Why Back-Office Professionals Should Engage With Customers

Vaag Durgaryan

From one company to another, you will be hard-pressed to find similar reporting or organizational structures. They always differ greatly. However, in the past few years, many companies have moved to a more focused approach when it comes to their organizational structure, especially regarding front-office roles, back-office roles, and shared-service functions. We can see this trend in areas like finance, HR, and operations.

Typically, front-office roles are those that regularly meet with the company’s external customers or with internal customers from customer-facing teams. That means back-office roles typically stay internal. However, we shouldn’t ignore the importance of these “hidden” roles in engaging with customers and the positive impact they can create. Let’s take a look at a few reasons for this.

Exchanging best practices

When two professionals have the opportunity to meet, they can discuss their business processes and learn from one other. They can talk about which processes or process steps work well for them and which do not. During an exchange on best practices, both of the professionals and their organizations can be enriched by these shared topics.

Expanding professional networks

Every professional should continually build and expand her or his professional network. There are several ways this can be done, such as becoming a member of professional associations, attending industry conferences, participating on social media, etc. For professionals in the 21st century, these things have become expectations. Another great way to expand your network is meeting with peers from customer organizations. Since the two companies already have an established relationship, this is also a good starting point and basis for building peer-to-peer relationships.

Helping the sales cycle

Peer-to-peer exchange also helps the organization’s sales cycle. A peer-to-peer exchange helps build trust and adds communication and interaction channels between the two organizations and supports the organization’s brand and product awareness. This makes a back-office professional a good candidate to indirectly aid the sales cycle.

Getting outside the comfort zone

As back-office professionals’ jobs are internally focused, meeting with peers from external customers can be a very good learning experience. This, in turn, will pull them outside their comfort zone and be an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth.

All in all, there are many benefits to breaking the strict norms that companies have abided by over the past few decades. The times are changing, and now is the time to start redefining the ways different roles in a company interact with one another and with customers.

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Vaag Durgaryan

About Vaag Durgaryan

Vaag Durgaryan is the commercial finance director for SAP in the Middle East and North Africa, which comprises of over 20 countries. Starting in 2017, he oversees a multinational team that provides finance expertise, knowledge, and strategy outlook for finance sales support in the region. Prior to that, Vaag was chief of staff for the CFO for SAP Global Field Finance and co-drove global transformation initiatives with focus on process simplification and people enablement. He holds an Executive MBA degree from ESSEC Business School and Mannheim Business School. Vaag has a passion in digitalization and learning culture.