In the fast-paced and highly competitive world of financial services, building strong relationships with clients is crucial for success. That's where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions come in.
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As we enter the third wave of industry-specific CRM vendors, financial institutions have a unique opportunity to harness the power of CRM technology to transform their operations and deliver exceptional customer experiences. From organising client information to dynamically determining client needs, CRM solutions offer a range of benefits that can revolutionise how financial services institutions interact with their clients.
In this blog post, we will consider a recent report from Forrester titled The Financial Services CRM Landscape 2023. With this in mind, we will explore how financial services can make the most out of a CRM solution and what the future looks like.
CRM and financial services
CRM platforms have countless benefits for financial services. They centralise and organise client information into easy-to-digest dashboards, empowering banking professionals to make data-driven decisions, deliver personalised services, and effectively manage client relationships.
They seamlessly integrate with social media, enabling financial institutions to own and manage their online profile, engage with customers, and attract new clients.
Leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning, banks can proactively offer tailored solutions, anticipate customer preferences, and identify opportunities for cross-selling or upselling. CRM systems can even determine client needs by analysing data, uncovering patterns, and identifying emerging trends. This invaluable insight allows financial institutions to stay one step ahead of their clients’ evolving expectations.
Flawlessly integrating with other banking systems, CRM solutions serve as a central hub for customer-related information and processes. By eliminating data silos, financial institutions can improve operational efficiency and enhance customer experiences.
How to work with CRM vendors
Now we understand the positive impact a CRM system can have on financial institutions, it’s important to make the most out of your CRM investment. Take a look at the following tips to make sure you’re working effectively with your CRM vendor.
Look at your existing CRM footprint
When selecting a financial services CRM vendor, assessing your existing CRM infrastructure and considering your company’s cloud architectural standards is crucial. Many hyper scalers claim to focus on financial services but may only provide marketing efforts with a few accelerators on top of a horizontal solution.
Your choice of vendor is somewhat dependent on your current CRM footprint, as financial services solutions layer onto existing horizontal CRM platforms.
Consider the interdependencies with your core back-office systems to ensure seamless integration and data flow.
Understand vendor-partner relationships
Large CRM vendors offer a range of financial services-specific solutions, use cases, and accelerators, but their maturity levels may vary. It’s important to know that financial services CRMs have small ecosystems of trained partners and marketplace add-ons.
When evaluating vendors, investigate the vendor-partner relationships at every layer of the stack and determine if they align beyond the sales cycle.
Ensure that partners are willing to take responsibility for the underlying infrastructure and AI models and assess whether their expertise matches your specific requirements.
Compare cost and complexity
As mentioned earlier, financial services CRM solutions are often built on top of horizontal CRM platforms, which can result in a price premium. Take into account marketplace components and specialised services, as these can significantly impact the overall cost.
Calculate the total cost of ownership for the industry solution and compare it against the custom development of a horizontal solution. However, be cautious when comparing vendors, as each may have a unique and complex licensing model, which can add complexity to your analysis. It’s important to thoroughly evaluate the costs and understand the long-term implications of each vendor’s pricing structure.
Implementation is key
Once you have chosen your CRM system, you need an implementation strategy to make sure your team can use the system effectively. Fortunately, that’s what redk does best.
We help businesses find the right CRM software for their needs and help you get the most out of your new system.
Together we can work out how to use a CRM system to optimise your operations, enhance communication, and meet your business goals. CRM transformation is not just about the software; implementation is essential.
Know your requirements
Before engaging with CRM vendors, clearly define your specific requirements. Consider the unique needs of your financial services institution, such as compliance, regulatory reporting, and specific industry workflows.
Communicate these requirements to potential vendors and ensure their solutions align with your business objectives. By clearly understanding your needs, you can make an informed decision and select a CRM vendor that meets your specific requirements.
For example – redk recently worked with TIME Investments on their CRM transformation. TIME needed a clear roadmap to move away from its outdated systems and towards an efficient CRM system. We used our expertise in the industry to build a transformation plan that matched their goals and delivered a successful CRM transformation.
Scalability is a crucial factor when choosing a CRM vendor for financial services.
As your institution grows and evolves, the CRM solution should be able to accommodate increasing volumes of data, users, and processes without sacrificing performance.
You need to evaluate each vendor’s scalability capabilities and assess their track record in handling similar scaling requirements. A CRM solution that can grow with your institution ensures long-term success and minimises the need for costly migrations or system replacements down the line.
The Future of CRM in Financial Services
Moving away from single vendors
As the CRM market for financial services evolves, larger enterprises are shifting towards best-in-class point solutions instead of relying solely on specific financial services CRM platforms. These enterprises are abstracting the customer engagement layer from CRM or leveraging best-in-class AI models that utilise vast amounts of data both within and outside the enterprise. This approach enables them to achieve better outcomes and differentiation.
Over time, enterprises will assemble technology suites from various best-in-class vendors, reducing their reliance on single CRM providers.
Increase in packaging solutions
CRM vendors in the financial services industry are expanding their offerings beyond traditional CRM functionalities.
Companies like Microsoft and Salesforce are incorporating features that go beyond core CRM, such as account opening, intelligent workflow automation, customer revenue management, and employee collaboration tools.
By providing these additional functionalities, financial services CRM platforms aim to deliver better customer experiences and cater to the evolving needs of the industry.
Broader industry clouds over industry-specific CRM
With increased regulatory oversight, industry-specific CRM solutions will likely be incorporated into broader composable industry clouds that support front, middle, and back-office operations.
While front-office modernisations have progressed rapidly, back-office systems have lagged behind. However, the back-office spending can be significantly higher than that of the front office.
As a result, larger firms seek comprehensive solutions offering a trusted roadmap for technology modernisation and delivering superior customer experiences. Vendors like SAP and Oracle have already repositioned themselves as broader enterprise suites to cater to this demand.
Are you getting the most out of CRM?
In conclusion, by getting the most out of CRM in financial services, institutions can optimise their investment and position themselves for success in a competitive industry. The right CRM solution, combined with strategic implementation and continuous adaptation to future trends, will enable financial services organisations to thrive, forge stronger customer relationships, and drive sustainable growth in the dynamic world of finance. Get in touch today to learn more.
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CRM Transformation Practice at redk
Hideki applies over 15 years of experience in the field of CRM and Customer Experience to overcome business challenges in the customer cycle.