CRM BenefitsBetter Information and Access Are Still Your Most Powerful Assets
AN EFFECTIVE CRM SYSTEM MUST REFLECT RATHER THAN DICTATE THE PROCESS
Deploying a CRM system can assist an Institutional Asset Management (IAM) firm in all aspects of its interactions with prospects, clients, consultants, brokers, and service providers, and even help when targeting or profiling competitors. However, the system must be easily customized to reflect the firm’s established sales and client service processes. Every IAM may not need or want all of the following capabilities, but it is important that items critical for a particular firm be available in the CRM system.
CONSISTENT, ACCESSIBLE, ACCURATE INFORMATION
A CRM system provides the opportunity to consolidate multiple databases and sources of information into one data repository. The information can also be updated with third-party databases as well as portfolio accounting systems. This data warehouse can then be utilized by all personnel who interact with any person or organization in the business sphere and improves communication between all parties who have a need for the information.
Information is power, and access to current data on plan sponsors, consultants, and competitive IAMs can provide sales and marketing professionals with a comprehensive profile of their opportunity base without having to go through multiple directories, web sites, or inhouse systems.
The use of third-party data within a CRM system can provide the business intelligence required to quickly execute marketing and sales programs. This can greatly assist IAM firms in finding new clients. Databases such as Nelson’s MarketPlace from Thomson Financial can provide a wealth of information to assist firms and individual users in finding new prospects and targeting competitors.
ACRM system can facilitate better communication on account data and performance to the client and their account-specific service providers. In addition to providing product information to the right people at the right time, the system can also insure all aspects of event management are handled without a glitch including preselection, invitation, reservation, confirmation, reminders, on-site registration, and follow-up.
Knowing what deals are in the pipeline and where each is in the sales process provides more accurate forecast information and makes sure all prospects are pursued and tracked. The system can also track consultant and broker influences, keep copies of all correspondence, manage RFPs and RFIs, track consultant and broker influences, assemble client service resources, and automatically alert anyone involved when critical stages are met or a deal closes.
Consultants are often the key decision makers in new business opportunities. They also play a key role in servicing the existing client base. Managing these relationships requires tracking information about which consultants are associated with specific accounts and which ones are providing opportunities. And third-party databases can assist in targeting consultants that best fit partnering profiles.
Tracking and managing the activities being conducted results in a coordinated sales process, providing better client service and consultant relations, and facilitating work with brokers and other service providers.
REMOTE USER CONNECTIVITY
Most IAM firms have staff who travel or work from remote offices. These users need access to timely information wherever they are with or without web access. Remote use and the ability to easily synchronize changes with the central database are important components of aneffective CRM system.
The Product Manager needs to know market coverage and market reaction to company products. A CRM system can report which products are being well received and from what sector of the current pipeline or opportunity base.
NEW ACCOUNT OPENING
Important new account data collected by all personnel from all sources is reported on forms within the CRM system. This leads to a more streamlined account-opening process and the ability to access relevant information to be used as selection criteria for mailings and other marketing activities.
A CRM system allows IAMs to do a better job of risk profiling, as well as complying with any inhouse or regulatory agency’s requirements. Q&A forms can be created to collect the required data in electronic format and to satisfy current or future regulatory reporting requirements.
STANDARDS AND PRACTICES
Rules can be established with automatic triggers to insure company practices and policies are observed and that required information is collected. Remember, bad data is worse than no data.
Market Builders has been implementing CRM systems since 1988 and has successfully automated the sales,
marketing, and client service operations for over forty-five Institutional Asset Management firms in the U.S.