Bigger isn’t always better – that’s the key takeaway from the latest research report from Nucleus Research on Salesforce’s CRM offering. In fact, as Salesforce has grown larger by acquiring and absorbing smaller competitors and specific products, the organization has seen declining scores in many areas – enough to push Salesforce out of its spot in the Leader quadrant of the Nucleus CRM Value Matrix. Shockingly, 51% of those surveyed said they would replace Salesforce if they could.
While NexJ of course would welcome the opportunity to talk with any financial services customers who are looking for an alternative to Salesforce, we really want to highlight the topics raised in the report – the things that matter to the users of customer engagement solutions, and how we believe NexJ excels in these most critical areas.
It’s not exactly apples to apples – the report looks at Salesforce CRM broadly across industries, while NexJ is laser-focused on the financial industry (especially advisory services) and views traditional CRM as one component of a broader range of customer support and engagement services. But the concerns raised validate why NexJ was built from the ground up with an industry focus and an emphasis on easy functionality and customer service.
Usability Matters More than Scale – And That Means Industry Specialization
The biggest issue raised in the report was usability and complexity. As the largest player in CRM, Salesforce must deliver products for a wide range of businesses, from retail to government, and financial services to manufacturing.
But even with parts and components specialized for different industries, customers need to endure customization and working around bloated features designed for someone else. At NexJ, we serve the financial services industry, and we serve it well. Our solutions, including the Integrated Advisor Desktop (IAD) that brings together traditional CRM data like customer information alongside portfolio performance, upcoming compliance tasks and content recommendations, are built with a specific end user in mind.
Understanding the Importance of Integration in Financial Services
Another challenge highlighted in the Salesforce report is that the company was late to understand the importance of systems integration in financial services. In fact, the acquisition of MuleSoft, Salesforce’s largest ever, was originally questioned for exactly this reason, with the co-CEO stating in a live interview "We looked and said, this is integration software, what does that have to do with CRM?"
Once Salesforce realized advisors need to see data from multiple sources, it attempted to fill the gaps through company acquisition and third-party ecosystems, resulting in further issues. According to Nucleus, “[t]his strategy can result in data integration issues across these multiple
applications, leading to duplicate or incorrect data sources. Ultimately, these challenges increase frustrations for the end-user.”
Contrast this view and approach with a financial-services specific solutions provider like NexJ, Our Integrated Advisor Desktop (IAD) was designed with the understanding that an advisor’s need is precisely for a way to bring data from disparate sources together in a meaningful, cohesive view. Integration is the core of the solution, not an add-on feature that increases cost.
For NexJ, this is not a new idea. NexJ has been building customer-centric IADs for 20 years for some of the industry’s leading players such as Wells Fargo, UBS, and RBC. These solutions enhance the ability of their advisors to engage with their clients by detecting insights in client communications, recommending next-best actions, and automating engagement.
Customer Service and Relationships Win the Day
Finally, the report highlights the importance of quality, timely service and close relationships between vendor and provider. This is another area where Salesforce struggled, but where NexJ has always excelled. NexJ has always treated each client as a strategic partner focusing on close relationships, understanding our customers’ needs, and delivering timely service. Even as NexJ has grown, that attitude has remained core to our DNA – you will work through a representative, not a 1-800 number, and you’ll get service from an expert who knows your industry.
When you add it all up, these are not abstract ideas. They are the difference between realizing a return on the (significant) investment required for customer engagement solutions and creating new hoops to jump through and time-draining inefficiencies for your team.
Whether you are a Salesforce customer or not, the report highlighting its challenges also spotlights the right way to deliver advisors with customer engagement support – and we’re proud we can make the case that NexJ stands squarely in that spotlight.
If you’d like to learn more about how NexJ’s Integrated Advisor Desktop and the Nudge-AI Suite can help you serve your clients better and run your business more efficiently, contact us today to book a no-obligation demo.