How to create harmony between SaaS finance and sales

In a recession, it’s only natural for different departments within a company to be at odds with one another. Stressors are increased. As a SaaS CFO, you have your pet projects and personal vision for the company’s financial future. Well, all the other department heads have theirs too, and they don’t always align.

As the CFO, it might seem to Sales as though you’re playing a “deal-prevention” role and wrapping their aspirations in red tape. This is a very real problem because it gets in the way of important business objectives such as:

  • Maintaining open communication: Keeping a free-flowing line of communication between departments is crucial. But for SaaS finance and sales, it’s non-negotiable. When working in tandem like a well-oiled machine, these two departments can do more to make your profits soar than almost anything else. And bringing automation into the mix only makes it more potent.
  • Strategizing between departments: This is the next logical step in keeping communication open. When departments communicate often and share data freely, they’ll naturally begin to strategize together to address shared problems and areas of concern. The long-term impacts this can have on your profitability can’t be overstated.
  • Keeping company morale high: If you’re going to work every day thinking that another department in your company is obstructing your success, it won’t be long before your morale takes a hit. A strong relationship between departments can keep everything humming along smoothly.

Contrary to popular opinion, SaaS finance doesn’t just throw a budget over the fence to sales and say, “work with it.” This article will cover how finance can act as a genuine profit-driving partner to sales.

You can be Sales’ eyes and ears

Modern SaaS accounting software puts incredible predictive power at your fingertips. It allows you to spot key usage trends in real time and offers a truly panoramic view of the overall health of your company.

Your newly acquired depth of data and foresight will allow you to offer genuinely beneficial and actionable strategies to your sales team. More specifically, you’ll be able to:

  • Help your sales staff fight churn: Modern SaaS accounting software lets you track churn with unprecedented clarity. This means you can establish a symbiotic relationship with your sales team around churn. You let them know in granular detail what the “situation on the ground” is, and they can utilize that data for corrective intervention.
  • Identify upsell opportunities: Just as importantly, switching to automated accounting gives companies much more clarity about their most satisfied customers and best-selling products. Sales departments always look for good upsell opportunities, so why not give them some?

Those aren’t the only ways to team up with sales to generate growth, though.

SaaS insight on acquisition and retention

For subscription and SaaS companies, “making a sale” isn’t a one-time event like it is for other businesses. You need to actively secure your customers’ loyalty to ensure they remain active users of your product or service.

Paying close attention to the following two metrics will help you understand your customers’ level of satisfaction with your products.

  • Customer Acquisition Cost: Your customer acquisition cost (CAC) tells you how much you’ve spent on average to acquire each of your customers. One of your tasks as a SaaS CFO should be to get this metric as low as possible and keep it that way. When this metric starts to rise, it can signify that something is making your services less attractive to prospects than they used to be.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: Your customer lifetime value (CLTV) shows you who your outliers are and which customer segments and relationships you should prioritize. If you picture these two metrics as lines on a graph, the ideal scenario would be for your CAC to slope down sharply and for your CLTV to shoot upward.

If you can relay this information to your sales team, they’ll be much better equipped to turn prospects into leads and convert leads into subscribers.

Bridge the SaaS sales and finance gap

SaaS companies always work better when they’re connected on multiple levels across departments. Automation will help your accounting team interact more effectively with your sales staff.

This relationship between departments is vital, whether it involves sharing details about subscriber trends or formulating discount campaigns. Sage Intacct cloud financials can help you do even more than this, though.

Learn how cloud financials operate the way you do – explore the top 7 reasons to move to the cloud today.