Aligning Sales & Finance for the Economic Downturn: Strategies and Best Practices | Spiff Webinar

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In this webinar hosted by Spiff, industry experts discuss how sales and finance can align and navigate the economic downturn. The panelists include John Young, a senior finance professional at MBS Highway, Karen Hebar, the CFO of Alloy, and Matt Garciano, the Chief Revenue Officer at Spiff. They share their insights and strategies for business planning, forecasting, and achieving sustainable growth during uncertain times.

Business Planning in Uncertain Times

The economic downturn has forced companies to shift from a growth-focused mindset to a more conservative approach. Planning for the future has become challenging, with unpredictable market conditions. The panelists discuss how they are staying aligned and forecasting during these uncertain times.

Matt emphasizes the importance of shorter planning sprints and ensuring revenue coverage to fund investments. They focus on measuring pipeline coverage and sales efficiency before making incremental investments. Identifying the sectors most affected by the downturn helps them adapt their value proposition and explore new opportunities.

Kiran advocates for continuous scenario planning and evaluating key metrics like new bookings, gross dollar retention (GDR), net dollar retention (NDR), and cash burn on a monthly basis. This collaborative approach involves sales leaders, customer success, revenue operations, and finance. They also reevaluate their ideal customer profile (ICP) and consider lighter footprint products for impacted segments.

John highlights the significance of implementing a mature CRM system to bring structure and metrics into the sales process. By tracking the cadence, lead sources, and conversion ratios, they can better understand and optimize their subscription-based business.

Achieving Sustainable Growth

While growth is important, the focus has shifted to sustainable growth in the current economic climate. The panelists discuss their strategies for achieving this.

Matt emphasizes the need for consistent ARR growth, considering factors like churn, expansion, and net-new acquisitions. They prioritize top-line growth while ensuring consistency and measuring overall health areas of the business.

Kiran follows a philosophy of sustainable growth and continuous scenario planning. They evaluate their direction based on top-line growth, GDR, NDR, and cash burn. This approach ensures they are heading in the right direction and allows for a more thoughtful evaluation of the ideal customer profile and product offerings.

John emphasizes the importance of removing chaos from the sales process and implementing structure. By implementing a mature CRM system and focusing on key metrics, companies can achieve sustainable growth in a subscription-based business.

Collaboration between Sales and Finance

The panelists emphasize the need for collaboration between sales and finance departments to navigate the economic downturn successfully.

Matt highlights the importance of collaboration between sales and finance leaders in decision-making and strategic planning. Their partnership ensures that the revenue coverage is in line with investment decisions and helps in optimizing sales efforts.

Kiran emphasizes the collaborative approach at Alloy, where sales leaders, customer success, revenue operations, and finance teams come together to discuss business planning and strategy. This collaboration allows them to align their goals and make informed decisions based on market conditions.

John discusses the role of data and information in aligning sales and finance. By having access to accurate and timely data, both departments can understand the activity and make informed decisions.


In conclusion, the webinar highlights the strategies and best practices for aligning sales and finance during the economic downturn. The panelists emphasize the importance of sustainable growth, continuous scenario planning, and collaboration between sales and finance departments. Implementing mature CRM systems, tracking key metrics, and evaluating the ideal customer profile are crucial in achieving success in uncertain times. By adopting these strategies, companies can navigate the challenges of the economic downturn and position themselves for long-term success.