Does your sales team keep track of expenses on spreadsheets, referring back to crumpled up receipts from last week’s trip?
While many companies adpot high-tech solutions to support various aspects of the sales role, expense management often falls to the wayside. Entering receipt totals and flight details into a spreadsheet eats up time. Sales team members could better utilize those minutes to follow up with clients they met at a conference or the leads they gathered at a trade show.
At Nuvem, we encourage our clients to implement a lead-to-cash software ecosystem. This means aligning disparate solutions so they talk to one another and provide a complete view of the customer from the first handshake to the first invoice.
Adopting a lead-to-cash model not only improves the customer experience, reducing the likelihood of abandonment, but it also unlocks a more comprehensive reporting capacity. When there is a record of a lead’s journey through each milestone in your sales process, you can begin to take a more critical look at your sales and marketing strategies, examining activities with low return and expanding the approaches that do lead to success.
The ability to track expenses plays a key role in the lead-to-cash process. By bringing a solution like Concur into your ecosystem, you can get a fuller picture of the costs underlying sales.
Concur is an expense management tool that seamlessly integrates with Salesforce. Through a native integration, Concur brings travel expenditures (flight and hotel bookings, dinners bought on the company card, taxi rides and more) into your Salesforce database. These expenses can then be tied to Opportunities, Contacts and Accounts. This allows sales managers, marketing directors and account executives to track the effectiveness of their teams’ spending, leveraging custom reports to better allocate their T&E budget.
Using Expense Management in Sales
Sales managers may oversee multiple reps, each with their own territory. With Concur, sales managers can approve itineraries, collaborate on travel plans with Chatter, track their team’s actual T&E spend versus the budget and analyze the ROI of those expenditures.
The integration includes a custom dashboard which highlights the amount of T&E budget remaining for the quarter and the volume of spend as a percentage of the value from Opportunities. More elaborate custom reports can reveal the amount of expenditure by Opportunity Type or Industry.
Utilizing this data, Sales Managers can seek answers to questions like: Would it be better to allocate more of our budget to a different vertical? Do we need to ask for a larger budget next quarter to cover more leads in Tom’s territory?
Applying Expense Management to Marketing
A marketing director with a limited budget for trade shows and industry events should know how many opportunities result from those efforts. At Nuvem Consulting, we encourage clients to implement Campaigns for monitoring marketing initiatives as part of the lead-to-cash model.
By tying Leads to Campaigns, marketing directors can track the performance of their initiatives. If Leads end up purchasing a product, that revenue gets attributed to the Campaign.
Concur provides insight into the cost of each Campaign. Marketing Directors can compare the Campaign’s revenue to the cost from each expense: airfare for events, trade show booths, a catered dinner, etc.
By tying revenue to the full cost of marketing, Salesforce can empower Marketing Directors with the information to make informed decisions about whether certain events are really worth pursuing next year.
Leveraging Expense Management as an Account Executive
Concur can automatically sync with a credit card and aggregate receipt totals from trips. Account Executives can associate all of their expenses from a trip with an Account in Salesforce. Using the custom dashboard, they can track the actual cost of their client visits versus their T&E budget. And if certain client meetings lead to Opportunities, that revenue can be tied back to the trip’s expenses, providing AE’s with the same ROI insight that is available to Sales and Marketing.
Nuvem Consulting can work to build expense management into your existing Salesforce workflows and objects. The lead-to-cash model is a best-practice data and systems management approach that has helped many of our clients improve cross-team communication and efficiency.
But everyone begins at a different place and comes with a unique set of pain points. Contact us to discuss how lead-to-cash and expense management could improve your business processes and reporting.