It’s a familiar conundrum: how do you meet the current needs of your business, anticipate what is needed for long-term success, and ensure your technology will enable, support, and boost future growth? Trial and error is risky and costly. By the time a firm understands what it needs, it may have already missed out on valuable opportunities, with client relationships slipping and revenue lost. That is where an operational CRM can come in.
Can an Operational CRM Do It All?
Capital markets firms are increasingly expected to do more with less, stretching shrinking budgets and limited resources like never before to meet the evolving needs of the business. Systems must also be able to collect, align, manage, and analyze surging volumes of data to ensure every revenue-generating opportunity is maximized. This has, unsurprisingly, driven a proliferation of sales, marketing, and relationship management tools.
Choice is undoubtedly a good thing, but the sheer number of solutions available can make it hard to see the forest through the trees, and identifying which will best meet the needs of the firm can be challenging. The ecosystem of tools now offers a wide range of capabilities, with functionality that often overlaps across platforms. And as technology advances in capital markets, the idea of a single system, like an operational CRM, being able to support the growth of the firm well into the future might seem laughable.
So, how do you navigate this ecosystem? And where should you focus your technology investment?
Lay the Foundation for Future Growth
Research by Gartner indicated that in 2021, CIOs would be spending their budgets on technologies that accelerate the digitization of their business, as well as on automation capabilities that help cut costs and/or automate revenue-driving activities. This includes CRMs, a foundational technology that forms the bedrock of all client-focused firms, enabling them to make sense of their data and automate their workflow processes, which increases operational efficiencies. CRMs also support the critical relationship and engagement activities that drive and retain revenue, while promoting firm-wide transparency and collaboration.
Industry-specific CRMs can be robust enough to meet current needs but also nimble enough to ’level up’ as the business scales. For sell-side firms starting on their CRM journey and which need to drive business outcomes, inform new investment strategies, and measure internal performance, innovative operational CRM is the priority. Over time, they will also need analytical and collaborative or ‘actionable’ CRM (which we’ll be covering in future blogs).
What is an Operational CRM?
An operational CRM streamlines and connects all of a firm’s data, allowing it to aggregate and structure all information pertaining to its operations in a single repository that can be accessed across client teams. By unifying these teams, who share information on leads, prospects, and sales cycles, and simplifying client interactions, operational CRM plays a crucial role in optimizing client engagement, acquisition, and retention. The longer a capital markets firm takes to structure and understand its data, the more opportunities and revenue it will miss out on.
The Benefits for Sell Side and Capital Markets
By introducing essential automated capabilities to customer relationship workflows, operational CRM eliminates time-consuming, error-prone manual processes and increases efficiency. Data captured and measured through automated processes provides a complete view of a client’s actions and preferences, enabling more detailed profiles that the whole firm can tap into and leverage for later analysis. It also gives client teams more time to spend on the human, interpersonal dimension of relationships, directly communicating how the firm can add real value to the client’s business, rather than on data entry.
Sell-side and capital markets firms relying on spreadsheets and other manual processes, or who underestimate their own growth trajectory, may think there’s no need for operational CRM. On the contrary, they should not underestimate the risks associated with foregoing it. Additionally, choosing an operational CRM today is not a static decision, but can be a strategic, scalable choice that supports the business’ future growth.
Want to hear more? Watch the “Revelations & Insights: Discovering Top-Line Growth through Innovation” webinar featuring Jenn Giacobbe, Director of Investment Banking of Refinitiv, and James Mitchell, Managing Director of Tier1 Financial Solutions.
Contact us to learn more about Tier1’s operational CRM and workflow solutions for capital markets and investment banking, or to request a Tier1 demo.