CRM for Financial Growth: A Leader’s Perspective

October 23, 2018

Studies indicate that the ROI on a CRM system can be as high as $8.70 per dollar spent (Nucleus Research, 2014). That’s a pretty impressive return on investment for a technology solution, and it may leave you wondering just how CRM generates such uniquely high returns.

Much of the answer lies in the fact that CRM usage is not limited to a single group within your bank or credit union. In fact, because CRM is implemented and used across multiple departments within the financial institution, it reduces expenses and boosts growth across the entire enterprise. Here’s a brief synopsis of some of the ways CRM can help you achieve organization-wide financial growth.

Grow Market Share and Customer Count

For a community financial institution (CFI) to thrive, it needs a steady stream of new customers. CRM can help your sales and marketing teams reach these prospects in a number of ways. Using a CRM solution built for financial institutions, you can:

  • Take your sales team on the road with mobile-friendly CRM, so they can meet with high-value prospects and document their needs.
  • Base segmented marketing on rich data sources, including third-party data about prospects, so your marketers can target the right offer to get them in the door.
  • Offer comprehensive household views to help your salespeople identify and drive new customer/ family opportunities linked to existing customers.

Increase Share of Wallet

Another largely untapped source of financial growth for banks and credit unions is existing members or customers.

Sure, every CFI wants to encourage consumers to bring more of their financial business under its roof. But with consumer interactions fragmented across channels, both physical and digital, establishing deeper and more profitable relationships can be a challenge. CRM technology can help you implement a comprehensive strategy to increase wallet share by:

  • Enabling a 360º view of the customer. This view can empower all staff with a single view of customer data for better service from sales to branch. Better service = more satisfied customers, and studies have repeatedly shown that happier customers purchase more products.
  • Establishing a single view of all customer data, so your staff can offer a true advisory experience by understanding existing investments and next best offer.
  • Empowering marketers to create offers based on data analytics that identify unfulfilled financial needs. More targeted advertising gets higher conversion rates and increases customers’ perception that their bank or credit union understand their situation.

Marketers are often the most enthusiastic power users of CRM solutions, so it’s no surprise that a recent study by Doxim suggests that campaign management capabilities like email marketing and tracking are must-haves for those surveyed. Certainly, the ability to send personalized, targeted emails is essential for CFIs that want to build wallet share without breaking the bank on marketing.

Reducing Operational Expenses

To meet financial goals, community financial institutions need to watch their bottom line and ensure every operational dollar is spent wisely. CFI leaders who are calculating the impact of CRM on their finances often don’t look beyond its use in sales and marketing. But in fact, the right CRM can have a significant impact on cost-cutting initiatives outside these departments.
That’s because CRM can:

  • Reduce IT burden and unexpected expenses, if you select SaaS vs. on-premises CRM.
  • Provide an optimized workflow for customer management with functions like automated reporting, customer status and view of portfolio campaign management.
  • Automate outreach for delinquencies etc., putting more money back in your CFIs pocket without increasing internal effort.

A note of caution here – when selecting a CRM solution, be sure to evaluate whether it offers workflows specific to your industry. A recent survey Doxim conducted with Callahan & Associates suggests that organizations often cite a lack of industry-specific workflows as a reason for frustration with their CRM system.

CRM, the Smartest Way to Grow Your CFI

Over the last few years, CRM has moved from being an optional operational element to serving as the core of engagement activities at many larger banks. Community financial institutions too are beginning to realize the potential behind data-driven decision-making for every business function, from sales and marketing to operations.

The financial upside of enterprise-wide CRM awaits those banks and credit unions whose leaders make the right data investments in these areas. But equally importantly, these leaders need to spearhead a wholesale cultural change across the CFI to drive adoption and utilization of CRM and business analytics for personalized service. Organizations that prioritize these initiatives will identify new opportunities to engage prospects, deepen ties with existing customers, and meet or exceed essential financial goals. Organizations that hesitate run the risk of being left behind as community finance shifts to a more data-driven model.


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