In a recent global survey of CRM Administrators conducted by Apttus, data-related challenges took 4 of the top 6 spots on areas that Admins felt are their biggest challenges. Data is critical to success. Data helps companies better understand and anticipate the needs of their customers. Within a company, data improves sales forecast accuracy and provides indicators to potential profitability on new deals. For Finance users, just having data isn’t enough.  Finance needs data to be properly integrated to provide the most complete view of a business so that crucial decisions can be made based on facts from a single source of truth. Just what does it take to have data be the launch pad for innovation instead of the panic button for disaster ?

What Does Finance Want?

When it comes to data integration, most Finance users will tell you they want it all. I know that’s how I felt when I worked in that capacity. Give me all the data so I can analyze it and draw my own conclusions. I recently asked three Salesforce Administrators what they saw as the biggest challenges brought on my Finance users. Is it time to push the panic button?

Data All The Things!

Jocelyn Fennewald, Salesforce MVP and Managing Partner, OpMentors: “Some of the biggest challenges that I see with implementation is the amount of data. Finance teams need detailed data and the migration of this data can be overwhelming. Most accounting systems will export to Excel. Allowing Finance teams to still use Excel is an important part of any implementation.”

Jocelyn also says that Finance teams want one system of record, as this is critical to maintaining data integrity and confidence. However, they still need the ability to analyze data in whatever manner they desire. This might lead one to think about an oil and water like mixture. One system of record with the ad-hoc analytical capabilities. Whatever you do, do not push the red panic button!

Talk Data To Me!

Nana Gregg, Salesforce MVP and Vice President, Senior Salesforce Administrator, JLL says: “One of the bigger challenges I see is actually communication between the Finance Team and the CRM Administrator. Administrators need to be able to speak the language of Finance in order to better understand the integration needs. Communication can make or break an integration!”

I know some of you are now thinking that means extra costs to bring in a consultant to play the role of the interpreter. That’s not a necessity, as long as your CRM Administrator and Finance team can collaborate effectively. Has the countdown to launch started?

Process, Process, Process!

Machell Enke, Managing Partner, OpMentors: “One of the biggest challenges I have experienced both as a Salesforce Admin and Implementation Partner when dealing with Finance teams is streamlining their processes. While they generally tout the mantra of wanting to increase efficiency and drive productivity through streamlining processes they tend to get mired in solving for one-off situations that add complexity to their process.”

How can you stay focused and out of the muck and mire?

  • Communications: Maintain an open line of communication; Tell others what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.
  • Collaboration: Provide an environment that fosters a collaborative effort; Call out great “one-team” efforts and celebrate the success.
  • Accountability: Hold yourself and others accountable to project deliverables, timelines and budgets.

Three – Two – One – Launch!

Looking for More Best Practices on Importing Data to CRM? Download the whitepaper today!

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