By Spenser Segal
When it comes to adviser software solutions, you may wonder what other advisers are using, how much they spend to purchase and implement the software, and whether or not those advisers are happy with their purchases. This article provides a snapshot of general adviser use, offering insight into what your experience may be if you start using CRM for the first time, or how you compare to the average adviser if you have already implemented CRM.
What CRM Software Are Advisers Using?
The most popular CRM solutions are Junxure, ACT! and Redtail followed by propriety software provided by a firm or broker-dealer. However, the choices are all over the board, as there are a number of different CRM solutions available to advisers.
|Software||Percent of advisers who use|
|Junxure (CRM software)||19.50%|
|ACT! (Sage software)||15.80%|
|Proprietary or B-D/firm provided||4.80%|
|Gorilla CRM (Bill Good Marketing)||3.30%|
|Advisors Assistant Contact Management||1.30%|
|Oracle CRM On Demand||0.70%|
*Other includes software that was cited by a single respondent.
**Microsoft Outlook is not a CRM software. It is included here because a significant number of respondents cited using it as a CRM.
How Much Time Is Spent on CRM?
If you're wondering how much time you'll end up dedicating to using the software, it varies significantly from adviser to adviser. Nearly a quarter of advisers spend fewer than two hours a week, however almost a third spend more than 10 hours a week. Part of the reason for this variance is that the time commitment depends on how many different types of functions you decide to use. If you only use CRM to manage your contact lists and calendar, it will not take as much time as also managing workflow, tasks, communications, etc. (of course, you reap different benefits, too).
How much time per week do you spend using CRM software?
< 1 hour 6%
1 hour to 2 hours 15%
2 to 5 hours 25%
5 to 10 hours 23%
> 10 hours 31%
Are Advisers Satisfied With Their Software?
Nearly three-fourths of advisers report that they are very or somewhat satisfied with their software. However, one in five report dissatisfaction, so be sure to choose wisely and review the FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Report: CRM Edition, sponsored by TD AMERITRADE Institutional, coming out in February.
Overall, how satisfied are you with your current CRM software solution?
Very satisfied 37%
Somewhat satisfied 34%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 10%
Somewhat dissatisfied 14%
Very dissatisfied 5%
How Much Money Is Spent on CRM?
Most advisers spend $5,000 or less on CRM software purchases and implementation, including installation and training. And, according to our research, cost does not correlate with satisfaction, so you don't need to plunk down a pile of money to ensure you'll be happy with the software. Instead, be sure to follow the steps we recommend in the November/December 2009 Practice Management Solutions article, "7 Essential Steps When Considering CRM."
What was your total budget for purchasing and implementing your current CRM software?
< $500 19%
$500 to $5,000 59%
$5,000 to $10,000 14%
$10,000 to $20,000 4%
> $20,000 4%
Spenser Segal is the chief executive officer of ActiFi (www.actifi.com), a solutions firm that helps financial advisory practices with people, process and technology solutions to help advisers build better businesses. He also serves on the FPA Business Solutions 2010 task force.
TD AMERITRADE, ActiFi and FPA are unaffiliated and not responsible for one another's policies and services. TD AMERITRADE does not guarantee nor is it responsible for the completeness or accuracy of the data provided or for the quality of any third-party product or service. TD AMERITRADE Institutional, Division of TD AMERITRADE, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. TD AMERITRADE is a trademark jointly owned by TD AMERITRADE IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.
FPA and ActiFi jointly surveyed more than 350 FPA members in August 2009 who currently use CRM technology. This research, combined with extensive software testing and reviews, will be included in the practitioner CRM report, FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Report: CRM Edition, which FPA members will receive electronically free of charge, courtesy of TD AMERITRADE Institutional. Look for your copy in February!
Catch Spenser Segal, CEO of ActiFi, at FPA Business Solutions 2010 March 1-3 in Dallas, where he'll give a presentation on maximizing CRM. If you have a CRM system in place, learn how to best use its features and functions. If you're shopping around, learn how to evaluate your CRM options and choose the one that best suits your needs. Segal will also participate in a panel discussion on workflow automation. Learn more at www.FPASolutions.org.