FactSet recently hosted a roundtable for investment professionals to discuss the changing role of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in our increasingly virtual world. Now more than ever, CRM integration teams are looking for ways to connect data and insights to inform relationship managers and better anticipate the needs of their clients. In this article, we’ll focus on key themes and takeaways from this discussion.
Clean, High Quality Data Serves as the Foundation for a CRM Integration
Data is the key input in integrating with CRM platforms. When firms are collecting external data, there should be a specific reason for why it is being collected and a purpose for how it will be used. It is also beneficial to have processes in place to remove duplicate data, keep information up to date, and develop links between data points. This will serve as the basis for developing a connective web of information and building out a network that can be used to identify prospects, understand relationships, track opportunities, and more.
Linking External Data with Internal Data Is Where the Real Value Lies
In today’s world, most people have access to very similar data. As a result, firms are constantly looking for ways to differentiate themselves when interacting with potential and current clients. After companies have successfully integrated external, third-party data within their CRM environment, the real value add they can provide lies in aligning that information with internal, proprietary data. Once these two are married in a single platform, it closes the feedback loop and connective "tissue" making it easier to surface relevant content and facilitate meaningful conversations with clients.
It Is Important To Incorporate Human Interaction Into Relationship Building
As companies grow, it is harder to establish one-to-one relationships across firms. In turn, relationships sometimes seem disconnected and less personalized. One way to combat this is to create a technical workflow that incorporates human interaction. When bankers are trying to develop relationships with external clients it is important to understand if anyone internally already has a connection to that individual or group. If someone does have a connection, a more natural approach should be taken, and an introduction can be used to build that relationship. This is where a CRM platform can be beneficial, as you can begin to track and develop a connective web of relationships.
Increased Usage and Adoption of CRM Platforms Will Help Strengthen the Data and Create a Web of Relationships
A challenge companies seem to face is the adoption of unfamiliar systems, such as CRM platforms. Certain tools are not as commonly integrated with peoples’ day-to-day workflows and for that reason they are not always used or understood. It is important to realize that the processes define the value, if certain reporting figures can only be found within the CRM system, it drives more people to the platform for regular usage. Another element of adoption is to make sure people are comfortable using the platform. This can be done by conducting trainings that will coach people through the process of efficiently searching and entering data into systems. The goal is to make going into a CRM platform feel like less of a chore and more of the norm. As more people are using the CRM platform of choice, it strengthens the data and employees will be able to benefit from more connected, usable, and valuable data.
Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analysis Can Be Used Within CRM Platforms to Serve Up Relevant Timely Insights
As the digital world develops, businesses will need to adapt to remain relevant. CRM systems have provided the support corporate enterprises need to excel in an environment of increasing market competition. The parallel evolution of advanced lead generation tools in CRM systems is poised to remain key in growth acceleration. Companies of all sizes across all industries leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for sales forecasting and analytics, and to curate big data into actionable information for sales teams. It is fully anticipated that AI and machine learning will eventually drive all business intelligence software, particularly around lead management and generation.
Understanding the connections between clients is essential for financial firms to provide more effective services and develop their business relationships, which is why a well-integrated CRM platform is necessary for creating an open, flexible ecosystem that can transform data collection and management obstacles into actionable customer insights.