The Importance of Documentation in Sales

Even if you are catering to a longtime customer or running over an annual contract, putting things in writing is highly advised for the sake of both parties. This will serve as a proof of transaction and prevent miscommunication that can jeopardize relationships and put either party in a financial bind. Think of it as a legal backup that will protect both the buyer and the seller in the event of a legal dispute. Sales documents also make it easy to identify gaps in the operation for the business to continue providing excellent service to its customers, while maintaining internal productivity.

Types of Sales Documents

Documents in the area of sales and distribution all have a specific purpose and each performs special functions at every stage of the sales cycle. This allows you to control which information is required at each step of the process in order to maintain consistency and organization. Some common examples of sales document types include the following:

Inquiries and Quotations: An inquiry refers to the request made by a buyer to obtain the desired information about a product being sold. This also indicates a buyer’s interest in the seller’s offers. Once the inquiry is placed, the seller is most likely to send a quotation as a response. Contracts and Agreements: Outline agreements, such as contracts and scheduling agreements, are used to spell out the terms and conditions involving the exchange of goods, services, or any item of value. A binding contract is extremely important for parties to protect their finances and resources in case legal problems begin to surface. It’s best to secure a written contract or agreement beforehand to ensure that both parties have fully understood their rights and obligations in the deal. Debit and Credit Notes: Mistakes happen regardless of how hard you try to avoid them. Thus, corrective action must be made to address these concerns accordingly. These adjustment documents are commonly known as debit and credit notes. Other sales documents, such as a contract or billing document, are typically referred to in order to create the note. Delivery: Some sellers offer to distribute goods that are free of charge. This would depend on the price or quantity of the item, as well as the promo being offered by the seller. Delivery fees are charged to the buyer, in which customers may track their order through the transaction code indicated in the sales document.

Sales Document Samples

Here are samples of sales documents commonly used in the world of business:

The Document Flow in Sales

If you think about it, sales documents vary in terms of the role they play in the sales cycle. Some documents are produced prior to the actual transaction, such as inquiries and quotations, while others are processed following an exchange. While they each serve an individual purpose, they can also function as part of a chain of interrelated documents. Say for instance, if customers make an inquiry in the system, they are likely to request for a quotation right after. In this scenario, you can easily create the quotation by referring to the inquiry. This will then lead to a series of actions that would each require a sales document one way or another. It’s always best to keep a record of the different stages in the flow to help reduce manual activity and simplify problem resolution.