“Vertical CRM will be the preferred CRM Choice in the next three years”1

Why is my adoption low?

This is a great question, and one that pops up often in conversation between advisors at financial services organizations. Low adoption means a weaker push to customers which, in turn, leads to a lower share of wallet. Using the right CRM tailored specifically for your industry is half the battle won, which is what makes that decision so crucial.

Like many enterprises, you are likely using CRM software from one of the big vendors who create horizontal solutions (solutions designed to meet the lowest common denominator across the largest pool of customers) to maximize their reach.  These solutions require expensive customizations to meet the specific needs of your firm or your industry. Customizations are also difficult to maintain and often fail to adapt to a changing demographic.  The end result is CRM that does not do what your advisors or bankers need it to do. They are left with no alternative but to find better easier ways of doing their jobs.

This doesn’t make sense because I am using the Financial Services Module

Is your module really right for you, or are you relying on the idea of one size fits all? You need to look deeper than what is stated in the brochures. Forrester places CRM into three categories.

What you may be using are simple templates implemented on top of horizontal CRM.  On the surface, they look like they will meet your needs, but you likely had to customize them further.  You are probably better off than if you were using a purely horizontal CRM but, if your bankers and advisors are still unhappy, you need to question your choices.

How do I pick the right solution, given so many options?

You should take a look at deep vertical CRM vendors.  Not only are their solutions specifically designed to meet your needs, their organizations tend to have deep vertical expertise, which makes collaboration easier. It also makes implementations cheaper and ultimately more successful.

@kateleggett’s report lists four questions to help understand if a vendor is a lightweight or deep vertical product. I would add a fifth: Do they understand your sub-vertical?  It’s not enough to just have CRM for Financial Services; you must have CRM for Wealth Management or CRM for Corporate Banking. The specific needs for these two verticals are very different and can only be satisfied with different CRM capabilities.

Why should I trust your advice?

You really don’t have to. For proof, you don’t need to look at what I am saying. Look at what other firms are saying instead. “Wells Fargo, for example, chose its CRM solution based on the depth of its vendor’s wealth-management-specific capabilities, integration abilities, and capacity to migrate decades’ worth of data.” 1

For another example, please read this case study from another one of our customers.

Ultimately, your choice of CRM hinges upon features that work specifically for you and the financial service you offer, be it wealth management, corporate and investment banking, retail banking or insurance. You wouldn’t try putting a round peg in a square hole, would you?

  • 1) Forrester, “CRM Goes Vertical In The Age Of The Customer”, February 2018, Kate Leggett