TD Ameritrade Institutional, which provides clearing services to about 4,000 investment advisors, has integrated its custodial data into Salesforce, the popular CRM.
I interviewed Patullo at the TD Ameritrade Conference last week in San Diego and also saw a demo of the alpha version of the integration with Salesforce.
Salesforce makes the world’s most popular CRM, with the 87,200 companies using it including Dell, Kaiser Permanente and Sun Trust Banks. It is cloud based and allows users to customize many features to their needs.
Patullo says TDAI uses Salesforce internally, which led to exploring offering it to RIAs. But he says no pricing agreement had been reached with Salesforce.
Patullo would not comment on TDAI’s talks with Salesforce, but the program is far more expensive than other CRM options open to RIAs. For instance, Redtail, a web-based CRM for advisors that is known for its low pricing and that has about 25,000 users at 5,000 firms, retails at about $65 a month for up to 15 users. Just a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft launched a web-based version of Dynamics, a CRM for businesses, at $34 a month per user. Salesforce, in comparison, retails for about $100 a month per user. Ebix, another popular advisor CRM with about 125,000users, retails starting at about $60 a month.
An integration of Salesforce with TDAI’s brokerage system data would be popular with many advisors if TDAI can use its size in the advisor market to gain favorable pricing.
Patullo says, however, that TDAI does not want to make a product that competes against advisor CRM vendors and that any integration with Salesforce can take a number of different forms. He says TDAI could offer it via AppExchange, the Salesforce app store. He also says TDAI could utilize Salesforce’s wealth management app or work with AppCrown, an advisor version of Salesforce launched about three years ago.
“It’s too early to discuss in any detail and there are a lot of directions we can head in,” says Patullo.