CRM for Financial Advisors: The New Battleground for Clients

Personal relationships are the lifeblood of financial advice businesses – today more so than ever. Three powerful trends have converged in the past decade to push relationship management to the forefront of any financial advisor strategy.

First, today’s clients—particularly those among Millennials and Generation X—are more demanding than ever. Clients now expect every interaction and touchpoint to be highly personal, efficient, and smart. The challenge is that building and maintaining deep client relationships can be extremely time-consuming as advisor practices scale up. Time spent on building the prospect pipeline too often results in too little time spent on nurturing existing client relationships, inevitably leading to costly churn and attrition. For advisors to succeed today, they need solutions that make personal engagement both efficient and highly scalable.

Second, the ongoing invasion of investment management technology solutions and robo-advisories  is compressing fees and sidelining advisors who have built their differentiation on product sales and market performance. The advisors who will survive and thrive will be the ones who focus on what is most important to their prospects and clients—consistently understanding, communicating, and connecting with their needs and priorities.

Third, the battle for clients’ attention and loyalty is currently being waged with increasingly powerful CRM innovations that are transforming the landscape of financial advice. If personal relationships are the lifeblood of financial advice, CRM solutions are the hearts that beat strongly within every successful business. The best financial advisor CRM systems enrich every client interaction and deliver the right information in the most usable form exactly when needed. They do not replace the human touch, but instead make it more personal and more efficient. It is little wonder that CRM is one of the technologies most embraced by financial advisors.

Source: Financial Planning Tech Survey, 2020

Many advisors know they most adopt or upgrade their CRM solutions. The last few years have witnessed a proliferation of CRM solutions, bringing with them new tools, new ways for advisors to engage clients and increase productivity, and often mind-boggling complexity. Salesforce, Redtail, and Microsoft are the clear market leaders. But innovators such as Wealthbox, Junxure,  Advisors Assistant, Goldmine, and Tamarac are breaking ground with impressive new features and specialized capabilities.

Increasingly, CRM solutions are integrating cutting-edge technology. In the coming years, deep learning, virtual agents, and artificial intelligence will be marshaled to better manage and enhance relationships with prospects and clients. CRM systems will get better at monitoring a client’s preferred communication channel, frequency, channel, and schedule, and even prompt or initiate the most effective communication at the right time. By mining a client’s financial and communication history, new tools will identify priority topics and relevant insights.  Redtail is already leveraging AI technologies to analyze communication patterns in order to guide advisors in their client interactions. Salesforce’s new Einstein Analytics for Financial Services can predict which clients are most likely to increase their assets under management and which clients are most likely to leave.

With so many options, the process of understanding, vetting, and selecting the best CRM solution for your business can seem daunting. When choosing a CRM system, don’t view its price tag as the only, or even the most important, cost. Learning and implementing a new CRM system can be extremely time-consuming. Experts recommend selecting the CRM system that best aligns with your business focus and goals. Often the most effective CRM systems can become a deeply integrated hub that guides every aspect of your technology solutions and creates holistic client portraits that help you hone in on your strategic niche.

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