The right CRM and accounting software can help sales and finance collaborate more easily on projects. Often, it seems as if sales and finance are at loggerheads with one another—sales, the “we need more leads, so let’s spend money on campaigns” team and finance, the naysayers quick to say there’s no budget for such campaigns. The truth of the matter is that both teams want the same thing: success for their companies. To ensure such success, they need better collaboration on projects that will help the company gain sales and grow revenue.
Why Does CRM and Accounting Software Help Collaboration?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. It is often used by sales and marketing teams to manage customer accounts, including communications, orders, problem solving, and more.
When combined with an accounting software such as an enterprise relationship management (ERP) system, the two platforms provide a stable base from which companies can both track sales and manage finances. Alone, each provides a window into one aspect of a company. Together, the resulting combined data provides excellent insight into the sales pipeline and how it may impact the company’s finances.
Three Ways in Which Sales and Finance Can Improve Collaboration
Even with the right software in place, many sales teams feel divorced from the finance team. It’s as if what goes on down the hall doesn’t impact sales—and vice versa, for finance often finds themselves frustrated by the sales team’s lack of interest or adherence to financial policies.
Here are three ways in which sales and finance can collaborate to improve companywide results.
- Schedule frequent and regular updates: Sales and finance should schedule frequent and regular updates. By sitting down together and reviewing both the sales pipeline and financial forecasts, a common agreement may be reached around expenditures, budgets, and forecasting. Sharing information based on reports from the combined CRM and accounting software can also help since such systems bring all information into one place, enabling collaboration and shared data for decision making.
- Build an accurate sales pipeline: The sales team must ensure their pipeline is both accurate and updated. This includes an honest assessment of lead quality, progress towards closing, and potential business closing in each month or quarter. From this pipeline, finance can then improve its financial projects, and both will benefit from the improved accuracy.
- Quantify results: Often, sales feels their efforts are hampered by finance’s conservative approach to spending money. Finance isn’t reluctant to spend money per se, but they want to know the return on investment if they agree to provide a budget for a potential campaign. One way in which finance and sales can improve collaboration is by agreeing on a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) or metrics by which sales campaigns can be measured. With a shared rubric in place, both teams will feel more comfortable with suggested sales campaigns. A shared set of metrics is the quantifiable results that finance is looking for to support decisions, while sales can then use such results as a benchmark for future campaigns.
CRM and Accounting Software Integration
If your company currently uses spreadsheets or an off-the-shelf accounting system but would like to consider integrated CRM and accounting software, there are many options on the market. A review of various ERP or cloud accounting platforms will help you review platforms that also provide a CRM system, either an add-on to the base system or an easily added separate module.
An integrated CRM and ERP system provides a complete view of your customers, revenues, and finances, and offers valuable data. With the right system in place, finance and accounting collaboration not only becomes easier, it becomes part of the company culture.
Emerald TC provides software and consulting. We can help you choose the right ERP system for your needs. Contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.