CRM software options for financial advisors continue to grow in number. In fact, as of last year, CRMs have continued to outsell database management systems. And according to CRM software statistics, global spending on CRM technology is predicted to exceed $80 billion by 2025.
What does this mean for you? CRM software is here to stay. Your competitors are probably already using it. And there is a lot of information to sift through to find one that’s best for your business.
What is CRM Software for Financial Advisors?
CRM refers to customer relationship management, and it has a myriad of uses. But for today’s purposes, we’re looking at its definition as it pertains to the financial planning business.
CRM Application Chart
The first thing to understand about CRM software is that these tools are now much more than simply providing a list of contacts for your data. CRM software is now an essential tool for financial advisors to help them do business more efficiently.
What does your CRM software look like?
While the CRM landscape may change over time, there are three main types of CRM systems that currently exist:
- Web-Based CRM
- Desktop-Based CRM Software
- Hybrid CRM Software
The first thing you’ll want to decide is where you want to track and manage your data. Some may be more aesthetically pleasing to you than others. Others may be easier to use. Others may work better with your existing workflow. Others may be more cost effective.
Benefits of CRM Software for Financial Advisors
The greatest benefit of a CRM is that it gives you an all in one workspace for managing everything associated with your client base.
For starters, it allows you to keep data easily accessible. You can create custom views of client data, and you can assign tags to contacts in any way that you like. It also allows for seamless integration with other tasks that you may be doing. For example, you can link addresses directly into Google Maps with ease.
Moontime Financial Technologies provides the following example of what CRM software can allow you to do:
“Integrate web forms right into your CRM so you can capture data and view it right after the person fills out the form. This makes it easy for you to get access to a subsequent follow up e-mail and/or phone call for the lead or prospect.”
But CRM software for financial advisors isn’t all business. Benefits also include checking your schedule, organizing appointments, and more.
In fact, the average financial advisor reported spending almost 300 hours per year on management duties. Thirty of those hours were used for CRM and database management.
In short, any time that you can reduce the amount of time that you spend on non-client related tasks is a win.
There are a number of other benefits to thinking seriously about implementing a CRM for your financial planning business.
For starters, CRMs allow many financial advisors to connect with the important people in their client’s lives, such as credit card issuers, mortgage lenders, and banks.
The more opportunities you create, the more referrals you receive. In turn, this leads to higher revenues and more qualified leads.
15 Questions to Ask Your Next CRM Software Vendor
Now that you’ve decided to get to work, you’ll want to have a list of considerations for your CRM software. One of the most important things that you can know before you begin is what you’re looking for.
Remember that there is no “best” solution. What you need to determine is the right solution for your lifestyle, your habits, and your business.
And the first step is to start asking questions. Here are 15 questions to ask your next CRM software vendor:
How long have they been in business?
Definitely ask about the history of the CRM software itself and also the availability of support staff.
What is their support structure?
You may need to ask follow-up questions depending on the feedback you get, but it’s still important to begin with a general idea of how to get in touch with the company.
How do they handle updates?
If they are good with staying on top of updates, that can save you the headache of keeping up with the latest software yourself.
What is their price per month per user?
Make sure that you know what you will have to pay monthly for the service.
What are the additional costs?
Ask if there are additional cost for customization, extra users, support, etc. Make sure that they aren’t going to surprise you with costs at a later date.
What type of CRM do they use?
Take a look at the CRM that they are using. Make sure that you understand what you are getting. If it’s a website-based CRM, will you be able to sell phones in your branch office? Does it have integrated online payments for clients?
What kind of mobile support do they offer?
CRM software for financial advisors should continue to adapt to the times. Is your vendor offering a mobile-friendly experience? Are they compatible with your clients’ mobile apps?
How does the data backup work?
There should be a solid data backup to compensate for any potential problems.
Can you customize it any way you like?
CRM software is meant to be catered towards your business. Make sure that you have the ability to make the changes that you need.
What about on-boarding?
This is what you will receive after signing the paperwork. The website should have a great on-boarding procedure that makes it easy to work with.
How do you handle security?
Fully comprehend what security measures are in place to keep your data safe.
Is their CRM software easy to use?
This is especially important for financial planning as many advisors will use it daily. Ask to see a demo and thoroughly test the software. If you find things intimidating, it can take a great deal of time out of your day.
What are the technical requirements?
Ask for any other information that may be needed to make the CRM solution work. For instance, if you run a call center, you may need extra phones.
