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Take your practice to the next level. With a little advice from the right coaches, watch how InvestmentNews is helping some of the industry’s brightest advisers transform their businesses.

Episode 1: Building a better practice with technology, marketing

July 21, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

Runtime: 2:55

Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago has expanded thanks to an aggressive and innovative approach to its business. What can you learn from their strategy on this season of Practice Makeover?

The Renovation Room

Industry experts and executives offer strategies, tips and ideas on how practices can improve their business.

Nina O’Neal

Nina O’Neal

Partner, Investment Advisor, Archer Investment Management

The CRM system is critical to the operational functionality of an expanding firm. Important factors to consider in implementing a CRM are ease of use, integration with other existing software, ease of implementation, and workflow management abilities. An awesome CRM can take the client experience from good to great by creating a seamless workflow with operation staff and also for noting little client favorites or big milestones in their life. Both the execution of a good marketing strategy and the measuring of results are easily done with a great CRM. We can immediately determine the ROI on an event or a marketing campaign. It’s the lifeblood of our daily business.

Joseph V. Maugeri

Joseph V. Maugeri

Managing Director, Corporate Relations, CFP Board

What is interesting about what is happening now in the marketplace is the convergence of technology and regulation raising the bar on advice. What that means is that advisers should not just think about marketing and technology as client acquisition tools, but also tools to keep your clients satisfied and that enable advisers to build in more processes in the relationship.

CFP professionals are accustomed to hearing about “the six step process.” We see many advisers institutionalizing this process through their CRM systems to ensure they are staying up-to-date on client events, reviews and key dates in a client's life. By automating these touch points, they not only stay compliant, but also keep their clients happy and receive more referrals from these clients and other professionals.

Additionally, an effective CRM system documents client conversations, which allows advisers to review a clients’ goals and reference how goals change over time. It should also record the client's network of friends that may need advice. Though these tools should never replace face-to-face conversation, they do allow advisers to leverage available information to grow the client relationship – and potential relationships – over time.

Megan Carpenter

Megan Carpenter

Managing Partner of FiComm Partners, LLC

For advisors, CRM tools are a must-have. They help you capitalize on your most precious asset—your client relationships. But all CRM is not created equal. Advisors should ask three questions before committing to a CRM tool:

First, is it the right scale for your business? These days, you can find marketing software that can segment millions of consumers, track thousands of campaigns, and analyze transactions across hundreds of stores. It probably also requires a 200-person marketing department to stay up and running. A big-enterprise platform consumes more resources than the average advisor can spare. On the other hand, some CRM software is much too superficial for your needs. If you find a platform that’s designed to be equally useful to car salesmen, repair technicians, and college recruiters, it’s too generic to handle a sophisticated (and regulated) financial business. Pick a tool customized for advisors, and ask whether it scales up easily and affordably; many charge extra fees for every user or functionality you add.

Second, does it work with the tools you already have? If you pick the right CRM platform, it can serve as the central hub for your entire practice, integrating all the tools you need to run your business. That means sharing data with platforms for market information, wealth reporting, financial planning, portfolio risk analysis, email automation, mobile and more. You need more than just SSO: as much as possible, make it the tool’s job to pass along information and even act on it, not yours.

Finally, will it set you free you to do more? There’s a lot to be said for simply doing the same things more efficiently. However, efficiency doesn’t drive growth: innovation does. The right CRM system should adapt not only to the way you work today, but also to the way you want to work tomorrow. For example, can it be easily customized to support multiple workflows and contact streams? If so, you can tailor your CRM tool to support new initiatives like a COI relationship-building program. For example, you can identify timely content that’s of real value to an accountant or attorney, then distribute and track the content on a regular basis. Or you could create workflows that prompt your team to provide reciprocal referrals for your COIs, so you can “pay it forward” and strengthen your professional relationships. Ideas like these can pay off in faster growth—and they’re much easier to implement with the right CRM.

CRM technology is a powerful growth engine. Choose wisely, and it will take you far.


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