For financial advisory firms, client relationships mean everything. These firms are often managing relationships over the course of many years, and a strong financial CRM solution makes all the difference in staying in touch with clients thoughtfully and regularly. The wide selection of options makes choosing financial CRMs all the more challenging, however. There are so many customer relationship management software solutions on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. This buyer’s guide for financial CRMs will get you going in the right direction.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to evaluate financial CRMs, and how to select the financial services CRM software that will best suit your firm.
Your success as a financial advisor depends on maintaining strong relationships over the long term. But that all starts with building and growing a client list. A strong financial CRM helps with all of these things.
A good software solution will allow you to do so much more than just contact management. The best solutions provide a comprehensive interaction history, keep you on top of key clients conversations, manage your deal pipeline, and turn all of your data into insights your team can use to close deals.
Let’s take a look at some of the bigger benefits of choosing the right CRM for your financial services firm.
Successful financial advisors put their clients first, and a financial services CRM can help with this. Your CRM can help make sure follow-up tasks don’t fall through the cracks. A CRM solution purpose-built for financial services teams will also give your team a single source of truth where client details are maintained—so everyone can rest assured they are looking at the most recent information for that client. A relationship intelligence CRM like Affinity also provides automated data capture features so that contact information stays up to date, even when your team members are at their busiest.
Today’s financial CRM software is leaps and bounds ahead of the Excel spreadsheets that many firms used to use. Today’s financial services deals are more complex, and pipeline management can also be more complex as a result. A visual layout of your pipeline and where leads are in the customer journey can help your team members manage existing opportunities more efficiently. Tracking lead contact and activity data in the same software you use for pipeline management means your team can spot new opportunities more quickly too.
Intelligent CRM solutions give your team access to relationship intelligence—insights into your team’s network, business connections, and client interactions that help you find, manage, and close more deals. Part of this intelligence includes AI-computed relationship strength scores with a patented. With this information instantly available, you’ll know who on your team or in your network can make a warm introduction to a potential new client.
Though relationships drive deals, AUM (assets under management0 is still a financial services firm’s clearest indicator of success. A good financial CRM automates tasks and streamlines workflows to keep your focus on where it should be—growing your firm and helping clients grow their financial portfolios.
Some CRM solutions also provide either native or custom integrations so your team always has access to tools you use the most. This includes everything from email marketing and social media platforms to your internal communications software like Microsoft Teams.
It can be difficult to narrow down the features that are most impactful for a financial services firm. Here are the features that most expert sources call out as important for financial services firms.
Your CRM should help you keep your finger on the pulse of your company. A good financial services CRM will keep track of every interaction your company has had with a contact—no matter what communication channel was used. Many CRMs will also give you additional features including expanded notes fields, tags, and document storage to ensure all contact and activity data is recorded in a central location.
Manual data entry not only takes you away from more critical tasks, like responding to clients and connecting with new leads—it can also pose a huge risk to your firm’s data accuracy. Manual data entry introduces human error, and the reliability of your CRM then relies upon every team member tracking their data as it comes in—and before they forget it. Automated data capture does away with the drudgery of manual data entry and adds to CRM data fields from information in emails, calendar invites, and trustworthy third-party sources, so your team can always trust that your CRM is accurate and up to date.
Modern CRMs also offer workflow automation features that eliminate time-consuming, repetitive manual processes. Affinity Smart Lists, for example, let you add people or companies to your custom Smart Lists straight from your inbox. Many CRMs also offer automated reminders, including notifications when a contact hasn’t responded to a message.
When you can contextualize your network relationships and manage them in the same place you manage your sales pipeline, managing deal flow becomes much easier. You can track every aspect of a deal—from initial contact through signed contract—and gain insights from real-time analytics and reporting.
A comprehensive analytics dashboard can visualize where in your pipeline deals are getting lost and help you create accurate KPIs and revenue projections based on historical and current performance. Delving into the details of specific accounts offers an additional layer of detail into exactly which types of accounts and deals have proven successful.
Of all the financial CRMs on the market, these ten show up on more “best of” lists than most.
Affinity’s relationship intelligence CRM is purpose-built for financial services firms that prioritize the relationships that drive their deals. Insights derived from your CRM data turn elevate your CRM from a contact database and to a powerful relationship-oriented platform designed to help you find, manage, and close deals. Affinity quickly uncovers the warmest path for an introduction by processing and analyzing all of your and your team’s network relationships.
With Affinity’s automated data capture and contact enrichment, your firm will save hundreds of hours per person, per year on manual data entry. Your team members will always be able to act with confidence knowing that the data in their CRM is accurate, up-to-date, and complete. Affinity integrates with the tools you already use, and onboarding your entire firm can happen in as quickly as a few days.
Salesforce (aka SFDC) is one of the best-known CRM software solutions in the world, and they have a massive customer base. Their standard CRM features can work for every aspect of the financial services industry, from personal wealth management to banking to insurance to mortgage lending—and with time and money, customization can make this platform suit most needs.
Salesforce Financial Services Cloud bundles up some of their finance-specific offerings into a package that most traditional, transactional financial services firms would find appealing. For more relationship-focused, fast-moving firms, however, the traditional sales funnel model supported by Salesforce might not give you enough flexibility.
