Technology is one of the most important components of a financial advisor’s business. From financial planning and risk analysis tools to marketing automation platforms, technology streamlines processes, increases productivity and helps you grow your business faster. Since building strong relationships is a core element of providing financial advice, a financial advisor CRM (client relationship management) system may be the most essential technology tool available for financial advisory firms.

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is a technology used to manage your advisory’s relationships and interactions with clients. CRM for financial advisors has the simple goal of elevating your customer relationships and improving how you interact with them. Whenever CRM is mentioned, it’s usually in reference to a tool that can manage customer relationships across an entire lifecycle.

Why You Need a CRM

CRM for financial advisors tracks, manages, and analyzes the interactions you have with clients, prospects, referrals, and strategic partners. That’s why FMG Suite integrates with many of the most advanced and highly regarded CRM systems available. 

  • RedtailRedtail CRM is a web-based, full-featured, and easy-to-use client management solution built for financial advisors.
  • SmartOfficeSmartOffice, the customer relationship management solution from Ebix, is a financial planning CRM that helps financial advisors tackle critical tasks like analysis, communication, and client services. 
  • WealthboxWealthbox CRM tools keep you connected with clients, prospects, and staff with automated workflows using desktop and mobile apps. From intuitive event calendars to account administration, Wealthbox and FMG Suite work in sync to give financial advisors more control and flexibility. 
  • Salesforce — From lead and contact management to customizable reports, Salesforce is one of the most powerful tools to help financial advisors find, nurture, and convert leads faster and easier. Grow your assets under management (AUM), enjoy more productivity, and increase your sales revenue when you put FMG Suite and Salesforce to work in your financial services firm. 

What are some advantages of a CRM?

The average advisor serves 156 clients. That’s a lot of financial advice and staff to manage. Not to mention a lot of names, anniversaries, and meetings to remember. CRM systems make it easier to juggle tasks, opportunities, and communications. From setting reminders for upcoming meetings to sending out celebratory cards to clients with children who are graduating from college. CRM systems let you do more in less time. CRMs also help you:

Consolidate all your data so it’s centralized and accessible.

Organize and manage your customer data so you and your staff can access all the information they need. You can quickly and easily look up customer contact information, websites, and social media accounts.

Maintain and sync your scheduling. 

Keeping up with appointments, meetings, and other important events can be a challenge. The right CRM platform can help you stay on track, be on point, and communicate better with clients and staff. For example, you can easily enter appointments and other events from a mobile device or workstation.

When your advisory can see what’s happening in real-time, your firm’s big-picture outlook becomes more streamlined. With fewer missed opportunities for better communication, CRM for financial services can help you stay organized.

Automate routine processes to increase productivity.

Most financial firms have recurring processes that don’t require human interaction. Think of how much time your advisory firm can save by automating routine tasks such as client onboarding, sending emails, and setting follow-up appointments. The steps in these everyday tasks follow a set process that a CRM for financial professionals can put to work 24/7.

Track communications and capture essential data about your advisory’s relationships with clients.

CRM systems not only integrate with many of your current systems, but they also give you a detailed analysis and actionable data from email, phone calls, online engagement, and client service issues. Knowing more about your relationship history helps you build even stronger relationships.  

Consistently improve your advisory’s sales methods and results.

Analyzing your sales process with financial CRM software provides the data you need to identify the cause of broken deals and other growth obstacles. Armed with accurate and insightful data, you can take steps to address those causes and ensure that your team takes those steps to prevent similar issues. That same CRM data can also help you more accurately project sales goals based on reliable facts and figures. 

Provide a better user experience from lead generation to client retention.

User experience is a marketing phrase that applies to all aspects of your business as well as your marketing strategy. Simply put, it means engaging with prospects and clients on a personal level to meet their needs. A CRM system helps you and your staff interact with clients by sending the right message to the right person at the right time. When prospects and clients feel that you and your advisory are in tune with their needs, they will be far more likely to convert or remain a client. 

Stay more engaged with your contacts and maintain stronger relationships with less effort when you harness the power of a CRM system in your advisory firm.

CRM Gives You a Window Into the Future

Many advisors approach accounting and tax planning by reviewing the past, but effective financial planning requires looking toward the future and using the data from a CRM system for accurate projections. That same data also helps you take that forward-thinking approach with your marketing strategy. Your account balances, financial and business data, and marketing analytics all reveal details that contain valuable information. CRM makes that information readily available and easy to understand, so you can put it to work growing your business.

