Whilst some CRMs have struggled to keep up with the requirements of the modern advisory planning service, over the last couple of years there have been advances which, over time, will ultimately reduce the dependency on spreadsheets and staffing issues.
New technology developments mean that CRMs are now extending their links with platform providers from valuation and income links to include client data transfer. Links are also being developed to lifetime cashflow systems and fact finding. The ultimate aim of this integration is to reduce the amount of data inputting, thereby reducing the room for error.
CRMs are creating intuitive processes that guide the team to the next stage of the process; ensuring members of the team take ownership of their work. I cannot stress enough that processes cannot work if they are written down on a piece of paper – they simply will not be followed. By way of contrast, implementing your review process within your CRM will flag up when the next review is due, who has responsibility for its completion, what documents are required and when it has been completed. This repetition will reduce errors and ensure that you deliver a timely service for your clients.
Before deciding to implement or change your current CRM, I would recommend documenting your requirements to fit in with the businesses needs. Think about what you are doing now and also what you intend to do in the future and how a CRM could address these needs. Implementing a new CRM is neither an easy nor short-term process. It will require a significant amount of time and effort but if done properly the business and its clients’ will reap the rewards.
Finally, do not design your own CRM system. Although an ‘off the shelf’ CRM will not provide you with 100% of what you require, a 90% solution is definitely better than spending your time and money building a system which constantly requires further development and detracts you away from your core business activities and clientfacing role.
About Tracey Underwood
Tracey is the owner and founder of PACE Solutions. The business provides support for financial planning firms by focusing on operational practices including; recruitment, compliance, processes, client proposition and business strategy. This is achieved not only through a consultancy process but by hands on implementation to ensure that firms achieve effective results that would otherwise not be achieved through consultation only.