Transform FinTech with Salesforce by Focusing on Its Most Important Relationships

For FinTechs and their clients alike, delivering outstanding client experience is critical for achieving their goals. In this ebook, we discuss the current state of the FinTech client experience and highlight how leading cloud technology like Salesforce can help these organizations succeed. It’s almost impossible to serve clients well without also empowering people and teams, and FinTechs need to treat both client and employee experiences as strategic priorities.


In the Sikich professional services practice, we often meet and work with financial technology or FinTech firms. Typically, these are technologically sophisticated organizations that know how to translate digital tools into tangible value for banks, investment firms, and other financial services businesses that benefit from their expertise and innovation.

At the beginning of the global pandemic, financial services companies had to act quickly in order to keep operations going. Many shuttered physical branch locations and transitioned clients to digital and remote engagement channels. They also had to enable their workforces to be productive from anywhere. That could require significant investments in more secure, cloud-based applications and infrastructures as well as state-of-the-art client computing hardware.


The most resourceful FinTechs played a critical role in enabling financial services businesses to remain competitively viable and open for customers. They found opportunities to help their clients survive and thrive with modern technology. While in the early stages of the pandemic the emphasis may have been simply on ensuring the continuity of financial services, it soon shifted to taking advantage of digital innovation as a competitive advantage. If banks and other finance firms already had initiatives underway to offer customers more advanced mobile banking and a greater variety of payment options, these often became higher priorities with accelerated delivery schedules.

Prompted by their clients, FinTechs quickly had to go beyond even this level of digital innovation. Often, they were tasked with assisting their clients in enhancing the customer experience, for example, by providing frictionless, simple payment and transactional systems for their customers and end consumers. Many FinTechs also had to use their expertise to support companies that were not financial services businesses but which had a need for systems and processes to enable and support such capabilities as one-click payments or enhanced cybersecurity.


These pandemic-related developments generated fast, profitable growth for many FinTechs. They also brought more intensity to competition, challenging FinTechs to reconsider the client experience and improve the technologies and processes they use to serve clients. At the same time, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the FinTech segment escalated, prompting FinTechs to reevaluate their systems and workflows for possible optimizations. A recent panel discussion by professional services experts1 , facilitated and produced by Sikich, highlighted the role technology can play in successful M&A transactions. For example, if a company finds it easy to provide data in response to inquiries from potential buyers and if it can demonstrate sound data protection and management practices, those factors will usually be to its advantage in achieving a desirable valuation and closing a transaction.

At Sikich, we have often observed that highly available and secure data management can allow easier, more confident interactions between stakeholders in addition to positively influencing a valuation. On the other hand, we also have seen potential buyers take a step back and valuations being lowered if a professional services company’s data management was perceived as flawed.


Another reason for professional services firms to modernize their technology systems in the run-up to expected M&A activity is reducing the dependency on expert, senior individuals. It can be to a company’s disadvantage if only a handful of people own the most important customer relationships or have deep, institutional knowledge—and these contributors retire or find a position elsewhere. When professional services firms document and share organizational insight and experience in content or learning management systems, turnover among highly experienced staff may not be as damaging. And, when they manage customer relationships and store contracts and communications in a CRM or another secure, cloud-based system instead of assigning ownership to certain individuals, they can give potential purchasers a reason to be more confident that the company will remain viable and valuable in the wake of personnel changes.


It’s never too early to modernize and streamline systems and processes for FinTech companies preparing for growth, aiming to encourage buyer interest possibly resulting in an M&A transaction, or wanting to provide the best possible customer experience. One promising effort in streamlining technology can be the integration of Salesforce CRM and NetSuite ERP. Many professional services firms use Salesforce to manage customers and key relationships and NetSuite to facilitate internal processes.

For most companies, it’s not productive and efficient to run these two cloud-based technologies separately, limiting users’ access to business data or else forcing them to navigate two software systems. Integrating Salesforce and NetSuite can be one relatively simple step to harmonize data, eliminate errors and unproductive data entry tasks, and help the organization elevate customer and employee experiences.