Through your CRM, you get an inside look into trends and events that will help you identify your future revenue and profit metrics. These indicators may be lead generation, opportunity creation, or pipeline value. What prospects may become clients in the next month? Which contacts are cold leads and will require more time to convert? Which warm leads should you reach out to in the next month so they don’t go cold? Through your CRM software, you can monitor your marketing activities and campaigns, see what opportunities are available, and how you can improve leads and conversions.

CRM Helps Build Stronger Relationships

With something as personal and valuable as money, clients require a more intimate and detailed relationship than they would with other service professionals. The more you can tailor your services, marketing, and messaging to fit your client’s needs, the better you can retain current clients and attract prospects. 

CRM software for financial advisors can capture the information you need to meet those needs using targeted campaigns with personalized messaging. From birthday and anniversary cards to in-depth blog posts on retirement planning, tailored content and targeted marketing will help you stand out from the crowd and create more meaningful relationships faster. 

By tracking and analyzing data created with your CRM system, you can identify trends sooner, communicate more effectively, and target your marketing and retention efforts better. What better way to engage prospects and clients than reaching out with the most relevant information for their particular needs and where they are along the client journey? From timely emails congratulating new parents to insights about financial planning for college, you and your staff can take financial services to a more intimate and engaging level. 

What Financial Advisors Should Look For in CRM Software

Finding the right CRM system for you can be difficult, especially when you have to consider the specific needs of your firm. Here’s a list of things to look for when choosing the perfect CRM for you:

Third-party Integration

When you integrate CRM for financial advisors with an automated marketing solution, you can streamline your workflow and engage prospects and clients more often. Most CRM programs for financial advisors offer third-party integration, but it’s critical to select a solution that integrates with your existing software tools. 

Extensive Customization 

Advanced technology usually means advanced functions that may not be needed for your firm’s needs. While you should choose a CRM solution with proven technology and the features you need, it’s just as important that your CRM software lets you customize a tailored fit. Particular features may not fit your advisory’s needs, but they may be perfect for other financial advisors. 

Many CRM systems let you choose which features you prefer to include in your package. Others allow you to customize contact fields, select specific data to show on your dashboard and create focused reports. Extensions, plugins, and other add-ons can provide further customization and expand your software’s capabilities.

Lead Management 

Lead management features in CRM software help advisors keep one of the most important growth opportunities healthy and manageable. With automated lead management, your firm can identify leads, analyze their behavior, and guide their journey as they move through your sales funnel.

You can define your success metrics, bring your sales and marketing efforts together, and map out your sales process. CRM software with lead management capabilities will help grow your firm from automatically capturing leads to identifying and tracking lead sources. 

Social Media Tools

CRM software for financial advisors with built-in social media monitoring can streamline your efforts to maintain a strong, positive online reputation. You can stay in tune with what prospects and clients say about your brand through social listening, respond faster to your audience’s concerns, and create a consistent brand voice across channels. 

By tying together your marketing automation tools with CRM software, you can simplify your marketing, target your ideal clientele, and grow your business. When you use a marketing automation platform from FMG Suite that seamlessly integrates with a proven CRM system, you can grow your business faster with powerful marketing tools and build long-lasting relationships.

Different CRM Systems for Different Needs

 Even though most financial advisors probably consider a CRM system to be a way to maintain client relations, there are three types of CRM systems, each focused on different data.

  • Operational CRM streamlines the business process and includes sales, marketing, and service automation. The primary goal of this type of CRM for financial advisors is to generate leads, create contacts, capture client information, and service clients along the client journey.
  • Analytical CRM helps upper management, marketing, sales, and support personnel determine the best ways to serve clients. Data analysis is the primary function of this type of CRM application. It analyzes client data across various touch points to gain better insights into client needs. Analytical CRM can lead to better decisions and a better understanding of campaign effectiveness. The result is a proven method to help sales and support personnel improve the quality of client interaction and build stronger relationships.
  • Analytical CRM helps upper management, marketing, sales, and support personnel determine the best ways to serve clients. Data analysis is the primary function of this type of CRM application. It analyzes client data across various touch points to gain better insights into client needs. Analytical CRM can lead to better decisions and a better understanding of campaign effectiveness. The result is a proven method to help sales and support personnel improve the quality of client interaction and build stronger relationships.
  • Collaborative CRM lets your firm share clients’ information among departments like sales, marketing, technical, and support teams. Collaborative CRM unites different departments with data designed to improve the quality of service, establish brand awareness, and improve the quality of customer service to drive more business.

How to Use CRM to Grow Your AUM

CRM for financial advisors is all about understanding data and using it to serve clients better. Most types of CRMs create four types of data: identity, quantitative, descriptive, and qualitative. Let’s break down each of these types and the role they can play in your marketing strategies.

