By Alan Underdown, Managing Director – Europe, Satuit Technologies
In today’s intense capital raising landscape the majority of hedge funds and alternative asset managers now recognise that CRM is a key investment. It supports not just day-to-day investor relations, sales, marketing, relationship management and compliance processes but it is also a strategic investment in the firm’s business, appearance and professionalism. Although CRM software can deliver amazing benefits, many hedge funds and alternative asset managers fail to realise that the product and technology is just one component of a successful CRM initiative.
At Satuit Technologies we know that successful asset managers approach client relationship management as a strategic process in which people, best practices, and technology are all organised to deliver superior value to their clients.
Satuit Technologies has also found that CRM success depends significantly on the degree to which asset managers have a CRM strategy and work with a solution provider’s recommended industry best practices. If your company is involved in a CRM rollout or expects to be soon, the following checklist will help you realise the greatest return on your CRM investment.
Follow these 10 steps to ensure the success of your CRM project:
1. Establish measurable business goals for CRM. It is critically important to define the specific business benefits you expect your CRM project to deliver. This may sound obvious, but many initiatives fail because this “obvious” success factor is not defined. For example, if you see CRM as a productivity tool, then think about the efficiencies in investor relations, client relationship management, and sales and marketing that might be feasible or the risks it can help compliance to control.
2. Consider a Vertical Market Solution. To ensure that your software provider can actually deliver a CRM project on time and on budget, look for firms that have long standing experience in the asset management industry and who have employees that understand its special needs and best practices.
3. Minimise customisation by leveraging out-of-the-box functionality. Customisation is often the most costly, time consuming, and complex component of a CRM implementation. Choosing a CRM application that meets your requirements out-of-the-box will dramatically reduce the need for customisation and reduce the total cost of ownership.
4. Get executive support up front. Because CRM projects are strategic initiatives, top management must actively support them. Without executive endorsement from the CEO or Managing Partner, a CRM initiative can be viewed as a gimmick that the employees are not required to use. Ensure the reporting needs of the CEO or Managing Partner are captured early in the process.
5. Align your business and your IT operations. While CRM is driven by technology, it’s not about technology. The point of CRM is to improve your client-facing business processes. Technology is only the means to achieving that end. The evaluation and selection should ideally be led by someone in a business-facing role and should include all the key stakeholders including in compliance.
6. Assign a product champion in the organisation to act as the point of contact for both the vendor and the users. Make sure they have the standing in the firm to get other users to adopt the system. Have them choose and train a back-up.
7. Train, Train, Train. Get your users up to speed quickly, and make sure they are comfortable with your solution. Training should not merely focus on demonstrating how to use the software’s features and functionality. Instead, training should teach users how to effectively execute the best practices supported by the CRM system. Some of the CRM vendors that specialise in the asset management industry often also run events where industry peers can network and learn from each other.
8. Use a phased rollout schedule. Most successful CRM projects follow a phased deployment schedule: each phase is focused on a specific CRM objective and designed to produce a “quick win”. After the initial phase is completed you can begin to consider how you would like the CRM system to evolve.
9. Measure, monitor, and track. Once a CRM system goes live, the organisation must measure, monitor, and track the system’s effectiveness with an eye towards continuously improving results. Make certain you have the reports you need to determine if you are succeeding.
10. Remember that success is never final. As you hire new employees, they need to be educated about the CRM in the same detail as the first users. From time to time offer classes and distribute tips for using the system effectively.
Satuit Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in cloud based and on premise client relationship management (CRM), Investor Portal and Client Report Packaging software for the asset management market. Satuit Technologies software supports thousands of asset management employees working in sales, marketing, client and investor relations, client service and retention, compliance and finance. The firm has over 20 years of experience providing asset management clients across the globe with their CRM and reporting solutions.