Our last post in this series of blogs, Spenser Segal on Software Optimization. discussed how to implement routine, repetitive tasks via your CRM system. Finally we arrive at Level 5 CRM technology utilization, which builds directly on that Level 4 concept to expand the reach of automation across multiple systems.
Now instead of only focusing on data that has already been captured in the CRM system, it is time to use workflow to orchestrate work across multiple systems. Think portfolio management, financial planning and CRM. This is where things get really interesting, and really productive. Let’s see how this looks in a real-world application.
Let’s say you are preparing for a client update meeting to review progress toward the client’s financial plan. The CRM program initiates a call to pull current values from your portfolio management program. The data goes into your planning package which then runs an analysis, compares against plan and generates a probability score.
Your CRM has a pre-programmed rule that fires different tasks based on the score. If the score is high and the client is on track then preparation for the meeting is relatively straightforward. If the score is low and the client isn’t on track toward their goals, they will likely ask about what they can adjust to increase the odds of achieving their goals.
Now you are prepared to go into the client meeting with accurate, real-time data that was prepared without valuable hours lost manually moving the data from system to system, reviewing, analyzing, manipulating and formatting. Imagine the improvements in accuracy and consistency, not to mention the time you’ve saved by systematizing this entire process, all while leveraging the powerful technology you are already using.
Let’s recap the benefits of cross application workflow automation:
- Time regained from manual tasks in multiple systems.
- Accuracy through elimination of manual data entry and opportunity for human error.
- Consistency by removing person-to-person variation.
- Efficiency because you can now complete more work in less time.
- Auditability with everything stored and tracked in your CRM system.
The benefits to your organization as a whole are clear and many. There is a good amount of effort involved in moving through the levels of utilization, though they get easier and more rewarding as you continue the path. Every hour of effort you put into increasing system utilization, systematizing processes and building automation will pay big dividends in efficiency and ultimately the profitability of your practice.
Throughout this discussion, we’ve made the assumption that you have solid CRM, portfolio management software and financial planning software in place. The leading software companies continue to make ongoing investments in their tools to enable Level 5 utilization. If you are still in the process of sourcing these programs or upgrading the ones you have, you can see the importance of making sure that the ones you choose include the integration capabilities required to easily transfer data in and out for cross-platform communication and integration.
When talking to vendors, it is important to ask them to show you how their systems are integrated with other software solutions you are using.
The potential for increased systematization and automation is exciting and getting there is within your reach. Commitment from your leadership team is critical, and there is one more topic that cannot be left out of this conversation.
Tune in for the next post when we talk about getting your team committed to using what you have built.
View the entire series of blogs, Spenser Segal on Software Optimization.