Emile McLean

There’s a powerful tool – available right now – that can help you serve your clients better and more profitability. It’s a tool you’ve likely heard of but may not have considered: customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Advisors currently using CRM software are reaping the rewards. They’re seamlessly managing employee tasks, generating leads, closing deals, and maintaining their client and prospective client relationships. And CRM tools are much more than a place to store emails. They are the most effective way of managing all aspects of your business – in many cases, through a simple app on your phone. [tweet this]

What a CRM tool can do for you

As the name of the product suggests, CRM tools are designed to improve your business relationships. They do this by streamlining, digitizing and simplifying processes to help you stay connected to prospects and clients. Here are five CRM features that you can use to better serve your clients and maximize your sales success. 

  1. Centralize your data: Your CRM tool can capture everything related to your clients and prospective clients – far beyond age, address and phone number. Use it to remember important touchpoints – like the names and birthdays of dependants, charitable causes they support, other centres of influence, and other insurance, wealth and debt products they hold. You can also store meeting notes, client forms, social media activity and photos. Just scan it and store it – all in one place.
  2. Sync your calendar and email: Your CRM tool can ensure your emails, appointments and assigned tasks are synchronized across systems and devices – your phone, tablet and computer.
  3. Manage your sales pipeline: A CRM tool focuses less on how well you’ve done in the past and more on your future sales opportunities. It’s this type of focus that leads to ongoing sales success. At a glance, you can see your status and progress at every stage of the sales cycle – qualifications and needs analysis, proposals, negotiations and close. And if you lead others, CRM software can be an exceptional performance management tool to train and develop employees to move prospective clients through the pipeline with greater success.
  4. Delegate and assign tasks: If you lead employees, one of the greatest business challenges is assigning and tracking delegated tasks. A CRM tool can make the process easy and transparent – whether you’re working onsite, at home or at your cottage by the lake.
  5. Automate your marketing: You can create automated email campaigns and push them out to the most relevant people. This reduces time processing and sending emails – and leverages your client information to automatically personalize your communications. For example, you can ensure that an RESP campaign is sent only to clients with school-aged children.

Choosing the right CRM tool

Choosing the right CRM tool for you will depend on your work situation and your style preferences. [tweet this]  There are three main categories of CRM software for you to consider:

  • Enterprise-wide CRM software, typically used by larger organizations. This include options such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics that are fully customizable.
  • Plug-and-play CRM software in a closed environment, like Act!, which provides all features using proprietary in-house tools.
  • Plug–and-play CRM software in an open environment, like HubSpot, which connects to other tools you may already use, such as MailChimp and Google Contacts.

There are advantages to each of these options – and because you’re dealing with sensitive information, you’ll want to make sure that security is a top priority. Talk with people who use CRM software to learn about their experience. If you’re part of a larger organization, talk with leadership about putting a CRM tool in place. Many of them offer free trials. While test-driving different systems can take some time and effort, finding the best one can benefit both you and your clients for many years to come.