There are certain financial reports that are important for sales managers to review to help them have a clear snapshot of a client’s current status. These reports become even more important when it is time to review your organization’s overall client portfolio, as it is these reports that will give your organization a better understanding of your overall customer landscape. Some of these reports include:
- Sales volume: year to date as well as totals from past years
- Accounts receivable for a particular customer or group of accounts
- Status on current orders or invoices
Why should you integrate these reports and other financial information to your CRM?
By connecting your finance-based reports to your customer relationship management application, the members of your sales team who are used to working with the CRM tool will be able to be more autonomous and efficient when managing their own accounts. In addition to this, they will also rely less on the finance department to supply them with this information.
On the other hand, the finance department who also relies on data from the sales team will have access to information that will help with:
- Becoming more efficient when managing sales forecasts from the sales team in order to better budget future cash flows
- Reducing the number of double entries into the financial system, which will also help to lower the number of errors when processing orders
- Decreasing the number of requests to the finance department for additional reports or information
One of the major issues of not having this information integrated together is that it is difficult to have access to this information in real time. It is important for a sales manager to have up-to-date information such as the latest orders so that in the case of any particular issues, they can be discussed right away with the customer, which helps demonstrate a good grasp and understanding of their business.
Here are some examples of how your sales and finance departments can take advantage of an integrated financial and CRM system:
- View of real-time sales volume by account: By having access to the information within Dynamics CRM, the sales team will be able to view data that is contextualized for their particular customers.
- Review financial details by account: Sales calls are not always fun. Sometimes there are issues with customers that need to be resolved, and by having key account information like aging reports and views of unpaid invoices to date, the salesperson will have a complete picture of a particular account before they meet with the client.
- Views of sales forecasts vs. actuals: Both the sales and finance teams can benefit from such a report, but both for very different reasons. The sales team will be able to manage their period-to-date objectives, and the finance team will have a real-time view of the organization’s sales forecasts so they can have a more accurate projection on their cash flows.
- Create orders and/or invoices by the sales team in CRM and have them automatically transferred over to your ERP system: The sales person is usually the one who has the most knowledge of what the customer has purchased. By having the sales team create the quotes and then transfer these details over to order processing and then to the ERP system, this will help ensure that the client is getting what they want, as well as reduce the number of errors in the transfer between the two groups.
- Easily review invoices for access to historical information and current account statuses: As invoices are typically managed by the finance department, it is important for the sales team to have access to this information since they are usually the ones who are customer facing and the first ones to be notified if there is an issue.
One of the key benefits of having the financial information integrated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that once the data has been connected to this application, almost anything is possible. With Dynamics CRM’s development platform (xRM), you are able to add value to this information by adding additional intelligence such as business rules, workflows and other processes to streamline your activities.
It also becomes easier to share this information with other members within your organization who may need it, which will also reduce the number of requests to the finance team.
By having both systems integrated together, your resources will be able to continue to work in the system with which they feel most comfortable, without having to go back and forth. This will save time since they will no longer have to maneuver between two systems, and may also increase user adoption since the information can easily be found in their preferred system.
Read our other blog in this series to learn more about why your organization should integrate their financial system to Dynamics CRM: from a IT Director perspective, and have a look at our infographic on “
By JOVACO Solutions,