June 8, 2016 Neal Quon

Four ways to maximize your CRM’s ROI

CRM often seems like a magic bullet solution to build your business. “Set it up and you are done.” But picking the right solution and getting it integrated into your business properly is a big job. It is far too common not plan appropriately for introducing a new CRM system.

Even done well, it is easy to get mired down in the optimization of systems, like CRM, when thinking about efficiency. When you have the basic elements of your CRM coordinated and running in your business, it is time to maximize your return on investment in this powerful technology.

chartsWorkflow

Invest your time in documenting the processes you need to effectively serve your clients. This is best done prior to even opening your CRM, whether on a whiteboard or on paper. Having your CRM Workflows aligned with your documented processes will ensure that the work of your team is focused on delivering on your services. Moreover, it removes wasted time and steps that spend unnecessary dollars of staff time.

Who Are Your Clients (or how do they fit in your model)

If you’ve defined how you deliver services, also make sure you understand who should be getting those services. Clients come in all shapes and sizes, and you absolutely know the segmentation of those clients to your service delivery.

You will absolutely amplify your margins if you clearly define how much revenue each client drives into your business. Let’s be clear, this is not a dehumanizing exercise to think only about the bottom line. You are impacting the lives and dreams of your clients. However, if we are being honest, we also consider the assets we are managing or advising to determine the level of principal advisor and staff investment in time to each client.

Opportunity Tracking

Getting efficiency in service delivery is critical – yet – only, half of the battle. The relationship nature of what we do extends to how we develop new business. If you are seeing results from working with clients, you should anticipate a more robust and relevant referral and lead pipeline.

Your CRM should allow for a sales management solution – allowing you to define leads as well as qualified opportunities. You should be committing the same level of discipline to defining your sales pipeline stages and qualification components as you do to your workflow and client service delivery. This will enable you to direct the time of you and your team to moving opportunities through your sales funnel.

charts2Reporting

Ugh. We know. Reporting is a huge abyss of need often lacking definition. However, reports can be your friend if you apply discipline to what you should be looking at.

  • Workflow – focus on looking for bottlenecks. Instead of just watching tasks and how they get done – explore where folks get stuck – where they need help and perhaps are hesitant to ask. Don’t penalize for failure when you can identify where you can re-organize team members for more effective processes.
  • Client segmentation – understand how your clients are categorized and make sure you focus on steps that deepen relationships as your team delivers services.
  • The “pipeline” – always be looking at your overall pipeline – Tune in to these key criteria – a) those ranked above a 75% likelihood of becoming clients (short and mid term cash flow) and those in the early stages where your team believes you will need to contribute to move them through the funnel.
  • A final note on pipeline – you have to take a bit of your emotion out of it – and be aware of when you should step back from pursuing a prospective client if it either does not fit your firm culture or will not be profitable.

For your CRM to drive profit or really even be useful, your entire team has to use it. It sounds simple and intuitive and yet in our work with financial practices, we see time and time again, CRM’s being used to primarily manage contacts. With proper selection, implementation and optimization your CRM tool can save you time, help you earn new business and drive firm profitability.

Feeling stuck? Contact us and we can help.

Neal Quon

Neal Quon began his career in the financial services industry in 1997 and is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Family Financial Planning. Being an independent advisor gives Neal an understanding of the challenges financial advisors face when selecting the tools to best meet the needs of their clients. He helped establish the technology for a Texas-based Registered Investment Advisor as he also built his initial book of business. Neal also bridged many channels in financial services, with a consistent focus on the front office of operations. He has worked for and consulted for many of the the industry’s leading service providers. This includes Albridge Solutions and CashEdge, Inc. Neal also directly coached financial advisors, serving as the Practice Consulting Manager for the Pacific Life group of broker dealers prior to their sale to LPL. In founding QuonWarrene with Blane Warrene, he brought client-facing technology expertise and regularly speaks and advises on practice management issues today.