3 Tips to Get Financial Services Professionals to Actually Use Their CRM

3 Tips to Get Financial Services Professionals to Actually Use Their CRM


A customer relationship management (CRM) system can deliver huge benefits for your sales team, your business development team, and anyone at your financial services firm who is charged with winning new business. There are many hazards associated with implementing a CRM system. Getting your people to actually use the system is the most common, and least understood, of them. Busy professionals tend to see CRM as a chore rather than something that is valuable to them.

Here are three tips to encourage adoption so you can take advantage of the promise and benefits of your CRM.

1. Get Everyone Onboard Early

Getting buy-in on a new tool from people who have no time to invest requires building and communicating your vision up front. Whenever I speak with banks or financial service firms, this is always the first tip I give them.

Get everyone onboard with your vision early! 

I typically encourage leaders to frame the reasoning behind the new CRM in terms of how it will impact the paychecks of their client-facing team. For example, Financial Services firms sell multiple services and products, often through siloed divisions and from multiple office locations. Yet, there is a huge amount of “relationship capital” across the organization that never gets shared. This is a huge source of new business and cross-sell opportunities.

Over the years, I’ve found that professionals in the financial services industry can be sometimes careful or even apprehensive in sharing their relationships, even if it is for the company’s greater good. Taking the time to articulate the benefits they will get from collaborating with their colleagues can assist you in achieving company wide adoption.

Ideally, you’ll have several client-facing employees involved in the early days of procurement and testing. Make them advocates for their peers. When it’s time for your kickoff, your best tool is effective training. Your second best tool is positive word of mouth. Invest time with your early users so that they can get everyone excited by the new possibilities.

2. Set Your CRM Up With Your Financial Service Professionals in Mind

CRM solutions include many features and information that aren’t applicable to financial service professionals. If they’re presented with dashboards of superfluous information or long data-hungry forms to fill out, then they’ll be less inclined to rely on it as part of day-to-day activities.

I tell people that the biggest problem they’re going to encounter when starting an implementation of CRM is that they are giving your client-facing workforce a new job to do – enter data.

Kevin W. Smith, Founder and Principal of Kevin W Smith Consulting, says, “The best way to get an advisor to engage with their CRM is to set it up to provide them the insight they can use in their everyday practice.”

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A few ways you can improve their experience with the CRM include:

  • Minimizing required fields:. Focus on the highest priority information first and look for ways to automatically fill in the gaps to reduce manual data entry.
  • Focus on seamless and simple workflows: Whatever you want people to do in the system should be intuitive and consistent throughout your organization.
  • Opening up communication channels for feedback: The CRM may need adjustments to properly fit your firm’s needs. Provide a way for users to let you know about areas of frustration.
  • Providing comprehensive resources: Some financial advisors may run into problems that they don’t want to ask for help. Make it easy to look up answers to common questions quickly.

3. Integrate Your CRM Into How You Work Today

Understand where and how your CRM fits into the everyday workflow so you encounter less friction. While some business processes and workflows may need to be revamped to take advantage of the CRM, try to limit the disruption to your employees.

Make sure that the CRM you choose provides insights to your team on the web, as they communicate, and on mobile. There should be a huge amount of relationship capital in your CRM, your job is to make sure it is available to your team when they need it.

Make sure that the CRM gets used in one-on-ones so people get accustomed to turning to it in every situation. Your team members already have to learn how to use a new platform, so don’t dramatically change the format of these one-on-ones. Just make sure that there is concrete information in the CRM you can use to reference their activities.

3 Tips to Get Financial Services Professionals to Actually Use Their CRM

Use the CRM in your management quarterly business reviews (QBRs). When the most senior people in an organization champion the success of the CRM project, it has the best chance of success.

CRM initiatives currently have a 63% fail rate, according to a new study by Merkle Group Inc. Don’t let your investment in a CRM platform go to waste. When you implement these three tips, you end up with enthusiastic adoption right out of the gate. The CRM is the dream tool that all your revenue earners need, so you just need to open their eyes to the possibilities.

Bonus: Get More Out Of Your CRM

To get the most out of their CRM, companies must establish a system to keep their information up-to-date in a way which minimizes the user’s requirements to constantly be entering data.

By leveraging Datahug’s relationship management solution, companies gain complete visibility into all relationships that exist between your employees and their customers and prospects. This makes your new CRM a source of accurate information and insight from day one. All while minimizing data entry requirements, and saving both management as well as the individual user’s time.

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