In these situations, Sikich consultants will review your technology environment to future-proof your business, reduce inefficiencies, and prepare a smooth integration of Salesforce and NetSuite. We are a little unusual in that we have both a NetSuite and a Salesforce practice and maintain strong partnerships with both technology leaders. We have implemented, configured, and integrated NetSuite and Salesforce for many professional services firms and other businesses, performing projects with an also integrated team and a single point of accountability for our clients.


Across the professional services industry, many of the most successful companies we know are continuously enhancing their client experience. Research shows that the perceived value of clients’ experience quality almost equals that of a company’s services and other offerings. 89 percent of business clients feel that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. 82 percent say that even one extraordinary experience is likely to raise their expectations of other companies, and 82 percent also are willing to pay more for a great experience.



The expectations of many potential professional services clients are not overly ambitious. For example, 83 percent want to interact with someone immediately when they get in touch with a company. 82 percent hope to solve complex issues by talking to just one person.

However, many firms do not clear this comparatively low bar. 73 percent of potential clients say that they want companies to understand their needs and expectations, but only 51 percent deliver on that account.

2 percent state that they expect businesses to adapt, based on their actions and responses, but just 47 percent feel that companies actually do so. Such numbers could lead one to assume that many current and prospective professional services clients are disappointed with the service firms and open to considering alternatives. If you were to recalibrate survey results for a younger audience with higher expectations for technologically mediated, streamlined service experiences, the rate of those who are unhappy with service businesses would likely be significantly higher.


FinTechs fulfill a vital mission as many financial services firms are reinventing their customer and client experience delivery systems, aiming to satisfy the 68 percent of customers who state that COVID-19 has increased their expectations for companies’ digital capabilities. The contrasts between what customers hope and what companies are ready for can still be remarkable. For example, 83 percent of consumer customers are concerned about their long-term finances, but only 32 percent of the financial services firms feel that it has become more important to focus on customers’ financial wellbeing. 66 percent of financial services clients expect their providers to understand their unique needs and expectations, but just 27 percent of these clients feel that the financial services industry is fully customer-centric.


However, financial services companies are tackling customer experience concerns. Overall, they have increased investments in omni-channel services by 22 percent and expanded their support for new channels by 15 percent. Compared to pre-pandemic times, their use of cloud-based and virtualized systems like Salesforce to enable services has increased by 10 percent, and the faster-growing firms have boosted process automation by 24 percent.

85 percent or more of financial services executives realize that intelligent automation will be critical to be a top performer in the industry and almost 90 percent feel that the first deployers will have a clear competitive advantage. The three most common automation use cases for which financial services providers are likely to require a FinTech to bring to bear its technical and AI expertise are automated account transfers, personalized product recommendations, and automatic prequalification.

Research by Forbes Insight and Salesforce5 makes a strong argument for the importance of the employee experience in driving better customer experiences and growing revenue. Companies that achieve high customer and employee experience values realize almost double the revenue growth of those that don’t. 70 percent of executives agree that a better employee experience translates into better customer experiences, which in turn can drive revenue.


Without disrupting their business, FinTechs can modernize their operations for superior efficiency and productivity, deliver unique, outstanding customer and employee experiences, and model digital innovation leadership for their financial services clients.

Deploying and integrating world-class cloud software systems like Salesforce and NetSuite can give them a future-resilient platform with a wealth of capabilities to accomplish these transformations. They can manage the entire lifecycle of client and employee relationships within one coherent, easy-to-navigate software environment by layering an engagement level onto their business technology.

For clients, these technologies can result in a more productive service engagement that helps them become more competitive, value-focused organizations in their own right. For FinTechs, more satisfied clients and empowered employees tend to translate into more revenue, larger contracts, and more dependable sales forecasts.

FinTech service organizations, their clients, and their employees all stand to benefit from 360-degree visibility made possible by cloud software tools like Salesforce. That visibility can, for example, allow service firms to staff projects with the right talent and keep them going efficiently without interruption if the availability of key individuals changes.


