Why the CFO Should be Funnel Savvy

As an interim marketing executive I consider myself a part of the revenue-generation team of my clients.  In this role, together with the sales executive, I frequently have conversations with the company CFO about the sales  forecast and resource requirements within the marketing and sales departments.

I’ve found that in companies where a sophisticated revenue funnel is in use for planning and performance management, and the CFO is very familiar with the model and its metrics, these conversations about forecast and resources are shorter, smarter, and frankly, less contentious.

On the other hand, in companies where a sophisticated funnel model is not in use and the CFO is not privy to the metrics and assumptions that drive the model . . . well, let’s just say the meetings aren’t much fun.

The revenue funnel isn’t the sole domain of sales or marketing. CFO’s should be as familiar with their company’s funnel structure and metrics as any sales executive or marketing executive.  Here’s why.

  1. Funnel modeling tools provide the best way for marketing, finance, and sales to talk the same language during planning and reporting.
  2. The variables of the funnel make up the actual metrics of the revenue engine. These variables are the levers and dials over which management has control.
  3. The funnel, over time, enables the sales forecast to be made with higher and higher degrees of accuracy.
  4. Requests for more resources from Marketing and Sales can in part be justified or refused based on funnel economics

CFO’s should be trained in the use of sophisticated funnel modeling tools right along side their marketing and sales colleagues.

An excellent source of this training is the FunnelAcademy(tm), which includes comprehensive training on sizing a funnel and measuring progress. It also includes the most robust funnel modeling tool I’ve ever had the pleasure to use.

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