectivity and visibility, you can improve customer segmentation and targeting, offer a higher level of service, deepen existing customer relationships, identify and protect against hidden risk and so much more.

Unfortunately, the real world is far from perfect. In fact, it can get downright messy and complicated. For example, today many companies grow through acquisition, and as a result they suddenly acquire additional, new customer portfolios. This can create siloes of disparate customer data that are never fully integrated, much less cleansed, updated and enriched, which makes it hard to put that data to good use.

While marketing and sales teams may work together, they frequently work from separate databases and systems. More importantly, sometimes a single company may include multiple business units, each with separate marketing and sales teams that rarely communicate, much less engage with each other.

When one team doesn’t have line of sight into what the other is doing, the pain points intensify, especially once you factor in credit risk and collections. If marketing, sales, credit and collections teams operate autonomously, it’s easy for a red flag to show up for one team but not for another. This can lead to closed deals that carry much higher risk. Also, consider the potential exposure an organization faces with multiple business units, divisions or branches selling to the same customer without a consolidated view of the amount of credit extended.

Apart from the financial risk, the lack of connectivity and visibility creates other big problems. For starters, it’s inefficient, drives up internal costs and resources, and it can lead to decreased productivity, performance and ROI. Likewise, it creates a compromised, disjointed customer experience that could send prospects and customers running to the competition.

Remember that perfect world? Today, it’s actually within your reach. It’s true, you can achieve organizational connectivity and visibility without a complete overhaul of your business infrastructure. Various technologies are available today to help you optimize workflows and cross-functional collaboration, whatever your organizational structure, which can ultimately lead to lower costs, greater productivity, reduced risk and an enhanced customer experience.

In particular, Equifax offers a dynamic solution called BusinessConnect™ that can help. It was specifically designed to integrate siloed data, systems and workflows to provide better cross-departmental collaboration and insights. You’ll get a more reliable, big-picture understanding of prospects and customers that helps you clearly visualize customer activity, risk and opportunity across your organization. But that’s really just the beginning of all you can do, since it also gives you access to built-in technology tools and vast, differentiated data sources that can help simplify, streamline and accelerate everything from segmentation and targeting strategies to point-of-sale transactions and debt recovery efforts.

Best of all, it’s easy to implement and utilize, since it’s the only solution of its kind built natively on the Force.com® platform.  That means, if you’re already using Salesforce, BusinessConnect is, quite literally, within reach. However, if you’re not using Salesforce, BusinessConnect can also be easily configured for use within a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system designed to manage customer data.

If you’re ready to get your customer-facing teams working together to move your business forward, we’re here to help. To learn more about BusinessConnect, watch this quick video.

At Equifax, we’re dedicated to providing you with the actionable insights, technology and expertise you need to know more about your customers, grow your business and protect against risk. Learn more about the many ways we can help advance your business at http://www.equifax.com/business/.

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