In politics, we have Republicans vs Democratics.
In sports, we have the Lakers vs Celtics.
And in business, we often have sales vs finance.
Where rivalry makes for exhilarating sporting competition, and heated political debates, any feud between sales and finance needs to stop.
Typecasting could be to blame, what with the trite perception that sales are flashy, loud, and self-centred, whereas finance are rule following, goody two shoes, often blinded by their love of numbers.
If your teams follow such perspectives, they may have created unique tech stacks to ensure communication, task sharing, and general collaboration with their ‘rival’ department is kept to a bare minimum.
Roadblock, roadblocks, and yet more roadblocks – are they even aware that sales is a commission-based job, and not with the same luxurious ‘salary’ you get in finance!
In fact, do they even understand business? It’s a giant game, and unless we have free reign to drive revenue every single day, we’re falling well behind.
Maybe this ‘spreadsheet’ mentality has blighted their understanding of human interaction from a transactional sense.
They only think about numbers, but us, we are dealing with people, not data, and that means stretching well beyond a systematic approach to just making sure boxes are ticked.
Closing deals. That’s all that matters. No regard is given to anything else.
New prospects are promised the earth just so they’re converted, but what about actually delivering? It’s almost as if that’s a tomorrow problem, so it doesn’t really matter.
If they could just take a second to understand what this aggressive approach does to the rest of the business – maybe, just maybe, they might understand why finance are little more pragmatic.
Anyway! It’s almost certain another sales related mess will need cleaning soon. May as well accept my own work is being neglected over the coming days.
Doesn’t make for very good timing! We’re soon collaborating with our CFO to forecast our entire business finances for the next quarter.
Now, we get it!
Sometimes there will be tools unique to each department.
NetSuite is often the ‘single source of truth’ for finance, and sales often rely on Salesforce for customer relations.
We recommend integrating these together, and later finding a conduit between the two, as this ensures both departments can see what’s happening across these modules without needing additional licences.
Money is slashed, and this futile sales vs finance bridge starts tumbling.
Did you know?
Tech sprawl is a common phenomenon and stretches well beyond just project management tools.
Have a look at how much your business could save by adopting an integrated software suite.
Whether they like it or not, fostering a strong collaboration between sales and finance is imperative to the wider business.
Forecasting is a prime example, where unless tech stacks are unified, crucial data may be locked away from relevant people, causing inaccurate budgeting.
There's also customer service to consider.
How frustrating for sales if finance had locked away a nugget of information which could have unlocked a more impactful approach to a forthcoming proposition.
This is where those tiresome stereotypes really spring to mind.
Keeping data locked away from each department could well serve their own interests, but if they only knew what impact this has on ‘big picture stuff’.
Consider changing the narrative around data, by explaining how this lays the seeds for growth - this serves both departments, as sales require continuous deals for their commission, and finance are heavily involved with the business’ bottom line.
Data protection is a wider business concern, but the fact both sales and finance are customer facing, makes this a particularly pressing issue.
Cyber-crime isn’t going away, but you can take massive strides towards a more robust software set-up between these departments, which breaks down the sales vs finance conflict, and by doing so, reduces the number of avenues for attack.
Use one internal communication app, not multiple, and if people still insist on email, just because ‘we’re used them’, find a solution which takes core data from your inbox, and places this inside end-to-end encrypted threads, sitting next to important data typically stored in NetSuite or Salesforce.
Let's imagine your sales and finance team insist on working apart.
That's now two separate tech stacks with data circulating, rather than a centrally monitored set-up, which makes life a lot harder for the CISO when investigating how and what has been breached in the event of an attack.