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Salesforce Ventures has taken a minority stake in Hearsay Systems Inc. as the two companies connect their client relationship management (CRM) and communication tools for financial advisors.

“We partnered with Salesforce because that’s what our customers wanted,” said Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay, in an interview.

“Mostly, people don’t need more features and functions; they don’t need more systems and more apps,” she said. “What they need is the systems that they’ve already invested in to talk to each other and for workflows to cut across as a cohesive client experience.”

Hearsay provides software and tools to store advisor/client digital communications for compliance purposes and to enhance the client experience. Salesforce Ventures is the investment arm of Inc. Both Salesforce and Hearsay are based in San Francisco.

The partnership allows for client communication captured by Hearsay, whether via text message, social media or email, to connect to Salesforce’s CRM software. This integration will help advisors track interactions with clients — both the volume and the type of communication, such as a client speaking to a call centre, receiving a text from the advisor or a corporate communication.

“It enhances the quality of the engagement [and] you don’t repeat yourself 1,000 times, which often happens,” said Gloria Roheim McRae, Hearsay’s regional director for Canada, in an interview. 

More and more conversations are happening digitally as the pandemic has pushed advisors and their clients to adopt social distancing measures. Hearsay reports seeing a significant increase in the number of communications on its platform.

“Advisors have stepped up,” said Shih. “We’ve seen a 300% increase in how proactive advisors are being with their clients and prospects, when their clients need it the most.”

Hearsay has also noticed more team collaboration in client communications. Shih says the company has seen an uptick in the use of its delegate access platform, which allows an advisor’s team to see messages from one phone number and to respond when necessary.

“We’ve seen more delegates get added to every number,” says Shih, “and we’ve seen more collaboration.”

In Canada, Hearsay services 10,000 advisors at a variety of different financial institutions, including Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Sun Life Financial Inc.

Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 400 companies in 22 countries, including Zoom Video Communications Inc. and DocuSign Inc.