Why CFO’s Love AI-Powered CRM’s

Written by: Mint Group CFO, Yvonne Dias

As a CFO, a love of data comes naturally. Data that drives processes brings me to my happy place, and when that data is provided in real-time I am ecstatic! That is one of the main reasons why I am a big fan of Dynamics 365 as a CRM and Sales Insights system.

Successful businesses and CFO’s today are those that can analyse data promptly, interpret that data within the correct context, and respond to customer needs in real-time while simultaneously addressing market challenges.

To achieve this, an organisation requires a range of CRM business applications that can seamlessly integrate with all other systems and scale as the business grows. Even more importantly, as experienced with the recent changes happening in our world owing to COVID-19, these systems need to be accessible from anywhere, anytime.

The next-generation CRM is one that enables an in-office experience and connection from anywhere. With Dynamics 365, our salespeople are always aware of what is going on from a delivery-and-financial standpoint and can act and adjust their strategies accordingly.

The sales experience, effectiveness, and results, therefore, stay the same no matter where our salespeople are. It is like they are always right there with complete visibility over the status and outlook of their sales projects.

Should salespeople have new client orders, they can immediately access client order history on a product through the Dynamics 365 system to ensure the right approach to the proposal and delivery. Before the introduction of intelligent CRM systems, this process would have taken a lot of phone calls, data dumps and excel tables, with a lot of manual work thrown in.

With Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, access to trends, standard data, risk management, analysis, and predictions have become standard as the system seamlessly brings the worlds of finance and sales closer together, enabling faster decisions, actions and results.

CFO’s and Numbers

As a CFO I am in control of the numbers. And those numbers feed every other business process and decision in the organisation. My organisation relies on data to guide it on spending, investments, risk areas, and growth possibilities. Every action from a financial standpoint has a reaction and it is my job to ensure that it is positive.

In business, it is all about the numbers. But it’s not that simple. Numbers comprise employees, processes, operations, goals, risks and market conditions. There is so much to balance and consider, even though it is not always visible. That is why I rely heavily on technology to help increase visibility, integrate different processes and operations and provide a holistic view of the data in an organisation.

For me, the following are the must-have features of an Intelligent CRM for the modern CFO:

Data-driven insights

With CRM, PowerBI and AI – you can easily call up all sales trends for each product during budget-time to ensure you account for seasonality, loss of clients, employee billability and ensures growth rates that are in line with prior years.

ERP features

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a CRM system which manages a company’s interactions with current and future customers. When you combine these two worlds and add integrated intelligent data analysis and machine learning, you get a powerful tool that aids with trends, analysis and ensures more accurate decision making.

Machine Learning

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning is an integral feature of the Sales Insights module of Dynamics 365 and can detect client needs, social media sentiment and interpret data which provides the business with a wealth of data.

Data Centricity

Salespeople usually sit with a massive amount of information at their fingertips as a result of client interactions. An intelligent CRM system allows for all this information to rather sit within a central place that can be accessed by the entire sales team within the organisation.

Reduction in errors

Repetitive or monotonous tasks can lead to errors as people lose focus. A lack of real-time insights to the customer also leads to erroneous decision-making.

Therefore, Microsoft comprises a range of productivity tools that can assist and ensure fewer errors by enabling integration from an organisations CRM to Enterprise Resource Planning, reflecting an accurate and integrated view of information, task automation, workflow guides, agent scripts and chatbot guides.

Overall the reason why CFO’s love data-driven and intelligent CRM systems is that it enables them to gain a deeper understanding of the business by unifying relationships, processes, and data across apps with the ability to adjust AI functionality for greater agility and faster adaptation to business goals.

Lastly, the fact that I can forecast accurately and meet budget deadlines, while also gaining a glimpse into the mind of a salesperson with the ability to balance their very driven and overly ambitious sales goals with my conservative nature is the ultimate in the life of a CFO.

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