There are a lot of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions out there, including many by large and well-known companies, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a solution that works for wealth management firms and the advisors working with them. In our experience, the opposite is true – when we talk with potential clients who are interested in the NexJ Integrated Advisor Desktop (IAD), what we hear is a lot about what doesn’t work for them.
These are some of the top frustrations we hear about widely-available CRM solutions for the wealth management industry:
- Siloed customer information: CRMs are supposed to be the central depository for all customer information. But in financial services, data is ever-changing and comes from many different sources. Too often, a shiny new CRM becomes little more than a glorified rolodex, a place to stash some basic customer information that sits next to other silos that contain other types of data.
- Lack of data integration: Along those same lines, the integration promised by many CRM providers is one-way. Even if an advisor can pull in data from other silos, it often is either a static readout that can’t be updated, or a copy of data from another database that, if updated, then needs to be manually changed in the source database too. The gold standard is true data integration: Tying systems together so that data remains in its original location, but the data can still be manipulated and edited as if it were native to the system.
- Lots of application switching: When using an un-integrated CRM, advisors find they spend a lot of time bouncing between applications or tabs in their browser, logging into different systems with different credentials, and needing to transpose data from one application to another (a common source of errors.) This eats up time, mental energy and efficiency for advisors, which costs the firm’s profitability.
- Requires extensive customization: Out of the box, broad, horizontal CRM solutions don’t have the base level of data fields and functionality advisors need. These systems may look more affordable at first, but by the time a wealth management firm has paid for the extensive customization and integration required, the result costs significantly more – and in the worst cases can feel ramshackle and buggy.
- Low adoption rates: All of these usability and efficiency issues feed into one final frustration: Low adoption rates within a firm. If a CRM isn’t being used, it becomes an expensive white elephant, good for very little but requiring expensive care and upkeep.
The solution: A financially focused, deeply integrated IAD
NexJ has spent more than two decades perfecting systems that enable the efficiency of advisors by effectively managing their customer engagement. While our IAD in fact helps do the same things traditional CRM’s promise, we don’t even think of it as a true standalone CRM. Instead, our IAD is designed to be an efficient, intuitive, single point of integration of all the systems wealth management advisors need.
Our base NexJ Wealth Management Model has many of the features and fields commonly needed by advisors already built in, and is designed for integration with all of the most common tools wealth managers need. Since each firm is different, we are able to customize and combine features just the way a firm needs, but our efforts are spent integrating with a specific mix of applications, not simply getting the system to work for financial firms.
That integration helps reduce or even eliminate many top advisor complaints about CRM: a single-sign on makes accessing applications easier, data integration reduces errors, and by breaking down silos advisors can more easily keep all systems up-to-date.
Beyond that, the NexJ IAD finds new opportunities to improve efficiency. It can recommend next best actions for advisors, help find and deliver relevant content to customers to maintain engagement, and even mine available data to find customers who may be candidates for new services.
It’s no wonder that NexJ enjoys excellent adoption with advisors at firms like RBC, UBS and Wells Fargo – which helps raise the productivity and profitability of advisors and firms alike.