3 Benefits of Integrating your Accounting Software with your CRM

In Business Management Software, Process Improvement, Sage CRM by Hannah Lincoln

Spread the love

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As businesses grow, the numbers of systems they use can also grow, sometimes at an exponential rate. Each team will normally have their own procurement cycle and unless they have experienced support, very often they will not involve other teams in their buying process. One of the more common areas we see this in, is with CRM purchases, which can lead to problems further down the line. Because of this, we are going to talk about the 3 key reasons to consider integrating your CRM with your Accounting software and with any luck, this will open your eyes to the power of an integrated solution!

Better data and improved productivity

We know that pretty much everyone hates admin but we all accept it as a necessary evil. Many clients we work with have doubled their admin without even knowing it. Each account they sell into not only needs to be set up in their CRM, but also their accounting system.

Keeping key contact information up to date in both systems is extremely important. It also requires a double-entry of information, but that information is often emailed or sent to the other team to update, which actually triples the amount of time required from your team in terms of writing, reading and responding to the emails. We could all do with fewer emails!

Then there is the checking process. Now, if your processes are nailed then this is an admin burden, but for those that are less organised, you also have potential issues when someone forgets to do it and invoices can get lost or sent to the wrong person, which could affect the cash flow. Plus let’s be honest, it doesn’t look good to the customer!

So what else can be shared to improve productivity? Well, what about pricing? Very often the pricing controls and agreed rates are stored in your finance system or they need to be set up in both. An integrated CRM can give you the ability to share information across different systems, so your salespeople know what pricing has been agreed with a customer historically and finance doesn’t have to worry about the sales team designing their own pricing model. It is also more likely to remove mistakes in pricing generally and so can often help reduce the authorisation/checking processes for proposal sending, improve prospect response times and help you get ahead of your competition.

Sharing Financial Information

Our second benefit is all about sharing financial information in both directions. By giving your sales team access to financial information, you can ensure that they don’t waste time on orders where the customer is over a credit limit, or even better, enable them to effectively chase the payment so you can get payment for the outstanding amount more quickly. Not only that, but giving them access to past transactions allows them to not only review what pricing has been discussed or agreed earlier, but allows them to respond quickly to customer queries. The salesperson is normally the person that has actually built rapport with the customer. This allows them to chase outstanding debt more effectively, which is a great way to ensure your cash flow is looking healthy.

Also, don’t forget that the sharing of information can go both ways. By giving finance access to your CRM and potential orders, they can tread more carefully with their chasing efforts if there’s a big potential deal in the pipeline, or perhaps give you a heads up if they are a risky customer!

Increasing your Lead Generation

Our third and final benefit is about increasing your lead generation. The reality is that your easiest customers to sell to are those who have already purchased from you. The latest statistics show that it costs five times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Not only that, but an existing customer is 60-70% more likely to purchase from you, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.  By integrating your accounting system with your CRM, you can create effective and targeted marketing campaigns based on customer history. Effective tactics can include an up sell or cross-sell campaign i.e. selling additional refills or warranties. Or perhaps a repeat purchase campaign where you target customers who purchased an item previously with discounts or vouchers to encourage future sales. You can even build campaigns based on what hasn’t been purchased. For example, perhaps you sell office supplies. You could target those that purchase paper and ink supplies that don’t buy their general office stationary like pens, staples, etc.  Not only can integrating your accounts save you time and resource but it can also generate revenue for you!

Conclusion

So as you can see there is a myriad of potential benefits to integrating your CRM with your Sage accounting solution, so in summary:

  • Reduced data entry and the likelihood of mistakes
    • Remove the clutter from your inbox with less time spent on internal emails
    • Stop duplication and double entry of orders/invoices
    • Remove the need for additional authorisation with pricing integration
    • Speed up the quote to cash process
    • Single source of customer information
    • Reduce invoice disputes around data entry mistakes
  • Increase Visibility of customer financial position across teams
    • Utilise the sales relationship to speed up credit chasing
    • Ensure customers stay within the credit limit
    • Ensure that Finance doesn’t scupper any big deals
    • Reduce risk with an awareness of customers who don’t pay
    • Access to Historical information help sales be more prepared
  • More targeted marketing
    • Target marketing based on previous purchase history
    • Cross-sell opportunities
    • Target repeat purchases to maximise revenue and ensure customer retention

Read more about Sage CRM in our Ultimate Sage CRM Guide

* This field is required
* This field is required
* Please enter an email address
* This field is required

Read our privacy and cookie policy to see how we will process the data you provide.


Spread the love