In addition to contact management and pipeline management, Salesforce includes marketing automation, email marketing, and some workflow automation. Maybe most importantly, however, Salesforce offers a huge number of integrations, including most of the common financial services tools like Gmail, Outlook, and Quickbooks. And anything that doesn’t connect natively can likely be connected through third-party software like Zapier—though this does introduce a failure point, so proceed with caution.
Junxure CRM from Advisor Engine offers centralized contact information management with activity tracking, workflow automation, and task management. It also includes some additional features uniquely beneficial to financial services professionals like financial portfolio reporting and a ClearView public portal. Together these features allow your firm to both track relationships and capture financial data in a single location.
Junxure includes reminder notifications, advanced search functionality, and built-in templates for email marketing and social media. With a free trial, it might be worth a spin for your firm.
Zoho CRM is another finance industry standard CRM that works well for contact management and traditional sales funnels. Part of the Zoho software ecosystem, Zoho CRM works seamlessly with Zoho’s other tools for finance, IT, HR, marketing, and project management. The included automation features are good for follow-ups and goal completion, and users report a friendly, easy-to-use interface.
Like most CRMs, however, Zoho CRM requires manual data entry to keep contacts and activity information up to date. And with a 90-day average deployment timeframe, it can be a big investment in time and budget for a tool that may not work for your firm in the long run.
Wealthbox CRM by Starburst Labs is reportedly easy to use, requires little training to get your team onboarded, and offers both a desktop app and a mobile app. In addition to traditional, manual CRM features, this software includes pipeline management, task management, document management, and workflow management features. There are few native integrations, but more software tools can be connected through Zapier. Wealthbox can work well for one-man firms and small teams, and you can test it out with their free trial. However, like any traditional CRM, your team will have to capture all company and customer data and activity manually to make this platform work.
Redtail CRM was built for financial advisors and includes collaboration, task management, reporting, and workflow features in addition to standard CRM features. One major difference with Redtail CRM is the subscription model. Unlike most CRM platforms that are priced per user, Redtail CRM is priced per database and includes up to 15 database users for one monthly subscription cost. For firms that are growing their teams quickly, this may be a strong selling point. While Redtail CRM does require manual data entry, you may be pleasantly surprised by the long list of tools it integrates with.
With a drag-and-drop pipeline management interface, Pipedrive is one of the easiest to use cloud-based financial CRMs on the market. The visual activity-based workflows ensure financial service teams that use this platform for customer relationship management can get quick insight into what’s happening across their network and client base.
Pipedrive is known for their customer support and customizable sales workflows. It’s built to be lightweight and easy to use, but it requires manual data entry. Also, the reporting features may be lacking for some firms.
Zendesk Sell, the sales automation offering within the Zendesk customer support solutions family of products, is a good alternative for financial services teams looking for a strong sales-focused CRM. It includes lead management and sales reporting features, but its strongest selling point is that it works seamlessly with Zendesk Support. This means that sales teams have visibility into customer support conversations, and vice versa, giving users the ability to ease interdepartmental collaboration. While this strength is a good one to consider for customer engagement for larger firms, it might not be worth losing out on more advanced CRM capabilities for smaller or more nimble firms. Zendesk Sell does not offer automated data capture or relationship intelligence.
Backstop Solutions is an investment management platform with a suite of products for financial advisors, private equity firms, and venture capital teams. Backstop CRM, the customer relationship management offering, is purpose-built for the investment industry, with a solution set to match. This software solution includes a traditional contact database, plus the ability to store and share documents, emails, and meetings. Backstop CRM does integrate with Outlook to automatically sync contacts and emails, but that’s where the integration and automation capabilities stop. Capturing contact information, notes, activity, and documents is a manual process. For firms that are already using other Backstop products, however, the CRM is included in the bundle.
The makers of monday.com call this platform a “Work OS,” which is a good description of this business software solution. The platform includes most tools a small business might need to run its operations: customer relationship management, project management, scheduling, design, HR, IT, and more. You can expand these tools with dozens of integrations, too. The CRM has some workflow automation features, the mobile app is lauded for its user interface, and the drag-and-drop dashboard is easy to use. monday.com can be a great all-in-one solution for firms just starting out—but for mature, relationship-driven financial services firms, the CRM lacks the deep network relationship insight of more advanced CRM technology. Also, if your firm doesn’t need all the different tools this platform offers, the pricing may be hard to swallow.
Financial services is an increasingly fast-paced and relationship-driven industry. Your team members don’t have time to waste chasing down client information, entering contact and activity data, or confirming that what they’re seeing in the CRM is correct and timely. Affinity helps your firm streamline business processes into a single source of truth with automated data capture and real-time data enrichment, so your team can give their full attention to nurturing relationships and closing deals.
With Affinity’s automation and relationship intelligence, you’ll find freedom from the drudgery of manual data entry and feel more confident in your data’s accuracy. AI-driven relationship insights ensure you have a complete picture of a contact or deal at your fingertips.
Talk to a sales team member today to learn how the Affinity relationship intelligence CRM can help your financial services team.