CFO and CRM? Can't see what they've got to do with each other? It's easy: up until now, the CRM system has always been down to the sales and marketing departments. But that's all in the past! Here are three good reasons why you, as a CFO, should become a fan of CRM.
1. Knowing your clients: The magic ingredient of good forecasts
Yes, you should know about your clients and your teams' projects! It's not the first time we've said this: connecting the CFO with the operational staff is the key to your success. However, most of this information is concentrated in the CRM software and relates to both prospects and clients. You can find which business sectors are hot when it comes to sales, keep track of the commercial pipeline and identify any recruitment needs. It's a treasure trove of information that will help you to regulate your provisional budget wisely and make provision as a result.
A true classic: the barrel of oil
Many companies have the opportunity to work with the petroleum sector, yet everyone knows that these players are highly sensitive to the price per barrel and that it's a sector that will need to reinvent itself in the long term. So, don't leave it out of your forecasts. You don't have to be a fortune-teller, but integrate this context into your deliberations and modify your analyses slightly as a result.
2. There is future revenue hiding in the commercial pipeline
You don't drive a car by looking in the rearview mirror. So, bearing in mind that the company's future is hidden in the CRM, don't be afraid to take a look at it. If a contract for a big project is about to be signed, it could have quite an impact on the wage bill and even require a move to different premises. Take a look, cross-reference the information and challenge your provisional budget.
3. The sales team needs you, doesn't it?
A sales team is necessarily focused on the future, by its very nature. However, to approach the future by disregarding the past (or even the present) is reckless. That's why it's because of your insightful analyses (profitability of projects; compliance with terms of payment, etc.) that sales people can make more sales by fine-tuning their offerings and so refine your own forecast in turn. We've come full circle: QED.