Shared Services is a Key Investment Toward Becoming More Strategic

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There is a lot of talk these days about how finance organizations can become more strategic by “partnering with the business”.  It’s the same everywhere, all over the world.  But, it looks different depending on where you sit in the world, and within your organization.

In APJ CFOs and finance organizations are also being asked to become more strategic, and businesses here are growing so fast that this is imperative.  One of the challenges is, they do not always have the technology and infrastructure to do all the tactical things finance has to do and also undertake more proactive, strategic initiatives and still do both things well.

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From terror to top of the heap: My Twitter journey

- - Social Media

Follow me on my Twitter Journey

Over the past three years, Twitter has become an indispensible selling tool for me. So, when I recently took on a new global sales role, I looked around to see what my new team was up to on Twitter. Not much. In fact, when we did a quick inventory of everyone’s Twitter presence, I landed at the top of the heap.

That surprised me. I only have about 2,900 followers, which seems like a small following to me relative to some of the people I admire and follow on Twitter. But, that’s enough of a following to make an impact on my effectiveness as a salesperson. And, it’s apparently enough to intimidate anyone who’s just starting out.

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The Strategic CFO: To be strategic, get specific

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For as long as I’ve been working with and selling to finance professionals, there’s been a lot of talk about how finance can be more strategic.  CFOs in larger multi-national companies, or in more mature markets are already heading down this road. According to a Deloitte Finance Business Partner survey that was presented at a recent SAP event in Singapore, 91% of CFOs reported that they are looking to increase the time spent on finance business partner efforts – meaning they are actively looking for ways to partner with the business to be more strategic.

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The 3 Biggest Obstacles to Being Social, and How to Overcome Them

- - Social Media

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I’m a big believer in using social media for sales, and I’m always encouraging people to ramp up their social presence.  I get a lot of push back, and it usually has to do with one or more of these: time, what to say, and skepticism. These are the three biggest hurdles people seem to struggle with. Here’s how to overcome them.

Save time with technology

Technology is your friend when it comes to doing social media efficiently. I’m constantly trying out new tools, and a few have really proven their value. I’m a big fan of Buffer, a scheduling tool that allows me to maintain a steady social presence even when I’m on a plane or in a different time zone.

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To start with big data, start small and use your “I”s

imagesTo get started with big data analytics, think small. Pick one problem to solve, and build an analytics solution for it.  What kind of problem?  One that leverages your two I’s: impact and influence. Picking a project with the potential to have a big impact, and getting the right people talking about it is the best way to build an appetite for analytics.

I’ve seen this work myself, in the sales organization at SAP.  We are very much a sales driven company, and we use our own solutions.  We salespeople spend most of our day in our CRM, our customer relationship management solution, and we also used to spend a fair amount of time in Excel.

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