Transitioning to a paperless practice can bring significant time savings, reduce admin and compliance headaches and increase your productivity. A good, advisor-specific CRM is the lynchpin of making an effective transition from pounds of paper to a clean, digital future.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways the best advisors use their CRM solutions to drive their businesses forward. Read on for six ways you can get the most out of your CRM—and optimize your practice.
Start with clear goals for your CRM #
In order to get the best from your CRM, it’s important to identify your most pressing business need and then focus your CRM activity on meeting that challenge. Some advisors, for example, are interested in increasing revenue, while for others, finding more time is the key to success. Whatever your key driver is, an advisor-specific CRM can help you make it work.
For instance, if you want to find more time to spend with clients, then you can use your CRM to identify the steps in your marketing, sales and service processes. Then automate as many of the required tasks as possible‒while looking to delegate the rest. And you can make use of the many powerful CRM features (such as templated emails and documents) to reduce effort and eliminate duplicated activities (like having to compose an email invite to an annual review each time you need to send one.
Master the software #
Once you have clearly defined goals for what you want to get out of your CRM, the next step is to begin the process of mastering the software. The more proficient you become, the more time and effort you will save, the more you will be able to harness the power of the CRM’s productivity tools, and the better experience your clients will have.
In order to take full advantage of your CRM, invest time to check out all the resources the CRM vendor makes available. Often this will include taking part in webinars, watching videos and tutorials, or reading articles‒all designed to teach you how the CRM’s features work.
And, whenever possible, look beyond the vendor for other educational opportunities. Talk to wholesalers and other advisors about how they use their CRM. Attend conferences and seminars to glean new insights into CRM best practices that could impact your business. Invest the time to become an expert, and you will see a three-fold return.
Set up staff accounts (and delegate activities to them) #
Optimization and leverage are two principles critical to business growth. . Optimization is the process of evaluating all of the workflows in your practice and looking to streamline them in order to gain efficiency. Leverage describes how you can harness the time and talents of others, as well as technology, to multiply your effectiveness. In short, it means delegating tasks to staff and software so that you can work at the highest level of your capability.
CRMs are great tools for helping you optimize and take advantage of the power of leverage. Advisor-specific CRMs allow you to set up associate accounts so that you, your staff and associate or junior advisors can work collaboratively. Once you have given your staff access to your CRM you can assign them tasks and monitor their progress—making it easier to delegate and manage. Similarly, you can monitor the activity of your associate and junior advisors and see how they are doing on sales opportunities and against their targets—making it easier for you to coach or help if need be.
Develop a streamlined and effective client review process #
Once you have your CRM up and running, you can use it to map out the process involved in conducting a review with each of your clients. Within your CRM you can set up each client review as a sales opportunity so you can track your progress as you move through the process. And, your CRM will enable you to easily pull each client’s data from one centralized location, use email templates to contact them prior to the review and explain the process you will follow. You can even conduct a digital FNA if your CRM supports such an integration. A good advisor-specific CRM will allow you to take notes during meetings, attach them to your client’s CRM record, and schedule all follow-up tasks for you and your staff. And that means you’ll always have all the relevant client info at hand when you need it, and you’ll always be compliant.
Lean on your CRM to help you improve your service #
An advisor-specific CRM houses your client data and records of all past interactions with each client. This means that any time a client calls, you, or anyone in your practice, can immediately access the information they need to answer client requests. CRMs enable you to know everything about your client in the moment you need the information, rather than having to sift through files and paperwork or find digital documents to bring yourself up to speed. This instant bond with the client creates immediacy and builds trust. It presents you as not just a professional, but as an advisor who knows the client and their concerns. And not having to spend time or effort searching for information means you can focus all your attention on the client and his or her needs.
Don’t become the bottleneck in your practice #
When many advisors start out in the business, they find it easy to manage relationships because they are really only dealing with a few dozen people. It’s not hard to remember where you are in the marketing process with each of them or how long it’s been since you last conducted areview with one of them.
But, as your client base grows, manually managing client relationships becomes more difficult. You become a victim of your own success. In order to scale your business, you need to off-load the responsibility of managing an increasing number of relationships‒and that’s where a CRM solution is invaluable. A CRM will track all of your activities, keep you posted on where you are with each client, and alert you to what needs to happen today in order to move another step closer to reaching your targets.
A good advisor-specific CRM doesn’t just relieve stress, it improves client experiences, and it means your revenue is no longer capped by what you can hold in your head.
Wrap up #
The essence of all good CRMs is that they remove the burden of remembering and filing and finding and complying. Instead, they automate the routine, freeing you up to work at the highest-level of your capability. Their powerful features enable you to create awesome client experiences and give you back the time you need to capitalize on them.