By Diana Salvucci, Lone Beacon’s Vice President of Operations.
The Rolodex – a familiar but antiquated means of keeping track of your contacts’ information. It’s not very often we see a Rolodex on a desk today, and there are reasons for that. With the option for evolving technologies and digital solutions at our fingertips, businesses have forgone the dusty Rolodex for modern programs that allow instant access to contact information and business insights in the palm of their hands. Although it’s not as fun as spinning the card wheel, a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program will not only store your contacts’ information, it will completely elevate your business when utilized properly.
At its core, a CRM program is an online Rolodex. But in today’s world, CRMs come with customizable options to fit your business needs. Financial advisors of all sizes use CRMs to keep track of their contacts’ information, at a minimum. Many take their CRM a step further by integrating their email and calendar system, allowing them (or their staff) to email and schedule appointments with their contacts from this singular system. It’s also an excellent tool for tracking projects and files, which can be assigned to other members of your firm with due dates for completion. Such a system allows for information about your contacts – including appointments set, emails sent, and tasks related to the contact – to be stored in a singular place for your employees to access and collaborate on.
Many CRM programs have an invoicing or billing feature in addition to offering an organized way to keep track of your sales pipeline. Also, its detailed analytics and reporting capabilities allow your staff to access information and lists so they can monitor, manage, and pivot the business due to changing industry or client trends. Lastly, many CRMs integrate with other cloud-based applications, transforming your CRM into a central hub for information about your clients, prospects, and general business performance.
Implementing a CRM program into your business operations can seem overwhelming, or frankly, “not for you”. Building this program and enabling its use across your business may take upfront time and energy, however, it will pay its dividends on the backend. It allows your employees to be more efficient and streamline communications – less of “do you have that client information” – to allow for improved relationships and quicker service. It produces real-time insights and data about your business so that it can grow. Businesses who use a fully integrated CRM saw a 23% higher lead conversion rate1 than those that do not. Check out this article by our VP of Sales & Marketing, Michael Schaffman, where he discusses how today’s markets are causing a slowed customer journey, thus leading to less business revenue.
CRM programs provide value to financial advisors and their businesses in many ways. When your information and data is organized in a CRM, you and your staff can have a comprehensive understanding of your clients and prospects, which in turn leads to effective communication. Much of the manual recording and reporting you do today can be digitized and automated through a CRM, allowing your staff to be more efficient and effective with their time, which ultimately produces better service for your clients and prospects. The key reason why CRMs can unlock your business’ growth potential is that the information stored in your CRM gives you the greatest insight into the performance of your business and will illuminate how you can accelerate your business through the next phase of growth.
About the Author: Diana specializes in creating powerful and engaging marketing campaigns for financial service organizations. Her expertise lies in developing and executing comprehensive, strategic marketing plans for firms, practice groups, and individual professionals, focused on connecting with specific target markets. Diana has directed a wide range of marketing campaigns concentrating on client engagement, brand position, and corporate promotion. She has specific experience with digital marketing, email automation, website development, event planning, and public relations.
Diana is a graduate of University of Delaware, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Operations Management and Finance, with minors in International Business and Economics. She also held her FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses. Outside the office, Diana enjoys traveling to Cape Cod with her family. She has a passion for interior design, baking, and running. She currently resides in South Boston, MA.
- Why You Need a CRM, Oracle