Professionals in institutional sales have always had to digest an array of information, from trading concepts to client data. The challenge has been finding the most efficient way to harness that information and use it to their advantage. Brian Bock, Tier1 Account Manager and former institutional equities salesperson at Deutsche Bank, sat down for a Q&A to provide firsthand capital markets insight on a variety of pertinent topics, including the importance of implementing an institutional sales CRM tool.
How did CRM help you optimize efficiency in your daily workflow?
Brian: The ability to scale your outreach and do it in a personalized way is a massive differentiator when you’re competing against dozens and dozens of people like yourself who are sitting in the same exact seat in different shops.
It allows you to tailor your outreach to each recipient that otherwise, you had to spend the extra time and care. Now you can do it through technology and that’s a massive help and efficiency gain to the relationship. It’s also improved the responsiveness of both my largest and smallest clients.
As a former salesperson, I instantly saw the value in a flexible CRM like Tier1’s through the interactions I had by including data points in real-time. Responsiveness increased with the belly of my account coverage because I could spend more time on things that had more value.
If you’re a sales manager or trader reading this, you may be asking yourself: what’s so pivotal about this? What does that mean?
Salespeople who engage with and leverage their CRMs are in a position to drive more revenue from it throughout their organization. There are three benefits that result from a reliable CRM system: (1) Real-time monetization and value-added follow-ups; (2) building a strong and accurate database of clients; and (3) unlocking efficiency in daily workflows allowing better service to ‘tail accounts.’
How did a CRM help you (salespeople) achieve results greater than your standalone contribution? And how does that process happen?
Brian: When the details of an interaction are sent out via the CRM, ideally it’s automatically pushed to the account coverage team in sales, trading, research, and prime brokerage. Keeping everyone informed about key details from your conversations with portfolio managers allows traders to reach out if they’re making a market or if you have a new derivatives trade structure in a stock and you just found out that a PM is interested in getting involved. It also lets research analysts make timely calls to key PMs to discuss the details of a recent report, and prime brokerage to know when an account is being ‘leaned in to’, making it ripe for a meeting to pitch for a prime mandate.
A good CRM system also allows the sales team to follow up after a research analyst holds a call on ticker “XYZ” to make sure the PM knows that you have “XYZ’s” management team for a non-deal roadshow next month. By knowing that this information leads to greater value-added and revenue-generating opportunities, users have a more compelling reason to spend the extra minute or two logging those details.
Without this technology, I wouldn’t have had the ability to log these interactions anywhere. It would be all from muscle memory; memory of the relationships; searching Excel sheets; or searching in Outlook. Tier1’s CRM presents it all in a single pane of glass. It allowed me to quickly and easily filter down my population of contacts who are going to be interested in a particular data point or resource. And who within that list of contacts it benefits me to call next.
What CRM tools do you feel made the biggest difference in your day-to-day activities? What does having a good CRM culture mean to the future of the firm?
Brian: I feel it’s the visual tools such as the RAG flags (Red/Amber/Green visual indicator in Tier1’s CRM), the ability to create custom lists and sort my contacts based on how I think about the world, and the ability to customize my user interface. For example, when I was in sales, I had a different interface than the person who sat next to me. The person who sat next to him or her had a different interface from both of us. That was a big value-add, knowing where everything was in front of me because I was the one who configured it.
This all relates to having a strong CRM culture.
Your CRM is a database that builds on itself over time. If you make the commitment to having a high-quality CRM culture today, over time the benefits will scale as the technology develops. What’s most important to consider here is that CRM is a tool designed to help inform decisions. Each time you enter the details of an interaction with a specific client, the more the quality of your database grows. A high-quality database only becomes more powerful over time, but it’s up to the users to ensure that the data going in is of the highest quality.
Tier1 offers solutions that allow you to achieve these kinds of efficiency gains and we can help you reclaim one of the industry’s most precious commodities: time.
To see Brian’s full blog, read here.