Finance and sales departments should be working in sync, nailing targets together. Skynamo’s ERP integration ensures your sales team becomes an extension of the finance team.
What would it look like to combine your sales team’s ability to communicate and build trust with customers with the knowledge of your finance team? The failure to build a bridge between finance and sales teams remains a frustration for many businesses.
Finance teams often have a firm grasp on their end of the business while other elements still rely on manual data entry. Our research shows that it is most often the sales team who were ‘left behind’ as the digital revolution rolled on. When they’re not still doing all their data capturing and report writing manually, they make use of technology that never had them in mind in the first place. They tend to make do with what they have.
Sales teams find themselves out in the field without access to live product, pricing and customer information. On top of this, they report back to the finance team manually and often only once a week. These reporting systems are prone to human error, which leads to inaccurate and slow reporting, which affects the whole business in turn.
How do you build a bridge between finance and sales?
Ideally, you want your sales team to be an extension of the finance team. The finance department has access to all the information contained in your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but you want this information in the hands of your sales team.
Your outside sales team should be able to consult customers and engage with prospects using up-to-date product and business information (stock levels, pricing changes, customer history, discount policies) in their hands. Similarly, your finance team and managers rely on timely and accurate data (orders, credit requests, product returns) to make decisions based on the ‘real’ status of your business, instead of using outdated information.
Bridging the gap between finance and sales requires seamless integration of outside sales software with your ERP (e.g. Sage, Acumatica, Xero, SAP). Your ERP system is only as effective as its integration with sales technology. Successful integration ‘completes’ your ERP, ensuring that finance and sales operate as one cohesive team within your business.
Skynamo develops technology for outside sales teams that integrate with ERP systems, making two-way communication between Sales and Finance a reality. Taking this step to help your sales and finance teams work better together and be more aligned holds various benefits for your business.
Benefits of ERP-sales software integration
1. Accurate product inventory and pricing
Having an accurate view of inventory (warehouse stock), pricing and customer-specific discount rates, allows outside salespeople to make better sales decisions and be better consultants to customers. Misinformation is eliminated, while credit notes and delivery returns are reduced.
2. Payment details
Visibility on payment terms and history helps customers make better buying decisions. Salespeople have access to up-to-date, per customer credit limits and can advise customers on which buying cycles best suit their business needs. Sales teams also become an extension of your accounts receivable team, able to remind customers they visit about outstanding payments during site visits.
3. Data collection
Manual forms are one of the most popular features in field sales apps. Your finance team can set up credibility checklists that help the sales team check whether prospects meet credit requirements before spending efforts on pursuing them as potential customers. Information that is critical to your business’ financial decision-making process can be gathered by your sales team out in the field. This makes them an extension of your finance team, essentially acting as financial reps for your business.
4. Order processing
One of the biggest business nightmares is slow order processing. Sales teams hate it because it makes it difficult to ensure swift product delivery; the inability to draw up reports and make decisions based on accurate data is highly frustrating to finance teams. ERP integration assures that sales field feedback is immediate, and accurate delivery promises can be made to customers. On top of this, salespeople no longer complete sales reports at the end of the day or week, because order taking and processing are now automated. The time they used to spend on admin is now spent on selling.
“Now, when we take an order in the morning or the earlier part of the day, orders are processed in real-time and customers will receive their products that same day.” – Interstat Office Supplies (Read full Interstat case study here)
5. Offline access
It’s no use having the right technology when no internet means it cannot function optimally. The point of field sales technology is for your sales team to have real-time access to customer and product information, and to give them the ability to capture data digitally while they’re visiting customers. Skynamo allows sales teams visiting premises with bad or no internet to do everything as usual, knowing that all information is synced to when they last had internet access and new information will immediately sync with the ERP system once they enjoy internet access again.