October 08, 2012
--- Customer relationship management (CRM) software is not just “contact
management on steroids,” according to a source at Schwab. ---
Brian Shenson, vice president of adviser technology
solutions at Schwab Advisor Services, told PLANADVISER
that advisers are increasingly using CRM software as a sophisticated way to
improve their businesses. CRM software can provide tools for developing and
analyzing business, managing leads and follow-ups, improving relationships with
clients and automating workflows.
“[CRM] really takes information and turns it into
insight about the organization,” Shenson said.
A good CRM platform can streamline tasks and
responsibilities for an advisory firm by providing a consistent infrastructure.
The CRM system can be the primary tool for a firm’s day-to-day operations with
tasks listed in a workflow and notifications that alert others in the firm when steps are complete. “That CRM is going to provide the glue across that
organization,” Shenson said.
An automated workflow allows advisers to work in a way that
delivers the firm’s brand consistently, he added. If an adviser is on
vacation, for instance, the automated workflow can provide instructions for how
another adviser should follow up with a client.
Firms are focusing on building rich CRM platforms, but
challenges still exist. “It’s pretty daunting what these systems can do,”
Shenson said, which is why education is needed about how to optimize them.