Updated Friday, December 19, 2014 as of 5:07 AM ET

Startup Lessons: Choosing a CRM System

Iíve tried to make my new RIA as heavily reliant on cloud technology as possible. Anything that I could push into a cloud technology solution I have. However, Iím still wrestling with one of my basic needs: a CRM system.

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Comments (6)
Its awesome that you are sharing your experiences Dave.

Back in the mid 1990's, when I started working with many financial advisors (with custodial services provider Waterhouse Securities - which eventually became TDAmeritrade) there was no LinkedIn, or Twitter, or Facebook. There was no real forums to post ideas and share experiences.

They had to learn on their own, trial and error.

Today, advisors starting out have a wealth of resources to learn from the experiences of others. Though I am not a financial advisor, I admire your taking the time to add you posts and experiences in your venture. They are a wealth of information.

Good luck!

Marty Morua
Posted by MARTY M | Saturday, July 06 2013 at 9:26AM ET
Thanks for sharing Dave. Our firm went through the search process recently (we looked at FA-specific apps like RedTail and more general CRM systems Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics).
We ultimately settled on Dynamics because it's much less expensive (we couldn't justify the additional cost of Salesforce) and integrates with Office (including e-mail in Outlook). We're in the process of rolling it out now.
If interested, I can keep you up to date as things progress.
Posted by FRANK N | Tuesday, July 09 2013 at 10:13AM ET
This is a great post that highlights many of the issues people can face when choosing a CRM. Choosing the right CRM to help your business achieve its goals is no easy feat - whether to opt for a cloud or on-premise solution, the level of mobile accessibility required by a business and usability are just some of the many factors companies have to bear in mind when deciding on a CRM platform. Maximizer Software's Ensuring your CRM delivers guide is a great resource to anyone looking to implement a CRM system, covering the key questions a business needs to ask itself before plumping for a platform. It can be downloaded here.

Mike Richardson, managing director EMEA, Maximizer Software
Posted by Mike R | Friday, July 12 2013 at 11:08AM ET
Thank you all for your comments.

Marty - you continue to be my cheerleader! Thank you for following this blog and sharing these thoughts with your network.

Frank - Salesforce is expensive, and gets very expensive when you price it out for a team and include overlays. However, I knew it was a software that was the center of my practice, so was willing to pay a little more to get it right. I run an all Apple office so when "Office integration" comes up, it doesn't even register :)

Mike - thanks for the info.

Dave
Posted by Dave G | Friday, July 12 2013 at 5:30PM ET
As with Frank above, I noticed in your article Dave that you did not try a Microsoft Dynamics based CRM like the one we offer through our Pareto Platform CRM.

My partner David Miller and I took the shell of Microsoft Dynamics based CRM and optimized it specifically to meet the needs of Financial Advisors. It implements many of the best practices that we encourage in our Financial Advisor coaching curriculum.

In reference to the interface, many advisors have told us that they like the "Microsoft Outlook" style of the CRM. It seems more familiar and therefore useful than proprietary systems that have to be learned.

Give it a shot if you have the chance. http://crm.paretoplatform.com/
Posted by Duncan M | Monday, July 22 2013 at 3:16PM ET
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