SOLUTIONS® 2012, New York City: Advisors Discuss Integrating Technology for Better Business Results
On July 24th, Schwab Advisor Service’s SOLUTIONS conference made its third stop in New York, NY.
What is SOLUTIONS?
Schwab SOLUTIONS®2012 is a multi-city conference tour that we host every year focused on helping independent investment advisors get the most out of the technology in their offices. Now in its 12th year, SOLUTIONS is a full day of workshops and seminars with Schwab subject matter experts, along with small roundtable conversations where advisors can share technology best practices with peers.
This year, the roundtables focused on an important topic for independent advisory firms: customer relationship management, or CRM.
Clearing the hurdles, experiencing the benefits: practical advice about integrating CRM technology
Attendees at the New York SOLUTIONS talked about the challenges of incorporating a standardized technology into their businesses; for instance, getting everyone on board with a change. They also talked about the immediate pluses, like easily tracking prospective clients (remembering details for a return visit or phone call, instead of scrambling) and providing a consistent response to clients (for example, when several different clients call asking about a fund rebalancing.).
How are advisory firms using CRM?
We wanted to find out more about how advisors are using (or not using) CRM solutions in their businesses, so we conducted a survey of all the advisors who registered for Schwab’s 12 Solutions 2012 events. Results will be available soon, but in the meantime, here is the anecdotal feedback we heard from attendees at the New York event:
When asked to grade her firm on its CRM use, Korinne Palmer, of Oak Financial Group in Stamford, CT, responded:
“I’d grade our use at about a C, but give the program [CRM solution] itself an A. We use CRM to track client interactions, and it really helps facilitate documenting advisors’ notes from client meetings. We aren’t yet using it in its full capacity, but we’re excited to go into further depth and incorporate checklists, nail down new ways to get organized, and streamline various processes.”
Echoing a sentiment repeatedly voiced at the conference, Palmer added, “The CRM technology is there, it’s just a matter of the user really being there.”
Similarly, John Valentini of Altfest Private Wealth Management in New York, NY felt that CRM was a crucial tool, but that there were more steps to integrate. “I’d give us a B in terms of assimilating CRM into our business. Right now, we’re about 60 percent built into CRM. The next steps are for us to utilize the templates and build more workflows [around] billing. For billing especially, it helps us segment our client base and keep an eye on how much time we are spending on each client.”
When asked about the day’s events, Valentini noted, “This was definitely helpful. It’s a great way to learn what others are doing with their platforms, and mine the Schwab guys for tips on how to improve your processes and then bring that info back to the office.”
Stay tuned for our next blog post, which will highlight the results of this survey, revealing more specifically how advisors are using CRM, and barriers to effective implementation and adoption.
In August, SOLUTIONS will be in San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Orlando and Chicago. To register for one of these events, or learn more about it, visit: event.schwab.com/rsvp/invitation/invitation.asp?donotrefresh=1.
|A roundtable discussion on Standardizing Firm Processes featured (left to right): Korinne Palmer and Caroline Palumbo, both of Oak Financial Group, Inc.; Igor Yuzovitskiy of Strategic Wealth Management Group; Joanna Grace of Larry Heller & Associates; Nick Barron of Douglas C. Lane & Associates, Inc.; and Jason Lampert of MTP Advisors.|
Another roundtable discussion on Maximizing Back-Office Efficiency included (left to right) Kapil Patel; John Valentini of Altfest Private Wealth Management; Janet Fitzpatrick of Hynes Himmelreich Glennon & Company, LLC; Nick Barron of Douglas C. Lane & Associates, Inc.; Jessica Leverich of Carret Asset Management; and Steve Mondolino, also of Hynes Himmelreich Glennon.
Meant for institutional audiences.
Third party firms and their employees are not affiliated with or an employee of Schwab. Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of your experience.
Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab). Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab.
Are RIA firms using CRM effectively?
What’s Your Favorite Schwab Mobile Feature?
Get a Sneak Peek at the Keynote Speaker Line-up for Schwab IMPACT® 2012