I had the opportunity to attend this fall’s SME Forum in Denver. At the Forum, SalesFocus Solutions presented a client case study with Artisan Partners on the value of integrated sales and asset data within their CRM. As a Fintech firm, we are often surprised how many asset management companies do not have some kind of integrated solution in place for their transactional data and CRM. It’s been our experience that many firms still struggle with the challenge leveraging their own transactional data within their CRM to better understand their underlying business and new business opportunities. In partnership with Artisan Partners, we took the opportunity to share how SalesFocus Solutions helped Artisan Partners solve this very challenge.
After our presentation in which Artisan Partners described how they partnered with SalesFocus Solutions to combine both Institutional and Intermediary businesses into their CRM to achieve clean, accurate, and timely transactional data, there were several questions from the audience. Many of the questions related to how this data was leveraged by the sales teams and how opportunities were uncovered by using this data. For me, the audience questions reinforced a surprising fact that no matter the size of the asset management firm, leveraging their own data within their CRM is still a challenge at the forefront for many firms.
This brings me back to something I heard six years ago at an industry conference; before you dive into the Big Data pool, leverage your own data first. Data Packs have been a popular topic within the industry over the past few years. Yet, I was not surprised to see the lack of hands go up when the question was asked how many firms are buying data packs. Based on the consensus of firms in attendance at the SME Forum many firms still question the ROI of the data pack usage based on the expense. For the larger firms that have made the investment in data packs, many still struggle with how to extrapolate and integrate this data to create actionable intelligence. We have worked with clients who have integrated third-party data sets and we have found that the greatest benefit is when the firm starts with a clean foundation of its own transactional data and CRM data.
Another interesting discussion I was able to sit in on this year was how firms are leveraging a mobile strategy. Of all in attendance, one firm built their own mobile solution and they have been very successful with the deployment and user adoption. Two other firms were users of our mobile app, IntelliMARS, and they have been successful in leveraging both CRM and transactional data. Interestingly, most other firms in attendance either did not have a mobile strategy, or were disappointed with the out of the box app for their CRM. As a firm that has been providing mobile solutions since the days of the Palm devices, we find it surprising that more firms do not implement a mobile strategy with a consistent user adoption plan to increase sales effectiveness. One of our most successful clients as it relates to the adoption of IntelliMARS assigned one of their wholesalers to be the IntelliMARS ‘champion’. Any and all question related to the IntelliMARS app would flow through him. He would filter out questions that could be answered internally of have them send to our support staff. Due to this model, they had 100% adoption and benefited greatly from their mobile strategy.
This fall’s SME forum confirmed again for me that in the end, it all comes back to the better use of the data asset management companies already have access to. It’s not always easy to do so, but once this process has begun, the data is cleansed, and integrated with accurate CRM data the business benefits to facilitate growing sales will become self-evident. It’s important for firms to start there and leverage the data they already have through the types of products and services we offer with the MARS platform.
By Dave Halligan