Updated Monday, July 14, 2014 as of 5:48 AM ET
Blogs - The New Generation's Practice
Tech Challenge: How to Handle CRM Training
Thursday, August 1, 2013
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When starting a new financial planning office, some technology challenges come even after you’ve made a software decision. Recently, I’ve been struggling with my last piece of software -- a CRM system.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried out different pieces of software and settled on Salesforce Wealth Management edition. However, through a miscommunication I ended up with the standard Professional edition of Salesforce. Since it didn’t really fit my needs, I ended up with two options: switch my license to the Wealth Management edition or look for an appropriate “overlay” -- that is, a vendor who builds a different interface customized for a specific industry’s terms, preferences and business processes. One such overlay for the financial services industry is XLR8, from Concenter Services.

After trying a user demo and watching some videos, I decided that I needed XLR8 to maximize my CRM usage. Its software allows you to build custom workflows for a financial planning practice, and it has added specific fields that apply to financial planning.

I called their team to go through the installation process and costs. What shocked me was that the training was going to be three times more expensive than the software. Even if I chose the specific elements I wanted to be trained on, it was still twice as expensive.

I chose to bypass the training, knowing that I may pick up some training later on down the road. But for now, trial and error will do just fine.

One thing that saved me some money: I didn't need to do any data migration. Since I had all of my contact data in my email, I forwarded the info to my virtual intern to upload. Luckily for both of us, XLR8 does have basic training videos online.

(1) Comment
The training fees, and even data migration and setup fees, are exorbitant. And that's saying it nicely. Like you mentioned, some companies charge even more than 3x the cost of entry for training. I've seen charges of $1500 just for training you on how to use their software.

How backwards is that? You have to pay them to make up for their inability to make a self-explanatory piece of software. This is not my idea of CRM and I hope our efforts to create simple software and not charge people to learn it will spread into other companies to get on it and do better.

If we're selling software to manage good customer relationships, how are we already causing poor ones with our own customers? It just doesn't make sense.

Hope you can stumble through it and learn the system.

Brad Hodson JobNimbus, http://jobnimbus.com

Posted by Brad H | Saturday, August 03 2013 at 12:47AM ET
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