A robust customer/client relationship management (CRM) system offers tools that can significantly improve your office efficiencies. In fact, the Financial Planning Tech Survey of 2015 reports that close to 17% of financial advisors felt that the CRM as a tech tool had the second most significant impact on their practices, behind only financial planning software. However, many financial advisors are still using the contact manager of their email program, like Microsoft Outlook, as their CRM. True CRM systems offer so much more.
- Lead and Prospect Management: CRM systems allow you to combine two separate but critical elements of your job–contact management and lead generation—into a single cohesive unit that also removes redundancies in the process.
- Social Media Integration: CRM systems can allow you to engage more efficiently with your clients and manage conversations in real time on your social media accounts, such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Workflow Management and Optimization: Some CRM systems offer workflow management tools. Clearly defined workflows create greater transparency and accountability as well as standardize processes, all of which help improve operational efficiencies.
- Wealth Management Software Integration: The extent of integration provided by the CRM software varies. Some allow you to simply sign in to your wealth management software through the CRM platform. Others offer more complex services like workflow features that allow you to automate tasks from different applications into a single screen.
CRM systems often come as stand-alone packages that are installed within the IT framework of your practice. Most CRM companies also provide cloud-based CRM systems that minimize the need for elaborate IT infrastructure and upfront setup costs, while also offering mobile accessibility.
You can adopt a CRM system that is tailor-made for financial advisors, or a more generic CRM system that can be customized to your specific requirements.
Popular CRM systems that are specifically designed for financial advisors include the following.
- Redtail is one of the leaders in CRM for financial professionals and has been providing cloud-based CRM services since 2003. In addition to providing the standard features like lead management and prospecting, and workflow management, it also provides good integration with wealth management systems such as MoneyGuidePro, Riskalyze, and others. Redtail offers a free trial. It is priced per database and allows up to 15 users/subscription.
- Junxure was designed specifically to serve the needs of the financial advisor community. It is available both in cloud-based and standalone versions. Being well aligned to the needs of financial advisors, Junxure not only helps you manage work process and lead-prospect management, but also handles compliance issues with well-established custodial integrations. Junxure Cloud offers a free trial, and is $65 per user/per month. Junxure is $41 per user/per month. Contact a sales consultant for discount pricing for special custodians, affiliates, or volume.
- Grendel is a popular cloud-based practice management system specifically tailored to the requirements of financial advisors. In addition to the standard CRM features, it also provides account aggregation and portfolio management capabilities. Grendel offers a free trial. Contact Grendel’s sales department for pricing.
- WealthBox is a cloud-based CRM platform offering integration with social media, communication, and wealth management systems. Being a cloud-based service, it also provides features such as no contracts with pay-as-you-go pricing and anytime cancellations. Wealthbox offers a free trial. It is priced at $29 per user/per month.
Generic CRM systems that can be customized to your specific requirements include the following.
- Salesforce is the leading CRM platform in the world. Salesforce provides services to financial advisors through its Financial Services Cloud. It offers automation of administrative activities and aggregation of client information from various sources to provide up-to-date information on a single screen. Salesforce also provides real-time connectivity to clients and a high degree of account integration that can collect client data from more than 14,000 sources. Salesforce offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $25 per user/per month and goes up from there.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM for financial advisors provides workflow automation and seamless integration with existing Microsoft products. It also offers an effective platform to provide customization for your practice’s specific requirements. In addition, Dynamics CRM includes role-based sales productivity tools and powerful analytic tools to help you better understand your clients’ needs. Dynamics CRM offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $50 per user/per month.
- Zoho provides a free online version. It includes pay-as-you-go pricing with very affordable rates that start as low as $15 per user/per month.