Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of financial advisors choose the right CRM software so they can maintain productive relationships with clients as they scale.

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Keap

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and e-commerce functionalities in one suite. Keap helps small businesses across various... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 77 recommendations

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Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell (formerly Base) is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. The... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 72 recommendations

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NetSuite CRM

NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 56 recommendations

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HubSpot Sales Hub

Supercharge your sales process with Sales Hub, a powerful and easy to use sales CRM that includes sales engagement tools, configure-price-quote (CPQ) functionality, and robust sales analytics and reporting for growing teams. Optimize... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 46 recommendations

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FreeAgent CRM

FreeAgent CRM is a customer relationship management platform with robust work management capabilities. It helps teams get everything on a unified platform, collaborate on various projects and track and improve operational performance. Designed... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 35 recommendations

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Salesforce Sales Cloud

The Salesforce Sales Cloud is an on-demand CRM platform offering applications for small, midsize, and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and customer relationships. This Salesforce platform has CRM capabilities that include... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

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Thryv

Thryv is an all-in-one business management solution designed to help small businesses with essential business functions. With Thryv, business owners can expand their online presence, improve any customer relationship, and streamline... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

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Nutshell

Nutshell is a sneaky powerful cloud-based CRM and sales automation tool for small businesses. The Nutshell platform offers sales process and collaboration tools, email sync with Gmail and Outlook, fully customizable reporting, and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a cloud-based application for handling sales automation, marketing automation, account management and customer relationship management needs. SugarCRM offers features such as customizable home pages, a new-user "wizard"... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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Ontraport

Ontraport provides a customer relationship management (CRM) system for small and growing businesses looking to automate marketing and sales efforts. The solution includes tools for email marketing, lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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Claritysoft

Claritysoft is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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Prophet CRM

Prophet CRM from Avidian is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) application that can be integrated with Microsoft Outlook for extending Outlook's functionalities. The solution enables multiple sales teams to unify... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Quick Base CRM

Quick Base is an application development platform that enables people to build business applications without coding. The platform is cloud-based and accessible on any browser or mobile device. Users can build apps on Quick Base by... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Sales Creatio

Creatio (formerly bpm’online) is a unique synergy of unified CRM and intelligent BPM platform for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows midsize and large companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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BenchmarkONE

BenchmarkONE (formerly Hatchbuck) is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. BenchmarkONE... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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OnContact CRM

OnContact CRM is a mid-market customer relationship management (CRM) solution that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. OnContact includes complete sales automation, marketing automation, customer service and contact center... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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FunnelMaker Sales

FunnelMaker is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for businesses of all sizes. The solution offers a user dashboard and helps in automatic sales tracking, email tracking and opportunity management. FunnelMaker... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Pipeliner CRM

Pipeliner CRM delivers dynamic visualization of the pipeline, sales process and sales activities. Its visual contact management allows users to gain a comprehensive view of their customers and prospects and even map out how they are... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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MyCRMDashboard Mortgage CRM

MyCRMDashboard from Continuity Programs is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for the residential mortgage industry. It includes automated marketing on behalf of loan officers to their prospects,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Buyers guide

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a crucial aspect of modern business. As we've defined it elsewhere, CRM is: “A system that stores and organizes the info a business has about its leads and customers. It can also take that info and provide actionable next steps for what do with those leads. It helps businesses that need to improve sales and/or be better organized in how they engage with prospects, leads and current customers."

In the realm of financial advising and other financial services, CRM is even more important. Advisors need to have quick, ready access to all the information about their clients, including previous interactions, so that they can provide the most comprehensive, actionable advice possible.

In an industry that relies on personal relationships between advisors and their clients, CRM software can help businesses grow their client base while still personalizing their interactions with these clients and maintaining positive relationships. That's why CRM systems specifically geared toward financial services are so crucial for today's financial advisors.

This buyer's guide will explain what makes financial CRM software unique, explore some common features of many systems and discuss the specific questions your business should consider before purchasing.

Here are the aspects of financial CRM that we'll discuss:

What Is Financial CRM Software?
Common Features of Financial CRM
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations

What Is Financial CRM Software?