Identity Data

Identity data is what most users think of when they think of CRM. This is the fundamental data like a client’s name, birthday, address, and telephone number. Identity data provides the foundation for a variety of activities like list aggregation and targeted outreach.

Descriptive Data

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of your clients, descriptive data provides more in-depth information such as family, career, and lifestyle details. A lot of advisors we work with enjoy getting to know their clients on a personal basis. A CRM system allows advisors to compile, organize, and segment this information and allows for quick and easy retrieval.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data explains how your clients and prospects have behaved and interacted with your products and services. After establishing who your clients are via identity data, you can then analyze transaction behaviors, communication, and social network information. Quantitative data provides insights into how visitors find your website, what they do when they arrive, and their perceptions of your client service and support. By studying quantitative data, financial advisors can easily see what’s working and what isn’t and adjust their marketing accordingly.

Qualitative Data

Lastly, qualitative data provides information on a client’s attitudes, motivations, and opinions. While this data isn’t as objective as identity or quantitative data, it can provide significant insights that help you analyze why your clients do what they do. Some common questions advisors use when gathering qualitative data include:

  • How do you rate our customer service or buying experience?
  • How do you rate the value of our product or professional knowledge?
  • Why did you purchase a specific product? In other words, what was your motivation?

You can use this qualitative data to fine-tune your mission statement or unique value proposition. For example, if the majority of your clients cite financial planning as a means to enjoy the things they love more often, you could incorporate this into your mission statement..

How to Harness the Power of CRM with Content That Gets Results

You will likely use a financial advisor CRM system to keep track of your clients and prospects and improve your relationships with them. What many advisors don’t realize is they can harness their CRM and the resulting data to improve their content marketing. Segmenting your list and relying on personas helps you develop highly targeted content that will resonate with your ideal client base. Take time to view this insightful video about the CRM and content relationship for a better understanding.

We all know that the best content marketing caters to an audience’s needs. But this takes time and energy, and businesses often turn to generic promotional posts and advertisements by default. Without a CRM, you’re missing key elements of content marketing data. With a CRM system, you know more about what your clients need and how they behave, so you can offer more targeted content.

Here are some of the ways you can put this data to work:

Monitor traffic for your current content

by looking at clicks, comments, and social/website traffic. Use this data as a baseline to see what type of content resonates most with your followers and create content that appeals to your audience, and consider revamping or dropping content that doesn’t.

Make changes based on client needs.

Like any plan, your content strategy should be seen as a guide rather than an inflexible directive. Based on the data you gather, you can tweak your marketing strategies as often as needed to give your audience more of what they want.

Use personas to create personalized content.

Most CRMs allow you to analyze the characteristics of your best clients and those who engage with your content the most. Using this information, you can craft content specifically tailored for your audience and avoid the generic content your market doesn’t like.

These are just three ways you can use the data you gather from your financial advisor’s CRM to direct your content marketing efforts. Some of the best advertisers consistently identify pain points, followed the buying journey, and adjust their strategies and content accordingly.

Leveraging CRM Data for Targeted Marketing

Analyzing data is no longer the domain of aggregators or professional analysts. What was often considered a boring endeavor, data analysis can help financial advisors create more effective marketing and profit from better results. Leveraging your CRM data is the key to creating better content, deeper relationships, and an overall better understanding of your prospects and clients.

Track Client and Prospect Engagement

With our integration with Redtail, it’s easier than ever to see who is viewing your emails and how they engage. For example, after syncing your Redtail contacts into your FMG Suite dashboard, you see that Jane, 45, opened your Monthly Market Insights email. She then went to your website to find more information. It would make sense, then, to reach out to Jane to offer planning. The raw click-through data quickly turns into an opportunity to reach out.

Create Ideal Personas

In the past, we have talked a lot about personas and how they can influence your marketing. Personas are breakdowns of your ideal clients and provide you with a definitive profile for targeted marketing efforts. Using a CRM, you can see who engages with your content and create campaigns and marketing that attracts clients.

Personalize Messaging

CRM systems provide client information like name, age, and other core information. But what does all this data mean for your marketing? Financial advisors can use this information to create targeted lists and create the most relevant content and offers. For example, you can segment your lists into retirement-age clients, younger clients, and single or married clients. Personalized messages to each of these lists will get better results than a generic one.

Adjust Marketing Strategies

After using your financial advisor CRM for a few months, you can analyze the performance of your marketing efforts. If, after three months, you see little or no engagement with specific content, it’s time to revamp it or toss it. You can adjust your strategies and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Then you simply review your data every few months and make changes accordingly.

After breaking data down into action plans, your analytics go from boring numbers to insightful inspiration. Learn more about leveraging your data and our partnership with Redtail.

If you need more help finding the right CRM, check out this blog.

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