In Salesforce, consultants can use their company’s data assets and a consolidated client view to understand clients’ interests and directions, and render assistance at decision junctures. Following a highly individualized approach, FinTechs can tailor client communications and marketing outreach to clients’ interests, and offer relevant content through client portals or mobile capabilities. Many services firms also use Slack to enable a natural flow of communication between clients and consulting teams, offering clients their own landing page where they can access relevant content.

Eliminating distractions and lower-quality time, they may automate processes, for example, replacing weekly stand-up meetings with intuitive, comprehensive reports. Consultants can rely on Salesforce to help them run and track the results of omni-channel, high-quality marketing campaigns without adding tasks to their workloads, and they can look to Salesforce AI to offer predictive relationship guidance that aligns with their organization’s strengths and preferences.


Developing and managing client relationships efficiently and profitably while delivering an excellent experience can seem like a daunting challenge that requires FinTechs to deploy teams of financial services and technology experts. Giving clients autonomy and secure access to manage their FinTech engagements can make this appear even more difficult.

Salesforce, specifically the Salesforce Experience Cloud, allows FinTechs to deliver a high-quality, branded experience across the lifecycle of client relationships. They can become more accessible and responsive to clients, without randomizing their processes. Following a template-guided approach or by using the Experience Builder tool to create the engagement vehicles, FinTechs can efficiently stand up digital client resources. They can set up apps, portals, and websites where clients can update their account information, review payments and invoices, or answer their questions by accessing content from a FinTech’s store of knowledge.

No matter in which channel clients engage, the interactions with their FinTech partner can be consistent, personalized, and rewarding. They also can review other clients’ helpful responses to questions for the client community. By using the cloud-based and mobile tools offered by the FinTech, clients can find out about new and complementary service offerings, service and payment plans, or whatever the service provider wants to bring to their attention.


On the Salesforce Revenue Cloud, you can be more competitive as you provide accurate, speedy quotations and proposals to clients and prospects. The Revenue Cloud also gives you a comprehensive set of tools to manage the configure, price, quote (CPQ) process to achieve the best possible outcomes. FinTechs and other professional-services firms have generated remarkable results specifically by modernizing their CPQ process with the Revenue Cloud.

With full visibility of client histories, commitments, and communications, you can accelerate CPQ and sales processes and make them more accurate and consistent. You can accommodate highly specific client requirements, add services to projects already in progress, and bundle services.

Upselling, cross-selling, or renewing and bundling services no longer needs to be the exclusive domain of your most experienced account executives, because more team members have access to information and can have productive, informed client interactions. With automated cross-sell recommendations, pre-established discounts and incentives, and fast approvals, account reps can keep their attention on engaging with clients instead of the supporting processes. Once your team or the Sikich consultants configure Salesforce CPQ capabilities, you can apply your business rules, making sure that pricing, service deliverables, contract terms, and other details are accurate and complete without forcing account executives to look for validation or risk errors.


Finance managers, who usually spend their day in ERP, can greatly benefit when FinTechs integrate Salesforce and NetSuite. They can review Revenue Cloud data related to customers, contracts, bookings, and other elements of the business. With a more upstream and comprehensive view of financial conditions, they have a better understanding of events that are about to impact the company and can be more effective in ensuring its financial health. If service tickets or support requirements result in billing changes, the data can flow from CRM to integrated ERP without having to be re-entered. The finance team can run reliable, real-time performance reports per client type, project, business group, or for the entire company, drawing on both CRM and ERP. The integration can also help finance managers by automating project billing, reducing errors and days outstanding.


Many FinTech businesses have already transitioned to a subscription model for all their services, software solutions, and other deliverables. Others are in the process of doing so. For clients, subscription renewals can be a natural juncture for considering the value of their engagement with a FinTech and the quality of their experience. In a subscription renewal, FinTechs effectively ask clients to agree to a continued engagement and the associated fee, which could make them vulnerable if clients aren’t entirely happy. It’s therefore not in anybody’s interest when subscription renewals are marred by errors or a lack of accurate, timely notifications.

