As a financial advisor, you take pride in how you’ve cultivated deep relationships with your clients.
But in a new reality where it is difficult to meet in person, you’re naturally concerned about how to maintain those connections.
The right Client Relationship Management (CRM) technology system can not only help you stay connected to clients during this global pandemic, but it can also strengthen your ability to personalize your client service and help you win new business.
Streamlining workflows makes it simpler to stay in touch with clients, while automating tasks frees advisors to concentrate on the conversations that clients value most. A CRM aids the advisor at every step, from discovering prospects to supporting existing clients and improving contact management.
But how much does CRM technology cost? What are some factors to consider beyond the cost?
I navigate the world of wealth management CRM on a daily basis as a leader on the business development team at Junxure®. Junxure is the CRM platform owned by AdvisorEngine®. I want to help you choose the BEST platform to suit your needs. In addition to Junxure, I will include a list of other CRM platforms as well.
My hope is that after reading this guide, you’ll be a savvy buyer and understand the true cost of CRM software designed specifically for financial advisors and wealth management firms.
5 factors to consider beyond cost
1) Your firm
Think about the future of your firm. Scale and growth are essential to the success of any business and the CRM that you choose should share these traits. Find a system that has the capability to grow alongside your business. This ensures that the investment you make now will also work in the future. It’s a hassle to go through the process of implementing a new CRM only to have your business outgrow it.
The right CRM solution is powerful - it’s much more than a way to organize your client information. With the right features, a CRM can help you attract prospects, manage relationships, and foster trust. Customization, workflow automation, activity tracking, advanced reporting, and communication features can save you time and money. Tracking contacts is quick and easy with access to all records within your CRM.
As you know, running a financial advisory firm requires many critical applications. When choosing the right CRM, first consider your firm's technology infrastructure and those solutions already in place. With multiple integration options, data can be imported and exported to and from many of these popular financial applications. Make sure you select a CRM that can easily integrate within your current business structure.
4) Ease of use
Getting employees to adopt any new technology can be difficult. An easy-to-use CRM is much more likely to be accepted and used, creating better value for you and your team. Even the most intuitive and straightforward programs can take some time to get used to - make sure the CRM user interface and design are easy to understand and use. Consider the time it will take your team to learn the new system and get up to speed.
4) Training and support
When navigating new technology, it’s important to have a guide - either initially through training and later with continued support. Make sure to investigate the level of training and support offered in a CRM. Discover what current clients have to say about these training and support teams - do they maintain high approval ratings? Are they always available to help? What kind of onboarding and data migration processes are in place? Ask questions before you invest. It’s important to ensure you will always have the support needed for a smooth transition and future success.
CRM technology cost comparison
Below you will find some information on the CRM technology made specifically for financial advisors and wealth management firms. I have listed them in alphabetical order. All of this information can be found on their respective websites.
Pricing starts at $65 per user, per month
✓ Capture important client demographic and financial information in one centralized, customizable place
✓ Manage workflows through automation
✓ Create internal reports and provide attractive reports to clients
✓ Basic and advanced search functionality along with customized search criteria
✓ Advisors can reliably capture client financial data from technology providers through key integrations
✓ Easily track opportunities, tasks, activities, or any other notes related to a client
✓ Robust and intuitive tools help gather lists of contacts, helping advisors more proactively communicate with clients
✓ Industry-leading technical support
Pricing starts at $99 per month, per database for 15 users
✓ Design workflows match the processes they already use in their practice
✓ Standard and custom reports use tracked client data in meaningful ways
✓ Redtail’s Calendar has color coding and view customization and can be synchronized with Office 365 and/or Google Calendar
✓ Notes offer an efficient way to capture important information about interactions with clients
✓ The seminar tool can be used to offer a top-notch customer experience.
✓ Opportunity Tracker helps advisors stay on course and move prospects or current clients through their sales process.
Pricing starts at $150 per user, per month
✓ Easy to manage multiple clients and households, keep track of financial goals and significant life events, and deliver personalized advice that earns lasting loyalty
Basic pricing starts at $35 per user, per month, Pro pricing starts at $49 per month, per user and Premier pricing starts at $65 per month, per user
|✓ See the full picture of your clients through the contact record page
✓ Monitor and engage with prospects and clients on social media networks like Twitter to stay in context and keep current
✓ Simply click on a contact's phone number in Wealthbox and our system calls out to you and your contact for an instant telephone call
✓ Store all emails between you and your clients
✓ Combined with advanced filtering features, tagging allows you to find and communicate with your prospects and clients more effectively
✓ For each contact, task, calendar event, and opportunity, you're able to specify who can see and access this data
Source: Company promotional material
Look beyond the base price
When planning your budget to invest in a CRM technology, look beyond the base price. With most software, you pay per user, per month - but make sure to explore the cost of the initial set up.
Here are some additional costs to keep in mind during your CRM software selection process:
Data transfer costs
Chances are you will have data somewhere that needs to be transferred over to your new CRM system. Whether it’s in the form of spreadsheets or even files, you’ll need help transferring this data. Make sure the CRM you choose offers multiple ways to import data based on your specific needs.
Another cost that often gets overlooked is how much money it takes to integrate current applications into your new CRM. Most offer seamless integration with common business tools like phone, email, and calendar, but if you’re in the market for a more specific integration, your needs might vary. Talk to potential CRM providers about common integration problems they have encountered with other wealth management applications.
Factoring in onboarding time for any new technology is crucial for your team. How long will it take to get up and running? What is the true cost of any initial training? Are there any additional costs for support? Investment in training ensures that everyone in your firm is set up to use the CRM consistently. In addition, training can help demonstrate the features that will benefit your firm - ensuring you use a greater percentage of your investment. Pro tip: having a highly usable CRM is a great way to make sure the training goes smoothly.
Another cost is the time it takes to set up and customize your CRM so that it fits your business needs. How flexible is the product? Will you need to hire a third party to customize the CRM for you?
How to choose the CRM that's right for you
Finding the right CRM that will be the right fit for your business takes time.
Spend the time getting as many vendor demos as possible to ensure your chosen CRM works for you.
Demos are a fantastic way to check out the platform in a more detailed way. How does it look? How does it feel? How will the CRM features fit into your business?
This valuable time allows you to ask questions and get to know the CRM’s capabilities inside and out. As with any buying decision, once you have done the groundwork, it’s easy to choose the right CRM solution that’s right for you.
I welcome the opportunity to give you a demo of our Junxure CRM.
This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. and CRM Software LLC. (“AdvisorEngine”) The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Opinions and forecasts discussed are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect the views of AdvisorEngine and are subject to change without notice. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services. AdvisorEngine and Junxure are registered trademarks of AdvisorEngine Inc.