Three reasons you need a strategic CFO selling your growth story
Would you send your CFO on a sales call to your best customer?
Trusting your CFO with your stakeholders is vital to successful business growth. You need to trust they can have fruitful conversations with your customers, your employees, and other parties like bankers and brokers. These groups need to hear from more than just you, they need to hear from others too. Would you trust your CFO to talk to them?
If your answer to the question above is nothing less than absolutely, you may not have a strategic CFO.
As a business owner you understand that everyone is in sales. That is a non-negotiable condition of hiring. Most employees will never even see a customer, but your CFO needs to be in front of them on a regular basis.
A strategic CFO is your secret weapon because they are best positioned to be the storyteller. They can deliver your growth story in a way that customers can buy into. As CFO of a defense contractor, I jumped at the chance to talk to customers and I was able to partner with one to provide price discounts in exchange for larger orders. This increase in orders helped us afford automation which increased quality and improved on time delivery. This was possible because the CFO was selling. Due to their unbiased views, they carry more gravitas with a skeptical crowd.
2. Your employees need to hear from your CFO
As you tout your growth story to anyone who will listen inside your company, you never know what your employees are thinking.
They might be a little too used to hearing this optimism coming from you. On the flip-side, if they have already bought into the plan, they will probably need to hear more about execution and not high-level stories.
Growing a company correctly takes everyone’s help and those people deserve to understand how the process is coming along. Monthly meetings that give your employees insights into the successes or stumbles is a great first step. They need to hear from your CFO on the progress of results. However, it needs to go beyond that. Your CFO needs to have an open-door policy when it comes to talking to employees. Not only is this the right thing to do with regards to respect, but it also helps build and earn their trust. Do you trust your CFO to talk directly to your employees without you around?
If your employees are not getting the right information, they will make it up. Growing a business is hard enough without having your own employees bought in on the journey. Your CFO is key to explaining and telling the story to all members of the team.
3. When it comes to getting funding, your CFO is the storyteller
You do a great job of promoting your company but how effective are you when the crowd is more of a glass half-empty type?
A strategic CFO is the best possible person to put in front of your banker. They can tell and sell the story of what is happening to a crowd that trusts them.
Bankers are generally a risk-averse group, and they don’t care much for general stories and anecdotes related to growth. What they do care for are the facts and figures that a strong strategic CFO can weave into your story. Getting financing for a production expansion is a lot of work. When you need that same financing but don’t have the orders to justify the financing, it is a different story. This is where the strategic CFO can shine.
A strategic CFO can take your information and convey it to the bank in a way that makes them comfortable. Do you have a strategic CFO on your team that is an expert storyteller?