How to get the most out of CRM within your Finance Department

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In this blog, we will walk you through how to get the most out of CRM within your Finance Department. Whilst most finance teams with organisations have a good view of the typical purchasing, invoicing and balance sheet transactions through the use of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or via an array of spreadsheets and databases, they do not create a full picture of where the organisation is heading financially. By integrating all of your financial data and customer data within your CRM system, you can create an interactive dashboard, so you have the power to drill down into your sales data in one location, zeroing in on key trends, customer behaviours and likelihood of future purchases.

As a result, you can manage your revenue and budget variances, generate more precise business forecasts, and manage your budget efficiently and more effectively.

Keeping your financial data safe and secure

Keeping data spreadsheets in numerous locations isn’t really the best way to keep track of customer information or keep it secure. CRM systems can keep all of your customer information safe and secure on one reliable platform, giving secure access to only the people that need access to it.

Ability to use pipeline reports to plan cash-flow

Using a CRM system, your finance department will have a real-time view of your organisation’s sales forecasts so they can have a more accurate projection of their cash flows.

 

You can also automate many of your business processes using your CRM system, giving you and your finance teams an accurate picture of how your cash flow is working. For example, you can create reports that reveal where your most significant leads are coming from and when they are most likely to convert.

 

Commercial sign-off for larger deals and tenders

ViewPointCRM has a great capability for sales teams to be able to put quotations together using built in margin parameters or call off against agreed contractual terms. It also has built in workflows so that various approvals can be built into a proposal or quotation subject to the correct level of sign-off according to your organisation’s policies. So, for lower margin discounts, a sales manager would be able to sign this off, but for more complex or larger discounts to be signed off, these would go to a sales director and possibly a commercial finance manager or director for approval.

All of these sign-offs would have an audit trail and the ability to report against sales team or individuals to see who is driving the most profitable business.

Credit scores and customer spend limits

Giving your front line sales teams and / or customer services teams access to credit check status or spend limits for a particular customer can really speed up the sales process and highlight any ‘red flag’ issues early in customer conversations. This is good from a customer experience point of view, as an order can be stopped in its tracks if there are financial issues and time is not wasted having to revisit orders because there were irregularities that would prevent the order being processed. It’s also good from a business perspective as you can flag these customer issues to the relevant team to investigate outstanding payments, ask for security deposits or tag the customer’s account with a status update.

Use reporting to produce commission payments for sales

Using your CRM to help manage commission payments has a number of benefits.

  1. It ensures that all sales have to be entered onto the CRM. No order on CRM, no commission and no exceptions.
  2. It ensures that your commercial finance team have access to all the current information on the status of pipelines and likelihood of close date at any given time. It will show one off purchases as well as any ongoing revenue for a particular deal. This can be invaluable when calculating cash-flow, repeat business and when commissions (and the value thereof) will need to be paid.
  3. The sales teams are more likely to correctly input data into the CRM system if their commission depends on it. This reduces the amount of queries and anomalies at the end of the month.

Future procurement planning based upon customer sales history / pipeline.

A CRM software solution provides a central location for you to store information about your customers and prospects. This means you can analyse data to build a more accurate picture of your customers and approach them with the right products or services at the right time. As a result, you can increase sales and also develop other avenues for further growth and profits.

Overall, CRM has benefits and features that go far beyond use for just sales personnel. The level of improved collaboration and efficiency achieved when everyone works from the same database can break down departmental silos, eliminate the hassle of duplicate data, and give you and your team, no matter what their role, better visibility of your entire organisation.

Hopefully we’ve given you a few tips on how to get the most out of CRM within your finance department. If you would like to discuss your business challenges and how ViewPointCRM can help your organisation, please get in touch with our expert team today or book a demo.

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