“Must-Have, Not Nice-to-Have”: CRM and Reporting Technology as a Revenue Generator

“Must-Have, Not Nice-to-Have”: CRM and Reporting Technology as a Revenue Generator
Jason Doring

My post The Necessity of Industry-Specific Configurability for Multi-Family Offices concluded with the statement that family offices are historically late technology adopters, often perceiving technology purchases as a sunk cost. This sentiment was sourced from April Rudin, the founder and president of UNHW integrated marketing consultancy the Rudin Group, at the October 2014 Family Wealth Report Summit. Speaking on the “Technology and Operations Q &A” panel, Rudin stated that “technology is a revenue generator, and shouldn’t be perceived as an expense item…it should be embedded into all aspects of a firm’s offering.”

Rudin’s comments unfortunately came near the conclusion of the panel, leaving no time to elaborate on her comments. Convincing an audience that is hesitant to large-scale range requires insight into the “why” and “how” technology adoption can generate tangible ROI. As a provider of CRM software solutions and online reporting systems to alternative asset investors since 1998, Netage can speak to the revenue generation potential offered by an industry-specific relationship management platform.

Optimize Qualitative Productivity

Return on Investment is defined by revenue generated post acquisition, such as time saved in the automation time consuming tasks to allocate to important priorities, money saved on postage, or revenue attributed to an ability an acquired tool set provided. As noted in the Necessity of Configurability piece, each multi-family office has clients with unique investment preferences, performance benchmarks, and levels of involvement in their portfolio. A CRM system consolidates these records in one centralized location, and places crucial information in a layout that aligns with a firm’s operational priorities. Other key data such as past correspondence, performance reports, and compliance documentation can be readily accessed in an intuitive manner through a CRM platform. If the data is not identifiable for any reason, CRM software also features internal search engines that can direct users to the needed data with only a few keystrokes. The ability to instantly retrieve this information, rather than seeking it manually through multiple systems, creates a valuable time savings, and enables staff to devote more time to higher-level, more productive work.

Context Creates Cash

Immediate access to investor data within a CRM creates opportunity for stronger dialogue with clients. Beyond the ability to view records within the platform’s user interface, search features in a CRM typically enable users to create report templates utilizing defined category criteria, and generate these reports instantly. Users are thus able to answer investor queries with a comprehensive, targeted report that would typically take far longer to create using standard office software. Applying these reports in conjunction with a Mail Merge tool also empowers users to send robust reports to multiple clients simultaneously.

Family offices are marketed through strong client communication and superior performance. Software that facilitates frequent, quality communication provides a marketing advantage in a family office industry that presents challenges for firms establishing a premium identity.

Build Your Brand

CRM software improves relationship management with clients by promoting strong performance, in addition to enhance the communications pipeline. Industry-specific software distinguishes itself by offering integrations with vendors that provide visually striking performance reports. Delivering reporting that highlights performance in a compelling manner differentiates a family office from other service offerings; a reputation for accessible and superior reporting strengthens trust with existing clients and enhances the potential for referrals.

Several CRM providers also offer online reporting portals that simultaneously integrate with both the CRM and the firm’s website. These portals can be configured to match the firm’s existing branding, and provide a consistent engagement experience with a family office from a single website.

Secure Clients’ Trust

Data security has been identified as a core concern among investors utilizing family offices, according to a recent Family Office Exchange study. Firms that employ an investor reporting portal take advantage of a document submission system that offers top-end protocols to keep sensitive documentation safe, and can promote total transparency to clients. Implementing an investor portal as a data collection system for compliance also saves significant time for staff, enabling them to tag and import data into a relevant records as they are submitted.

Purchasing a CRM system is a major financial investment that can also be a tremendous advantage in developing new business. These platforms condense time-intensive tasks, expedite insightful conversation with clients, and increase brand equity through powerful visuals and best-in-breed data security. These premium long-term benefits work to promote a premier service brand, and outweigh a singular cost.