Top CFO Focus In 2021: More Sales, More Data Latest from Oracle NetSuite 

We are proud to align with Oracle NetSuite as a Platinum Sponsor for our CFO Leadership Conference, A New Hope. Hayley Null, Industry Marketing Lead – Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, Oracle NetSuite, provides a summary of findings from their recent 2021 Business Leader Survey

CFOs have never worked harder. Between steering the business through the pandemic, developing non-traditional skills like sales and marketing, and staying on top of emerging technology and new regulations, the role is shifting significantly. Now more than ever, CFOs need clear vision and technology to maximize recovery and results in 2021.

Brainyard’s Winter 2021 Business Leader Outlook Survey found that two things are top of mind for business leaders in the new normal: sales and customer acquisition. With a nearly 60% increase in sales as a top priority, a focus on growing the top line isn’t a surprise. Companies that had a negative or neutral 2020 are hyper-focused on meeting revenue and earnings goals this year, with more sales as a means to that end. Even for businesses that weren’t substantially harmed by the pandemic, it’s likely some of their customers were, affecting their order size and frequency.

Although CFOs and other leaders are sales-focused, this isn’t translating into a large increase in sales spending. Instead, most businesses are investing more in technology as a way to build new avenues for future sales. While many leaders invested in technology to manage work from home and open ecommerce channels in 2020, it appears there’s more to be done.

In addition to remote work and employee safety as top priorities post-COVID, ramping up ecommerce and improving digital marketing are the most common initiatives in response to the pandemic. The focus online for acquiring new customers is more critical than ever given that on-site sales meetings and in person events still aren’t a reality. This continued shift to digital to boost sales reflects changing consumer buying journeys: doing research online and mostly making their decision before contacting any sales team. Digital marketing puts your business where customers are looking and those that aren’t investing in digital are missing out on market share.

Finance should be leading the charge on enabling management with the best go to market strategy. To make profitable decisions, and increase the top and bottom lines, teams need real-time data to analyze sales and marketing trends. Good, timely data with careful analysis informs the business on efforts that will lead to performance. With that in mind, we’ve collected a set of key data points that businesses should be monitoring consistently.

Real-time marketing data helps ensure that you’re targeting the right audience and optimizing lead conversion. This can include information such as where your customers are coming from, which messaging is most effective, and where marketing dollars went the furthest. Doubling down on what works will increase brand awareness where it matters, with leads that are the best fit for your product.

Tracking key performance metrics like order frequency, item count, average order value and return rate can capture customer satisfaction. Returns could be indicative of quality control issues or changing competition or market dynamics. Calculating and tracking average order value is a great way to arm your sales team with data on customer trends. Tracking customer data can identify customers with the highest lifetime value who may be ripe for cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Additionally, this data can help diagnose customers that you might be at risk of losing, so the sales team can proactively improve the relationship and reduce churn.

Being able to track which products are bringing in the highest, and the lowest, sales volumes can determine where you should be spending more sales and marketing resources and where you might need to cut your losses. Additionally, tracking margins to see which products are most and least profitable helps prioritize an optimal product mix, informing management on SKUS that should be added to or removed from current product offerings and future product launches.

Technology with real-time data and visibility enables leaders to more accurately report on their sales processes, gain better insight into customer buying behaviors and more quickly adapt to the needs of the market. Successful CFOs are taking charge of the critical tools they need to get the job done: technology and data. But just having the data is not enough. CFOs must mine the valuable data and use it gain new business insights to increase sales and customer satisfaction and inform business strategy.

About Oracle NetSuite, Our Platinum Conference Sponsor

 For more than 20 years, Oracle NetSuite has helped organizations grow, scale and adapt to change. NetSuite provides a suite of cloud-based applications, which includes financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), inventory management, HR, professional services automation and omnichannel commerce, used by more than 24,000 customers in 203 countries and dependent territories.

As A New Hope Conference Platinum Sponsor, Oracle NetSuite is offering a $49 discount to attend.  Select Promo Code: NetSuite49 at registration.

Click here to start a conversation with a NetSuite expert now.

About A New Hope

Our 11th annual CFO Leadership Conference, A New Hope is being held June 7-9, 2021.  A virtual 3-day experience with a theme of breakout energy, forward progress, growth & achievement! This year’s conference is about the initiatives CFOs are taking on as they face off to today’s new reality.  CFOS are moving quickly to position their finance function and company for success. Our conference will bring to you the finance executives who are undertaking these initiatives and executing on them flawlessly with success. They will share their stories in leadership.  Reserve your spot today!


About The CFO Leadership Council

What began as a personal experiment back in 2006 has evolved into a prominent community, 2000+ members strong, across North America.  The CFO Leadership Council offers both in person and online options featuring expert panelists and interactive sessions that foster meaningful connection and drive practicable outcomes. Our collection of resources, similar to this article, contain pragmatic insights and advice created directly by our members and industry experts.  Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. For a full list of programs, visit

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