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The following guest post is courtesy of Adinah Brown, content manager at Leverate.
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Imagine a world without a CRM.
It’s a scary thought, like going back to outdoor plumbing. Clearly much of the work a company does would not be possible without it. And whilst there are critical features that we all need in order to get by, there are a few more that will crank up your speakers to 11 and beyond.
Here are 4 features to consider:
1. Affiliate integration. Is your affiliate department linked to your sales department? Can they see what each other are doing and provide insight and elements to avoid? If not, this is one area that would provide significant streamlining. Although most of the referrals should have an automated tag, and there should be a system of notes and notifications, it is significantly better to have an affiliate manager constantly aware of the activity. Irrespective of the integration with sales staff, constant oversight of the number of referrals and remuneration allows the affiliate manager to best exert an influence in real time, which should allow well timed and effective incentivization if needed.
2. Charts in the CRM / integration with the traders’ trading account and balances. Ask your retention staff if they would like to be able to see what the trader is doing as they speak to them. Their answer will be “HELL YEAH”! It’s not that the options available don’t do the job, there are dealer platforms (or for those with a non dealing desk model – whatever is used to access the trader’s activities), and Sisense options that you can configure as an external software, or whatever, it’s just that a few well placed fields in the CRM would help avoid some of the noise that you get with those options. Tailoring the real time trading and account data into the CRM would also allow for more effective integration with report generation, allowing each sales and retention agent to filter it in their own way.
3. Reports. An integrated system that allows for report generation will provide significant support to retention, sales and affiliate staff. A function that integrates with the marketing lists or creates push notes for traders are just some of the awesome possibilities of this aspect. Obviously CRM’s can provide wonderful backend support for financials, etc, but it is rarely configured well for integrating the various sales and marketing functions. When linked with the trading data and configured to find certain types of traders, it will allow you to more effectively target traders for their specific needs in as real a time as possible. It would also be helpful to have a really good report function that automatically links with the sales staff email to give them periodic updates to their inbox, so as to avoid having to run the reports on as frequent a basis.
4. Advanced find options. This already exists, but you almost need to be a computer programmer to create the rules to find what you need. It needs to be both user friendly and effective, so that whoever put that note in that random place that they can’t remember, or whichever useless (and now retrenched) sales agent put in that information, it is able to be found.
It may not take you to the moon, but the top CRM technology is at the heart of effective sales and marketing activities, as well as providing compliance amidst other functions. Improved integration will allow the disparate parts of your brokerage to link more effectively, allowing each organ to function better. Talk to your staff about a wish list for the technology and you will find that you are only scratching the surface of the potential that the CRM can unlock.