What does it look like?
Although you are going to be using a web-based application, you may want some examples of how it will look like on a desktop computer and a mobile device.
These 15 questions may help you identify your best options in CRM software. Make sure that you ask plenty of questions and take your time making a decision.
Common Questions related to CRM Tools
There are many questions that you may think of that didn’t make it onto this list. You may think, “What about…” So we’ll take a look at some common questions related to CRM tools that you may have.
How secure is it?
Make sure that your CRM software is secure and encrypted. Update the passwords to keep it as safe as possible.
How easy is it to use?
CRM software for financial advisors should be easy to use. The easier it is to use initially, the more likely you will be to keep using it.
What if I do not have internet?
You may want to decide if you can get some of your CRM work done via phone. This can save you a lot of time when internet access is not available.
Do I have access to historical data through the system?
CRM software should make it easy to go back in time and look at reports. This can be very helpful in compliance procedures.
Should I use a CRM for my financial planning business?
So what are you waiting for?
Employing a CRM can remove some of the stress of running your financial planning business. It can help you build stronger relationships with your clients, and it can take some of the grunt work out of your schedule. There are many benefits for implementing a CRM software.
Remember, a CRM is a complete business solution. It covers your entire client base, and it is a single source for everything that involves your business and your clients.
If you are ready to see what a CRM can do for your business, then download one of these free CRM tools for financial planners. Simply click on the image below to access a free online CRM tool for your financial planning business, or choose the most appropriate software CRM for financial planners option by going through our quick step-by-step process.
Finding the right CRM can do the work for you, improve your business success, and make you far more efficient without having to work harder.
Key features of CRM Software for Financial Advisors
Business owners use a CRM software such as the ones listed below to streamline their business activities, eliminate duplications, and just to get organized.
CRM software for financial advisors provides you with the ability to:
- Access data online, from anywhere
- Update data from field offices
- Structure data into relevant reports
- Track clients effectively with no duplications
The best CRM software for financial advisors can be integrated with existing clients software such as operational software, accounting software, and appointment scheduling software to help all areas of the organization run smoother.
Think of it as a hub of your business.
An efficient CRM system can help you run your financial planning business smoothly and thus will help you build lasting relationships by:
- Running sales campaigns more effectively
- Building referral networks
- Managing your most important client relationships
- Enhancing your overall visibility
- Meeting compliance requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission
- Helping you efficiently manage client assets
- Building strategic partnerships with allied professionals
A fully intuitive CRM software for financial advisors is built to help you grow your business – manage sales opportunities, communicate with clients and colleagues, assign tasks, organize schedules, and deliver projects more effectively. Manage your firm’s client relationships, review your business processes, analyze your performance, and prepare for growth!
Two types of CRM software are available to all business owners, but special financial planners require one that has specific tools for the financial services industry. If your financial advisor business has enough cash to invest in a CRM solution, you’ll find the following five benefits will make it easier for you to run a successful practice.
- Boost Sales and Enhance Client Relationships With CRM Software
It sounds logical – if you can streamline your sales and marketing process then you will surely be able to boost your sales. And that’s why businesses are turning to CRM software.
As simple as it may sound, any business will benefit from this particular software since it really does have the tools you need to work smarter. The best CRM software is focused on your sales and marketing efforts and is priced accordingly. If your practice is making enough money from your clients, then a basic CRM is good enough to use.
- Integration with Other Apps
CRM software is unique in that its utility extends beyond marketing and sales. Most CRM tools offer integration with other apps so that you are able to integrate it with your scheduling, customer service, operations, service delivery, and accounting software.
As a financial advisor, it is important to have a CRM tool that can be integrated with other apps as it allows you to ensure your operations are running smoothly.
- Easy Setup
This was one of the reasons why most small businesses are still hesitant to try CRM software. A lot of financial advisors are now using cloud-based and on-premise CRM solutions. There are a lot of choices out there.
But what are the main features that you should look for when choosing the right CRM tool? You can check out the best CRM software for small business.
Your CRM solution should be simple and easy to operate. The best CRM software is lightweight and straightforward, so that your teams can use it day to day. Get your team members accustomed to the program as it is very essential when optimizing business processes.
- Effective Support
Paying for the CRM software is only part of it. A top-tier customer support is equally important. If you cannot access the help you need when you need it, there won’t be any point in spending money on buying a CRM solution.