by Mark Nahlovsky
In my last post we looked at the total cost of ownership when it comes to a CRM with the conclusion that licensing costs are just one component. Smaller and mid-sized advisory practices seeking to embark on a CRM journey on their own receive varying degrees of sticker-shock at each phase. Over the past decade, institutions that serve advisors (custodians, broker-dealers, etc.) have developed programs to help defray these costs and more recently to help advisors harness the full benefit a CRM has to offer. The following are just a few examples of how institutions have “partnered” with advisors when it comes to CRM:
- Access to leading CRM products at reduced prices (i.e., discounts)
- Pre-built integration points (data, functionality, etc.) between leading CRM systems and themselves
- Training and support programs (tailored training curriculum, etc.)
- Practice development content, configurations, and support (embedded processes & templates, break-out sessions, etc.)
As the challenges advisors face as business owners increase, their expectations of their institutional partners will continue to rise as well. My opinion is that discounts and basic data integration will become an expectation and not a differentiator in the eyes of advisors. What advisors are really looking for is guidance on selecting the best CRM to solve their present needs and assistance in achieving their long-term goals and objectives. Once the best CRM is selected and installed within the advisory practice, advisors will expect their institutional partners to provide a roadmap to fully leveraging it in the form of processes, templates, and training programs tailored to their exact needs.
The good news for advisors, is that leading institutions and CRM vendors are investing heavily in helping you run a better business! Advisors that are about to embark on a new or revamped CRM journey should check with their partners about is available to them as they do not need to do this on their own.