Doug Christensen is Senior VP, Account Management at Tier1 Financial Solutions.
How has CRM technology evolved in the last 12 months become more important to what capital markets firms are trying to accomplish?
Customer relationship management platforms have shifted far beyond being what was once viewed as a digital Rolodex. Today, a CRM is a foundational requirement for capital markets and banking workflows. The industry – and the world for that matter – has gone digital with the increased need to be virtual and mobile, particularly for banking professionals on the road meeting clients.
Firms have realized the true impact of inefficient, generic CRMs. Standardized platforms may appear easily customizable, but the availability of CRM software and platforms dedicated to the needs of specific industry segments, namely capital markets, has transformed how sales teams engage with their prospects and clients and has now opened a slew of new revenue-generating channels.
Automating and streaming processes is a critical step for elevating enterprise-wide collaboration and efficiency and lays a solid foundation for scaling the business.
Tier1 conducted a poll in November which found that 71% of respondents plan to focus their technology/data budget on improving AI and analytics. To realize true client insights, one must first have a CRM that is well organized and captures all the client interactions. With analytics now becoming a larger component of capital markets CRMs, clients will be able to derive more comprehensive, reliable, and actionable intelligence from data in real-time to make more informed decisions.
What is an area of the capital markets ecosystem that has emerged as a key focus area to which firms are allocating more resources?
Information risk remains a top concern due to the increasing quantity of data that is available. At its most basic level, a CRM may only serve as a data repository or an administrative tool that captures client data, both of which still require human intervention.
Advanced CRMs streamline and connect all the firm’s data, allowing it to aggregate and structure all information pertaining to its operations in a single repository that can be accessed across client teams. By unifying these teams, who share information on leads, prospects, and sales cycles, simplifying client interactions, CRMs start to play a crucial role in optimizing client engagement, acquisition, and retention.
Data captured and measured through automated processes provides a complete view of a client’s interests and preferences, enabling more detailed profiles that the whole firm can tap into and leverage for downstream analysis. It also gives client teams more time to spend on the
value-add human, interpersonal dimension of relationships, directly communicating how the firm can add real value to the client’s business, rather than on data entry.
Trends and patterns identified by capital markets CRMs can also lead to revenue generation and increased profitability with cost savings and deliver insights that enable the development of optimal operating and business models. If the business is unable to track team information, performance, and scorecards with accuracy, client success will be elusive.
What will be a major driver of broader CRM adoption in 2022?
A major focus of capital markets firms in 2021 has been centering on technology and innovation that enhances digital capabilities, with automation and proactive insights. We expect this and the increased use of data and analytics to continue as core themes in 2022.
Several years ago, MiFID II highlighted just how complex, time-consuming, and expensive compliance can be and completely changed the way research is consumed. Capital markets CRM can automate many of the actions required to remain compliant, enabling the business to focus on revenue growth and retention. With the UK separating itself from the EU, the European Commission and ESMA recently announced updates that will be rolled out under MiFID II, one of which is how data is shared. This means that firms will have to be extremely buttoned up when it comes to how they are capturing, storing, and leveraging their data and antiquated approaches to managing these immense data sets will no longer suffice.
Integrating workflows is therefore essential for increasing operational efficiency, strengthening collaboration, and avoiding missed opportunities. Without access to relevant, real-time information on their clients, coverage teams will miss opportunities to cross-sell, offer value-added services and drive revenue for the firm.
Additionally, firms will find it difficult to quantify the value of interactions with only a standard CRM in place so most will not only have to upgrade to something more interoperable and specialized while others will have to embark on a complete overhaul.