CRM Provider for Wealth Management Space Describes Current Trends and Future Evolution in CRM, Explains Pros and Cons of Using CRM System Designed for Financial Advisors
Often when we think of wealthtech, we think of something abrupt and revolutionary – artificial intelligence game-changers, big data mining or automation revolutionizing compliance and back-office systems.
Those changes certainly revolutionize how we do business, but so do other everyday technologies right under our noses – like CRM. Client relationship management technology changed the way we interact with clients drastically over the past several years – improving our ability to target and serve needs, communicate efficiently and build robust relationships.
CRM technology continues to evolve, including both the megafirms in the field and firms that tailor unique services to particular industry needs, such as Redtail Technology, founded in 2003, which first pioneered CRM solutions specifically designed for financial advisors.
Recently acquired by wealthtech firm Orion, Redtail now serves 130,000 users from 30,000 offices with its CRM solutions.
We caught up with 12-year Redtail veteran and Vice President of Business Development David Mehlhorn to ask about trends and developments in wealth management CRM and the pros and cons of using an industry-specific CRM versus a large generalist CRM provider.
WSR: What are the most recent trends for CRM in wealth management? What types of functionality do advisors increasingly ask for or focus on? Are there specific technological adoptions, such as integrations, that are moving certain trends forward?
Mehlhorn: Workflows continue to be the topic we hear about most from advisors. Implementing processes that not only improve efficiency but also ensure consistency has only become more important as working environments have evolved.
The desire to incorporate texting into advisors’ communication channels has also been gaining momentum. Most clients, regardless of age, have adopted texting as one of their primary methods of communication at this point. We are seeing more and more advisors understand the need to offer texting as a communication option to their clients.
Lastly, scheduling tools are incredibly popular. Advisors want to be able to share their calendar and streamline the scheduling process.
WSR: Where do you see CRM for the wealth management space in the next few years, and over a longer horizon? Is wealth management CRM going to develop similarly to CRM in general, or will we see it become more unique? What drivers will move these developments?
Mehlhorn: I believe CRM will continue to function as the hub for advisors and their offices and as a central point of entry for managing their relationships.
Over the next few years, look for continued pressure on CRM providers to raise the bar on integration. The expectations over what an integration should entail continue to rise and if CRM is going to continue to function as the hub for an office, then integrations must begin to meet those expectations.
Real-time syncing, streamlined processes between tools, less need for advisors to jump from program to program – I believe we’ll see great strides in all these areas along with technological jumps we’ve yet to even imagine.
WSR: Tell us the main pros and cons for a financial advisor working with CRM developed specifically for wealth management versus the large generalists.
Mehlhorn: There are several pros to working with CRM developed for wealth management, including:
The speed of adoption. An industry-specific CRM is going to take away much of the customization that is required when you buy a generic CRM.
The product evolves with the industry. An industry-specific CRM should change as the industry changes. If new regulations require you to adjust your processes or to begin tracking new information, then your CRM should make those fields available or those processes easier.
Training and support. When you work with an industry-specific CRM, your vendor should know your needs and your industry. They work with other advisors that have similar challenges. They should be able to help provide best practices and relevant insight to maximize the use of your CRM.
The primary con of using CRM developed for wealth management is that industry-specific CRMs tend to be a little less customizable due to the focus on the industry.
Janeesa Hollingshead, Executive Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org