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How to Realize the True Value of Your CRM [Part Two]

In part one of our two-part blog series, we discussed the six steps you can take to increase your customer relationship management (CRM) technology adoption, as well as how issues surrounding data could impact the usability and value of your CRM. In this conclusion to our series, we explore how traditionally slow-to-adopt-change, century-old financial services enterprises are undergoing sea changes in both culture and technology to get the maximum value from CRM systems.

Mindset: From Silos to Collaboration

At Hearsay, our engineering teams live and breathe a process you may have heard called Agile. But Agile goes beyond software development methodology and can be applied to the whole organization. One of the best descriptions I’ve seen is by Steve Denning in this Forbes article:
“The Agile organization is a growing, learning, adapting living organism that is in constant flux to exploit new opportunities and add new value for customers … all parts of the organization are continuously exploring how to add more value to customers. This not only creates meaning for those doing the work and delights those for whom the work is done: it results in generous returns to the organization itself.”
He includes essential Agile attributes like transparency and continuous improvement > predictability and efficiency; open interactive conversations > top-down directives; and work smarter, deliver sooner > more work, longer delivery times.
Reorganizing your culture around one common goal – putting the customer first – makes for an inherently collaborative atmosphere. And to a person, the leaders of the top enterprises we work with are putting in the necessary work to shift their culture to Agile.
Jon Pauley, senior vice president of marketing and interactive strategy and chief digital officer at Ameriprise – a firm that’s 124 years old – says that a transformational step for them was driving ROI through Agile initiatives. He says, “We were challenged by our CEO, Jim (Cracchiolo), to really make marketing and sales act as one organization … (and) agree on key programs, actions, measurables and deliverables that will happen between marketing and the field. The other side, which I think was equally important, was establishing the same goals … and what results did we get out of that. We’re not successful for marketing or sales unless we have outcomes we agree on that impact the advisor and the firm.”
Several other clients have talked to us about the positive change Agile brought about in collaboration between their sales/marketing and IT teams. Traditionally, the business side of an organization went to IT and put in their order, with little exchange of ideas. Agile encourages open dialogue that allows each party to bring their unique skill-set to the table to develop a better customer solution.
Agile is also a way to build trust with your customer base. One Hearsay customer, a Fortune 250 financial services group founded 113 years ago, has no doubt they have a better Salesforce CRM for advisors today, as well as a lot more trust, thanks to their shift to an Agile culture. The team releases updates every two weeks, and advisors can provide feedback knowing that problems will be fixed quickly, rather than the old process of “waiting four to six months to get something they often didn’t even use.”
Now that you have a good understanding of why you need to make the move to Agile, you can get a solid intro to the how in this second Forbes article by Denning, “How to Make the Whole Organization Agile.”

Take Action on CRM and Business Intelligence Insights

Your CRM data does not improve customer relationships on its own; it’s a living system that requires interaction with people to work to its maximum potential. Launching your CRM is just the beginning.
With more conversations flowing through systems and as various systems are integrated, it’s possible to correlate what behaviors and conversation types create the best outcomes. Making sure that your team has the expertise, time and financial services-focused technology partners (like Hearsay Advisor Cloud) to analyze this data will give you a whole world of insights on both your customers and your advisors that most firms don’t have today.
As an EVP at a large Canadian firm (and Hearsay customer) notes, the data generated through digital channels gives corporate a view into advisors they’ve never had before. This bank measures the client experience, as well as the activities and behaviors that increase share of wallet and sales. Then they continually reset their performance system to focus advisors on the actions and behaviors that drive success, leading them to create exceptional customer experiences.
Extracting insights from business intelligence and data analytics allows you to continually fine-tune your CRM and adjunct systems to accelerate advisor production and improve customer satisfaction. The combination of deploying a modern CRM system within an Agile decision-making environment, and following best practices to encourage advisor adoption, enables you to make fast, data-backed decisions that truly change your business.
Check out part one, where we discuss data systems, quality and integration.

Mark Gilbert

Mark Gilbert brings more than 15 years of enterprise and consumer product design experience to Hearsay, having served as head of product for a variety of key business units at Microsoft including System Center, Visual Studio and Bing.

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