NEWS AND VIEWS

Financial services sector increases investment in CRM software

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ukwidesurveychallengesAdvanced ConsultCRM (Advanced), part of Advanced Business Solutions, a leading provider of business applications and services, is seeing a surge in demand for CRM solutions within the financial services sector. This has been reflected by Advanced’s new client wins in 2014, including hedge funds, private banking and corporate finance firms. These include First Capital and The Bank of London and Middle East.

Advanced provides customised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, user training and technical support to financial services companies.

The new business wins demonstrate the Group’s renewed focus on business development, customer retention and compliance in the financial services industry as it enters a new phase in recovery. The CBI recently reported that the sector is growing at its fastest rate since 2007, with 60% of companies reporting an increase in business since the beginning of the year.

Simon Fowler, Managing Director, Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial Division) comments: “The financial services sector is thriving once again and companies are focusing on growing new business and working closely with existing investors. CRM software is key to business development as it combines marketing, sales cycle management and client services to drive customer engagement and retention levels.

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“CRM is also essential to helping firms achieve compliancy with financial regulations. All firms must maintain full audit-trails of client interactions and our CRM solutions enable them to achieve this. Without a CRM solution that centralises all client information, firms run a substantial risk of fines by the Financial Conduct Authority.”

Advanced has developed customised solutions on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform for hedge funds, private equity and corporate finance companies which are tailored to their needs. The solutions consolidate sales, marketing and client services, enabling multiple teams within an organisation to collaborate effectively. Dispersed teams and remote workers can access the solution via smartphones, tablets and virtual private networks to increase productivity.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports every stage of marketing including prospect analysis and campaign management. The solution includes email marketing functionality that automatically records responses and triggers follow up activities. The solution can be configured with sales pipeline workflow processes which ensure that sales staff follow correct procedures.

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CRM is central to tracking client and partners relationships and includes reporting functionality that provides complete visibility of every area of sales, marketing and client services. The solution can be integrated with document management solutions including Microsoft SharePoint.

Advanced provides a range of training and support programs that ensure users are confident and fluent in their use of the system before it is rolled out.

“The training and on-going support we provide is key to the success of every project. Our consultants have extensive experience and knowledge of the challenges faced by financial sector personnel – we talk the same language – and this facilitates user adoption. This ensures that a new system is used as effectively as possible from day one,” concludes Fowler.

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