On the most basic level, CRM software consolidates all customer information into one database, allowing users across the company to organize, manage and access that information without working cross-purposes. In addition, the software can automate some common practices, monitor performance/productivity and analyze data in order to provide reports that can help you predict trends or refine your practices.

Financial CRM software is an industry-specific type of CRM geared, as the name suggests, toward the financial services industry. This software is specifically geared toward financial advisors. Many top financial CRM software providers are, in fact, general CRM vendors offering a particular subsystem or add-on.

What differentiates CRM for financial advisors from a more generalized CRM system is that the software will not just capture the contact information of customers, but also their broad financial information, their relationship to the firm and their specific interactions with different advisors and other team members across the entire business.

The next section will discuss both general CRM features and those specific to financial CRM.

Common Features of Financial CRM

Customer data management This core feature provides a searchable database to anyone with access to the system. That database will house customer information as well as relevant documents. In general, this means the database stores contact information, preferred means of contact and other general information about the customer. For financial CRM systems, this information will also include important financial information about the client, such as assets, liabilities and insurance policies.
Interaction tracking In addition to holding customer information, CRM databases will also store a history of all interactions with a client or prospect, whether those were conversations on the phone, in person or through live chat, email or any other channel. These can be either logged manually by advisors or automated by integrating with phone and email systems. This helps keep the entire advisory team on the same page with each client, to make sure that no efforts are doubled up or wasted due to miscommunication.
Activity tracking Similar to interaction tracking, this function will help prevent confusion and miscommunication by tracking all of the activity associated with a particular account. This way, multiple people across the company can help manage a client's financial assets and make sure that all activity is documented and tracked.
Client segmentation This feature can differentiate and segment clients (based on their information) into unique groups that require different services and different types/amounts of contact, helping your business streamline its best practices for each client.
Workflow automation This function allows you to standardize business processes through a combination of task lists, calendars, alerts and templates. For example, once a task is checked off as complete, the system can automatically set a task for the next step in the process. The software can thus provide a combination of automated messages and calendar alert reminders for advisors to reach out to clients personally.
Analytics and reporting Based on activities logged into the database, the CRM system can track the performance and productivity of individual advisors, in order to provide reports on how they can improve that performance. The same function can also be used to generate predictive forecasts of future activities.

Account analytics in financial CRM bpm'online

Account analytics in bpm'online

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Financial services firms can vary widely in size, and this variation will lead them to different requirements in their CRM systems. You will likely find your business falling into one of the following categories:

  • Single user. If you're an independent financial advisor, and thus the sole person using the software, you can probably get away with the lowest-tier CRM system, focusing simply on data management and interaction tracking. Any more than that is likely to be overkill.
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  • Small business buyer. These are companies with between two and 100 employees that make under $50 million a year and have no IT department. With a small group of people accessing the CRM, you'll still want to focus on data management and interaction tracking, but activity tracking will be crucial, and client segmentation and workflow automation may also prove helpful.
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  • Midsize business buyer. These are also companies that have between two and 100 employees and make under $50 million a year, but they do have an IT department. In addition to all the features needed by a small business buyer, analytics and reporting will likely prove beneficial, especially since you will have access to an IT department to help make sure these reports are generated properly.

Key Considerations

Other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right financial CRM for your business include:

  • Integration with other systems. In the field of financial services, you're probably using a lot of software besides just CRM. While CRM is crucial for maintaining a good relationship with your clients, accounting software, financial reporting software and other systems will allow you to actually manage those clients' funds. In order to best track those activities, you'll want to make sure that the CRM you choose integrates with that other software so that they can all work in harmony rather than bucketing information into separately walled off systems.
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  • Cloud-based software vs. on-premise software. Traditionally, software was licensed through the purchase of physical hardware that a business would have to house on their own premises. This required space for the equipment, as well as IT resources to make sure that it was properly functioning, alongside high setup costs to get the system up and running. Today, though, most software (especially CRM) will be purchased as a cloud-based system that is simply accessed through the internet, with the hardware housed elsewhere by the vendor. This is especially beneficial for smaller businesses that can't afford the high upfront costs or the IT resources required for hardware maintenance, and which may not have the available space for the hardware. However, larger businesses, especially enterprise-level financial advisory firms, may prefer the added speed of on-premise housing.