At New Heights Solutions, we believe in the power of an exceptional CRM. Of course, not every CRM is created equal in price or quality, which is why it’s important to dig deeper to find one that works for you as a financial planner. We want to break down the pros and cons of our two top-recommended CRMs, and to outline what you should look for in a CRM if you don’t feel that either of those options are right for you in the long run. But first, let’s go over what a CRM is, and how it can benefit your business.

What’s a CRM?

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management tool that helps business owners organize their clients, prospects, external communication, and sales pipeline. Your CRM is what helps you forecast your business’s financial future, as well as keep track of all the small details that make your client and prospect relationships meaningful. Some CRMs also have the capability of integrating with email marketing software to track client communications, and “rate” prospects based on their level of engagement.

CRMs can also help you to organize a sales strategy by tracking how often you contact new prospects, and organize their onboarding process to create a streamlined, scalable business model. This is something that our team at New Heights Solutions tries to emphasize when working with financial advisors. Creating processes and using tools that have the bandwidth to help you scale is key to growing efficiently (and spending your RIA’s budget efficiently, too).

If you choose a CRM that’s free or cheap, and that has limited capabilities, you’re going to outgrow it soon. This will require more time and money to relearn a new CRM when you’re ready to grow – two things you may or may not have an excess of when the time comes. Instead, try finding a CRM that’s going to meet all of your needs both now and later. This will set you up for success so that when you start getting busy, relearning a new CRM will be the last thing you have to worry about.

What Should You Look For in a CRM?

When you start your hunt for the perfect CRM, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the options out there. Instead of shooting for the biggest CRM with the most features and capabilities, it’s best to find one that fits what you need. Ask yourself the following questions when comparing CRMs, then rate your answers based on how important each of those features is to you.

  1. Do I want my CRM to be specific to advisors?
  2. Do I want my CRM to have the capability to automate processes and workflows?
  3. Does my CRM need to have an email marketing feature?
  4. Do I need a portfolio integration, or other way to connect my client information to my CRM?
  5. How do I want my CRM to track prospects and keep my pipeline organized?

Selecting the right CRM for you is a very unique experience. What works for you won’t necessarily work for your colleagues, and vice versa. Uncovering what you want to get out of your CRM, and how you’d like to see it support your business as you grow, can help you to narrow down what features are the most important to you.

Our Recommendations

An exceptional CRM is an essential tool for creating a business model that can scale. In our previous posts, we’ve recommended both Wealthbox and Redtail for financial advisors. These two CRMs are unique to the financial services industry, which make them a natural choice for advisors. While each has its own pros and cons, Wealthbox typically comes out on top for us because of its user-friendly interface, and its ability to scale easily with advisors.

Some advisors don’t like that Wealthbox and Redtail are advisor-specific, but we believe that’s a huge benefit that other CRMs just don’t bring to the table. Both Wealthbox and Redtail are tailor-made for advisors which means they have a long list of features that are unique and incredibly helpful for growing your RIA. Some of these include:

  1. Integrations with Morningstar, Riskalyze, and other financial software.
  2. The ability to automate client tasks, like information gathering for new clients.
  3. Compliant email marketing that can be archived.
  4. Methods of storing client’s financial information to provide at-a-glance updates and data gathering.

If, for some reason, you’re not sold on an advisor-specific CRM, Infusionsoft may be an option worth looking into. They aren’t an advisor-specific platform, but do offer comprehensive email marketing and client/prospect management capabilities.

A Solution That Scales

The key thing that advisors need to focus on when selecting a CRM is finding a solution that they can grow with. Many advisors are concerned about keeping costs low and end up selecting a CRM that is free or cheap, with enough features to handle their needs – for now. They take the time to learn the “starter” CRM, and they may even train coworkers or employees on it.

Over time, their business expands and their needs become more specific. By the time they grow out of their “starter” CRM, they may not have the time, energy, or funds to commit to a new one. Working a CRM that’s going to fit your business model over time into your budget from the beginning will help you to grow more efficiently and save you money in the long run.