Get Going With a CRM, or Get Left Behind: An Interview with Tim Minert, Redtail Technology

By Cynthia Stephens, VP of Marketing on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Last week I attended Cloudforce Boston 2011 and heard Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, deliver the keynote address. From his remarks, it’s clear that sales and marketing professionals have embraced customer relationship management systems. But are financial advisors embracing them? I reached out to Tim Minert from Redtail Technology - a leading CRM for financial advisors - to get his perspective.

Research suggests that CRM platforms have wider adoption today among financial advisors than one year ago. Why do you think that is?  

This interest is driven by both client demands and the advisor’s need to become more efficient operators of their business. Today’s advisor recognizes the need for a more efficient delivery of communication and service that can be achieved regardless of their whereabouts. Financial Planning magazine states, “CRM can provide an immediate return on investment.” Many of today’s CRMs can be purchased for less than $65/month for an entire office.

What tips do you have for an advisor that is researching a CRMHow should they evaluate them?

My recommendation is to begin with an analysis of your business, as well as your needs and wants. For example, if you desire to work from your vacation home three months out of the year or would like to employ a virtual assistant, then a web-based CRM will provide the flexibility and power to support operating from different locations while providing backup, security and real-time updates to your system. Concerns about losing data on a hard-drive are eliminated by knowing your information is stored securely in multiple locations and can be accessed by advisors and their authorized staff.

What changes have you observed in how advisors are using their CRM Platforms? 

  • We notice that the advisor that adopts a CRM for the first time experiences FREEDOM from constant worry about details such as appointments, task management, forms and data population, marketing, and seminar management. All components of their business now reside in the same place. 

  • As the advisory practice becomes more sophisticated in CRM usage, advisors recognize that they can use the feed data from aggregation services for Task and Workflow management in several important ways. They can track clients by assigned levels as well as attach notes, documents, and activities to specific clients and their respective affected accounts.  

  • Advisors also begin to employ Checklists and Workflow management such as New Client or New Prospect Sequences. 

What is the biggest trend that you see today in incorporating customer data into CRM platforms (contact information, social media, holdings) to better manage the practice?

The advisory practices that really begin to leverage the power of their CRM look for integrations to give them a single point of entry to their business. The best CRMs adopt a “best of breed” philosophy, including integrations with Data Aggregation, Forms Population, Dictation Services, Web Service Data Collection & Marketing partners.  

  • Advisors are now able to document extensive personal knowledge of their clients, including pictures, hobbies, vacations, pets, charities and many other details inside their CRM. This information is easily referenced for use in Social Media and one-on-one interactions. 

  • When advisors have a few moments, they can instantly log in to their CRM and get an eagle’s eye view of their entire business, all on one screen. Appointments and Tasks drop down for all team members to utilize. 

  • When total assets under management with account level details are combined with detailed information on held-away assets, this increases service options and marketing strategies, while aiding with compliance. 

  • Easy to use Quick Client Lists, Opportunity Pipeline Tracking, and Reminders for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Client and Account reviews are also made convenient by the use of CRM.

Tim Minert is the Director of Sales and Manager of Redtail Concierge Consulting Services. He has over 25 years Investment Advisory experience and has been affiliated with Redtail Technology since 2004. 

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