You have made two very accurate observations. The solution, however, is going to be based on your revenues and the ability to hire an extra employee or, better yet, find and utililize some freelance help.
When you have sales people do artwork, you end up with poor quality material that is not effective and reduces your ability to retain clients. You are way better off to have one person handle all the art functions, from gathering the info. to creating the designs, to interacting with the clients, to getting the proofs signed – someone who is a professional art person. This job function can be farmed out, or you can hire it in-house. I have even used a college art student for 20 hours per week at about minimum wage – and he did some of the best artwork of all time because he really wanted to add to his portfolio.
On collections, it is always a bad idea to have your salesman act as the collector. Why? Because you do not want the customer to cringe when he hears that the salesman is on the phone – worrying if he is calling about unpaid rent. Pretty soon, your salesman gets a negative image in the mind of the client. This is terrible for sales. You are much better off having one person handle collections for all accounts. This includes phoning them, writing letters, picking up checks, and even filing lawsuits. This person will be known as the company bad guy, and the salesmen can do their jobs without hostility from clients. Again, you can fill this role with a full-time or part-time person.
Your salesmen should be doing just one thing – SELLING. One thing I found important, during recessions, is to put more emphasis on volume and creative ideas and less on beating them over the head with closings. If they produce enough sales volume, things will move. But if you focus strictly on volume of sales calls, then it is easier to stay positive. If you brow beat them constantly on their failure to hit sales goals, they will lose their enthusiasm or just quit. All they can do is make pitches – they can’t force the customer to buy. Celebrate those that make a real effort and hit high volumes of calls. Keeping them out of the art and collection business gives them more time to sell.