Every morning, bright and early, I lace up my running shoes to make the two mile jog to feed my two beautiful and hungry horses. During this time, I often think about my advisor clients and how they’re growing their businesses. Some unlikely advisors’ businesses are booming and some of my most talented and brilliant clients have trouble moving the needle. Yesterday, I realized a pattern I had never recognized before. Several of my most tech-savvy advisors are not using a CRM (customer relationship management) system, but almost all of my most technology-challenged advisors use one religiously.
As a marketer for my clients, CRMs make my life much easier because my clients who use them are constantly adding new contacts to their system, which grows their email list. They’re able to update outdated email addresses easily so we get more people to open and forward our marketing emails. I have noticed that they also follow up with new leads more reliably and close more business as a result.
But why are my least organized clients the ones who use their CRMs religiously? Why do my most organized advisors still use outdated systems and spreadsheets to keep track of their clients and leads? It turns out, disorganized advisors need a CRM to function. As an added benefit, they end up growing their email lists faster and closing more leads.
CRMs for financial advisors have come a long way in the past five years, so if you aren’t using one now, it may be time for another look. My clients who do use CRMs tend to feel more confident in the growth of their business, less stressed, and more organized. Because today’s CRMs are so easy to use, that even those who have trouble logging into Facebook can operate their CRM like a pro.
What is a CRM?
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management system, is a technology that keeps track of customers and leads so you can close more business and retain more clients. It’s a place where you can store all of the information you need about your clients and prospects, then easily search for and access that information when you need it.
Which CRMs Do Financial Advisors Use?
The most popular CRMs for advisors include RedTail, SalesForce, WealthBox, and Envestnet. However, many of these CRMs are notoriously clunky and difficult to use. My favorite CRM for advisors is WealthBox, which was created and designed specifically for our industry and the average advisor’s technology proficiency in mind. Serial wealth management entrepreneur Steven Lockshin and top advisor Michael Kitces worked together to help develop WealthBox. The company’s tagline is “A CRM you’ll actually enjoy using,” which I find to be true for my clients.
It’s by far the easiest CRM to use, even for my most technology-challenged advisors. You don’t need to complete any trainings to use it because the system is so intuitive. There’s no lengthy sales calls or orientations; just sign up and get started. The cost is low, there are no contracts or setup fees, and you can cancel anytime. They even have built in integrations so you can move your contacts over from RedTail or Salesforce with a few clicks.
WealthBox is approved by many major broker-dealers and uses bank-level security encryption to keep your files, data, and client information safe. It also has built in team functionality, which means you can give your staff the access they need so you’re all on the same page. At just $35 per user per month, it’s a no brainer for advisors who aren’t currently using a CRM. If you’ve ever felt disorganized, like leads are falling through the cracks, or had difficulty finding information about your clients, do yourself a favor and get a CRM today. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy.
1. Organize Your Contacts
Wealthbox allows you to organize all of the information you need about your clients, prospects, and referral partners. Save their email address, phone number, job title, marital status, family members, etc. Then, you can tag them so you can easily add them to groups or send an email to members of a group. For example, you could add a tag for “local client” and easily search for all local clients to invite to an upcoming event.
Once you’ve organized your contacts, your CRM will save you time and stress because you’re able to pull up information about your contacts by searching for their name, employer, family members, job title, etc. All relevant information is available in one place and searchable by keyword, so if you can’t remember who works at Qualcomm, you can search for that employer and pull up a list.
2. Store Important Emails
I know too many advisors today that have a hard time finding emails and searching for the information they need from their old emails. With email dropbox, you can securely store your important emails with clients for future reference and they’re automatically connected to your client’s CRM record.
3. Save Background Information and Notes
Most CRMs are designed to help salespeople make more sales, which often means having more information about their leads. There are built in methods to add background info, notes, and other reminders that are helpful to review before your calls or meetings. After each phone call, type a few notes and updates so you can review before the next time you speak to your client to jog your memory.
4. Appointments and Reminders
WealthBox will integrate with your existing calendar so you can easily remind yourself of things you need to accomplish or upcoming meetings. You can add reminders for tasks you need to complete for each client and assign them a priority level and due date. By using the WealthBox calendar, you can view your past and future annual review appointments and notes all in one place.
5. Save Files to the Cloud
Another benefit is the ability to securely save files to the cloud so you can search for documents by keyword, maintain a secure file backup, and keep annual reports linked to each client’s profile. This is helpful if you don’t have a rock solid file organization system in place or if you’d like to remove sensitive files from your computer and keep backups.
6. Keep Track of Leads
One of the key benefits of a CRM is that it allows you to keep track of leads so you can follow up with them and improve your closing rate. If you’re using WealthBox, you can add a new opportunity and even include their account size, probability of closing, expected close date, and next step reminders. This can help you forecast future revenue and remind you to follow up so no opportunities slip through the cracks.
7. Access Everything on Your Mobile Device
One big advantage to using Wealthbox is that you’re able to access all of your files, contacts, phone numbers, email addresses, notes, and calendars from your mobile device. Their added security requires that you enter a special code from your phone to keep your information secure. Their mobile app is truly easy to use and keeps all of your information in one place when you’re on the go.
If you haven’t thought about using a CRM, now is a great time to take advantage of the amazing platform that has been built for advisors with WealthBox. The CRM integrates with all major technologies for advisors like eMoney, MoneyGuidePro, Riskalyze, Orion, and more.
If this is your first CRM, you may need to invest some time into moving your contacts into the system, but if you need guidance, get help from my Virtual Assistant, who is familiar with the platform. If you have questions, please send me an email. If you have another CRM you enjoy or tips for best practices, please share your story with me. For more marketing tips, make sure you sign up for my newsletter!
Claire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency a marketing firm serving top independent financial advisors. Claire is a former Investment Advisor Representative who holds her MBA in Marketing from the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego as well as a BA in Economics from UC Davis. It’s her goal to help advisors leverage content marketing to grow their businesses by embracing technology.