Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that 2011 was the fifth year in a row in which investors withdrew more money from U.S. equity funds than they deposited. In fact, withdrawals for last year totaled $135 billion, which was second only to 2008. Despite U.S. stocks having increased 99 percent over the past three years as of its recent high on March 1, trading volumes are down and investors are still reluctant to invest. Trying to overcome investors’ objections and fears of getting back into stocks can be extremely challenging for any investment advisor. Though many Americans still are oddly ignoring stocks, elite wealth management firms have managed to recover after the worst bear market since the Great Depression and actually aggressively grow over the past few years. The investment advisory firms that have experienced the most success are the ones that have segmented their client base and increased their client focus with the help of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

There are only so many hours in the day to provide optimal service to high-touch, high net worth households and to also hunt for new clients. Segmenting a book of business is the first step to differentiating and understanding the needs of an advisory firm’s sophisticated and demanding clientele. Traditionally, investment advisors group their clients by their total assets under management (AUM). This measure is extremely important, particularly in terms of profitability. However, there is much more key client data to track besides AUM. Top-tier advisors are also tracking and segmenting clients by their service tiers, potential profitability, investment style preference, risk tolerance levels, age, life stage, gender, occupation, location, hobbies, or community affiliations. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be utilized by advisors to quickly pull up view subs-sets of their client base based on each of their chosen segments. Preferred and proven criteria from certain segments can even be instantly queried and combined in CRM to form even better filtered view snapshots of an advisor’s book of business. Having such a wide array of valuable economic, demographic, and behavioral client information within CRM enables advisors to have a better understanding about their clients’ lives. Thus, they can more effectively relate to their clients, offer better advice, uphold their fiduciary standard, truly act in their clients’ best interests, and earn referrals and repeat business as the preferred financial quarterback.

As leading wealth management firms leverage the disciplined segmentation of the firm’s clients in CRM and adhere to a more well-defined service tier model, advisors will be able to raise their standards and improve performance. They will find it much easier to cultivate relationships with existing clients and target ideal prospects that are more similar to their coveted niche segments. As the firm’s clientele is better segmented, tracked, and displayed in CRM, the current and future most profitable clients can be identified. Then, service models can be tailored to exceed those clients’ expectations. Workflows in CRM can even automate task reminders and email notifications to ensure more consistency and promptness in service delivery, especially for a firm’s top-tier clients. For example, a new client with high growth potential may immediately fall under the Tier 1 category, and thus have more portfolio reviews scheduled overall and in advance than a firm’s Tier 3 client. Similarly, the Tier 1 client, such as the ones displayed below, may automatically be added to a select premier client appreciation event marketing invitation list and immediately flagged for an exclusive birthday lunch or golf outing with the advisor.

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All in all, the strategy of implementing a tiered service delivery model and more tightly segmenting clients in CRM allows advisors to find clients that are the best fit for their practice’s growth plans. Additionally, this improved segmentation approach will empower advisors to detect and eliminate time-consuming, non-profitable relationships that no longer fit the profile of the firm’s ideal client or prospect.

To learn more about Customer Effective’s expertise in the wealth management arena and how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can advance your firm’s segmentation strategy to improve service and grow revenues, please visit http://www.customereffective.com/solutions/customereffective-finserv/capital-markets. You can also join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, March 28th on Microsoft CRM for Wealth Management Firms. Click Here to Register Now!

Post by: Kevin Wessels, Customer Effective

Upcoming Webinar: How Wealth Management Firms Use Microsoft CRM to Grow their Advisory Business is a post from: CRM Software Blog

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