Salesforce Quote-to-Cash subscription management software simplifies subscription billing by automatically sending out invoices at the right moment, saving FinTechs and their clients time and eliminating uncertainty. It draws on current data in Salesforce, which in turn may align with ERP financials. You can adjust billing cycles and terms for individual clients, and efficiently manage client subscriptions, globally or individually, through a dashboard and simple controls on your preferred device.


Once FinTechs deploy the Experience Cloud, they can empower account executives and other contributors to respond to client concerns promptly and with the right next steps. They can take advantage of Experience Cloud analytics, dashboards, and reports to assess the business value of customer relationships and align on customer-focused initiatives. Using these tools, they can make certain that clients receive promotions, pricing structures, discounts, support, and escalations that are both timely and meet their needs. Deep dives into how customers search for and interact with service offerings and content makes it possible for FinTechs to become ever more effective in delivering their service experiences.

Working with Experience Cloud analytics and other Salesforce data analysis tools like Einstein Analytics, especially in an integrated Salesforce and NetSuite cloud environment, can be empowering for FinTech leadership, account managers, and project leads. With a complete, current view of the business and its clients, they can understand clients better and move projects along more smoothly. Clients may notice differences in their interactions and service delivery when key FinTech roles are in a better position to ensure that all business activities truly make a value difference.

Executives who may be used to having data intelligence curated for them or seeing only a fraction of available data can be in touch with the pulse of the business thanks to Salesforce analytics. Their visibility can range from granular project and client events to overall performance and workforce trends. They can support sales efforts or interact with customers at key junctures in their journey with the company, or drive innovative, transformational initiatives on a solid foundation of data insight. For some clients, in turn, hearing from a FinTech executive may make a crucial difference in how they feel about a continued engagement with their service provider.


For many years, FinTechs and other professional services firms used CRM systems and other technology almost exclusively to help them manage client relationships, even if they already had widely distributed employee teams and competed not just for clients, but also for professional talent. When the global pandemic forced many businesses to enable their workforce to be productive from anywhere, it also prompted services providers to treat the employee experience as strategically vital as the client experience.

More recently, as for many people the threshold for leaving behind unrewarding and unsatisfying employment has lowered, professional services companies have even more reasons for investing in digital tools and automation to make employees’ lives easier, help them succeed in their roles, and support their professional and personal growth. To advance in that direction, FinTechs can use Salesforce and other modern software tools to minimize the friction and inefficiency in processes.


Because of the nature of their business, FinTechs and other professional services firms were ahead of many other businesses in understanding how the experience of employees can impact a company’s success and its client relationships. On the Salesforce platform, and with planning assistance from Salesforce and ERP data, HR teams can play a more strategic role as they minimize turnover and improve employee satisfaction and retention. They can enable the best possible client experiences by recruiting, onboarding, and supporting talented people who thrive on helping individuals and organizations succeed.

Managing employee relationships similarly to how the business takes care of clients, FinTechs can provide their employees with digital resources like portals, webpages, and apps, where team members can tap into organizational knowledge and experience, or interact with managers and colleagues. Through the Experience Cloud, HR and business managers can manage staff efficiently and help team members chart a professional path that meets both their own goals and the company’s needs.

Employees, in turn, can rely on the Experience Cloud to continue growing their skills, receive insight and guidance from mentors and peers, and collaborate on initiatives, projects, events, or campaigns. Through Experience Cloud channels, they also can update their personal records, manage and document their time, make time-off and training requests, or review their benefits.


The work of FinTech project managers can become much easier with Salesforce and access to CRM and ERP data. In their critical role of working with clients, they can more easily ensure client satisfaction. Using dashboards or reports that draw on current data from Salesforce, ERP, and other systems, they can be more accountable for the performance and profitability of their projects and have constructive conversations with clients in their preferred channel. They can see and communicate the latest in project billing and reporting, delivery milestones, and accounts receivable.

Clients can safely trust realistic commitments and promises and may well appreciate their project manager’s ability to address their concerns. In the connected cloud software environment, heeding their requests for such accommodations as a variation on a standard work breakdown structure or an adjustment in billing cycles can be a minor effort.

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This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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