How to Make CRM Work for You

By Adam Edmonds

Digitalization is the key to success in wealth management, and an intelligent CRM solution can drastically improve business operations. However, a recent study by Nucoro shows that only 20% of wealth managers make use of digital-facing interactions, while only 43% plan to invest in digitalizing their businesses over the next three years. This is further backed up by a recent study by Capgemini, that only 5% of surveyed financial firms had implemented any AI-based strategies in their core business.

As with many industries, the wealth management sector is experiencing technological disruption, and there is increased pressure to innovate to ensure client retention and customer satisfaction. The study highlighted that wealth managers must evolve the client experience, citing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities as a key game-changer in the industry. Now that we’re in the midst of tax season and with financial planning top of mind for many people, there is no better time to digitize your business and ensure its longevity by investing in an intelligent CRM solution.

Every business has different needs, but intelligent CRM can help you take your business to the next level. Here are four key tips for seamlessly implementing an intelligent CRM system that will lift your business and really make the technology work for you:

Research First

Customers expect easy experiences, dedicated and personalized engagement, and end-to-end support. Choosing the right CRM solution for your business is the essential foundation for providing good customer experiences. The main considerations when choosing a CRM system are, ‘Which tool can accomplish the most, in the least amount of time, and in the most cost-effective manner?’

Horizontal CRM: Horizontal CRM is a software solution designed to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, and customer service. It can also be customized to drive adoption. The key, however, is balance, as customization can be expensive and superfluous features can hamper the user experience. On a basic level, Horizontal CRM is low cost and provides a host of generic features that can improve your business.

Lightweight Vertical CRM: This solution comes with features like UI templates, common process flows, and data model extensions. Clients that choose this type of CRM system will be able to keep their business systems and practices up-to-date and current for a reasonable cost, but further investment may be required to customize the CRM to your exact business requirements.

Deeply Vertical CRM: Vertical CRM is purpose-built to meet the specific requirements of an industry. This solution provides end-to-end scripted industry processes geared to drive higher adoption rates, and functionality that includes compliance with industry standards and regulations. With industry-specific features and low customization costs, Vertical CRM understands your business processes and features to help you maximize your investment.

Regardless of which CRM solution you choose, keeping the technology current could become costly. However, the price of not investing is bigger as it can result in customer dissatisfaction and loss of business. Investing in the right CRM allows companies to leverage industry-specific best practices, focus resources on innovation and differentiation, and decrease time-to-value.

Proper CRM integration is vital to the return on your investment. Financial customers, for example, cannot be served properly without a comprehensive view of all their interactions. Focusing on transactions (not a typical shared function point) can reveal facets of customer behavior that ultimately drive more sales, while processes like ‘Know Your Customer’ also make a big difference in familiarizing you with your customer on a deeper, more relatable level.

Modern, integrated CRM helps alleviate administrative burden for advisors, which is the primary cause of high turnover among financial advisors. It’s compatibility with other existing business systems allows users to effectively manage different setups, from message-based to shared database to user interface (UI) mashups. Integrated CRM not only relieves companies of documentation-heavy, client-facing tasks, it also takes business growth to the next level.

Artificial Intelligence

Choosing a CRM with AI capabilities has a number of practical benefits. Intelligent CRM with built-in AI offers a cost-effective and efficient method of leveraging enterprise client data stored in legacy systems, combining vertical-specific industry best practices with a modern, service-oriented architecture. This gives organizations the ability to capitalize on their existing data and applications to deliver timely information and actionable insights.

Among the chief benefits of an AI-assisted CRM system is its social media management capabilities. Social media permeates every part of our daily lives, and intelligent CRM allows you to easily streamline your marketing initiatives by centralizing all of your social media efforts into one platform.

Additionally, intelligent CRM offers automation capabilities that give you back more time and productivity. AI identifies the repetitive day-to-day tasks and how to simplify them. You can also suggest and schedule personal touches that will make a difference to your client. By pulling data from back-office systems and third-party applications, your CRM can do all the heavy lifting. Let it automatically prompt you with timely, appropriate reasons to call your clients, whether it’s a birthday, upcoming retirement, or the birth of a new family member.

More than just meeting the needs of your customer, building authentic, lasting relationships are essential to your business’ long-term success. An AI-powered CRM makes this all possible by delivering a comprehensive customer view, automating workflows, and delivering actionable insights to facilitate intelligent interactions, enhance customer service, and ultimately increase profitability.

Customers are No.1

There’s no arguing with the demand for differentiated customer experiences and the related need for processes, and technology to enable organizations to better serve and support their customers. Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s nearly impossible to stay competitive in today’s marketplace without implementing a CRM solution. The Nucoro study estimates that nearly half (45%) of companies won’t be around in 10 years’ time if they fail – or worse, choose not – to innovate digitally, which is why it is critical to invest in a sound, intelligent CRM system.

Intelligent CRMs that provide seamless integration and intelligent information can be a big advantage for advisors. With the right CRM for your business, its’ much easier to adopt a client-centric business model that understands your client’s needs, motivators, and interests, while at the same time fostering their loyalty to your brand.

Adam Edmonds is Vice President of Products with NexJ Systems, which develops Intelligent Customer Management products for the financial services industry.