CRM Possibly Still Misunderstood?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:10
CRM Possibly Still Misunderstood?

The 2009 Financial Planning Software and Technology survey was recently published, and surprisingly, CRM remains an under utilized area for financial practices. 

A full quarter of survey respondents counted Microsoft Outlook as their primary CRM solution. A cacophony of voices sound out at hearing that statistic knowing full well Outlook is not a CRM application. While it is (to me as well) the premier Windows-based email client, that is where its functionality ends.


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CRM should serve as the core of any financial practice, hosting the most detailed level of information about your customers and prospects. It should enable you to know anniversaries, birthdays, family member likes and dislikes, your activities and tasks carried out on behalf of clients and more. Every interaction deserves a note in CRM, as do meetings, letters and emails to and from clients. This begins to build a versatile database of information for researching your entire books of business along with staying in touch with individual contacts.

If you have an opportunity - take a look at our recent webinar on Process and CRM on Advisors4Advisors to get deeper into your practice capabilities with CRM.

Once you begin to leverage the fundamentals of a good CRM solution - you can take a deeper dive and look for opportunities to use CRM with other practice tools like financial planning, portfolio reporting and form filling to establish efficiencies and reduce manual data entry.

See an article I wrote covering due diligence on selecting new vendors to help you choose a provider that offers these advanced features when you are ready for them.



Comments (3)


I suspect one of the causes of the high percentage of "Outlook is my CRM" responses is the survey's mishandling of the program.
I know several advisors that have added the Business Contact Manager utility to Outlook, greatly enhancing the native's program ability to track CRM-like information.
As far as I can tell, the Financial Planning survey didn't break out plain Outlook against Outlook w/ BCM. It did list Microsoft CRM, but that's not Outlook w/ BCM. And I also don't think they specifically listed Microsoft Dynamics.
billwinterberg , December 01, 2009
Micah McCann
Even though I work with many advisors who consider Outlook to be their CRM solution these numbers are still surprising to me. Some advisors don't yet see the true value of these systems while others are hesitant because it does take some effort to work these into their practice. If done right, a CRM implementation can really transform the way you do business.

Microsoft does have a stand alone web-based CRM platform that is called Azure. It is set to compete with the likes of so it is more of an enterprise CRM solution.
mimccann , December 02, 2009
Excellent point Bill - it does sometimes come down to how the questions are asked. I do agree the add-in for Outlook does add some robust capabilities. I only wish more workflow (user-friendly) would be available in Outlook and add-in CRM functions. It would always be nice to have a versatile offline modern CRM integrated with Outlook as much as I do prefer web based solutions.
bwarrene , December 03, 2009

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