Wealth management business cuts CRM costs by £5,000 a year with online solution The need to improve access to customer relationship management (CRM) tools and cost-effectiveness led Blackstone Wealth Management to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The company’s IT Manager deployed the solution himself, customising workflows to incorporate business-specific processes and requirements. Since deploying the solution, the organisation has reduced annual CRM costs by £5,000, while improving advisers’ access to critical work tools. Business needs Blackstone Wealth Management is an independent financial advisory services company based in the West Midlands in the United Kingdom. As the firm continues to expand its client portfolio, it’s crucial that advisers are equipped with a reliable solution for CRM, helping them establish strong, trusting customer relationships where investment strategies are discussed freely. Historically, advisers accessed the company’s Sage ACT! CRM solution using a virtual private network—even when they were in the office. The infrastructure was hosted in a data centre that cost around £500 a month and required special client software. With the existing CRM system coming to the end of its life cycle, Mark Mace, IT Manager at Blackstone Wealth Management, looked for a compelling CRM solution to meet new business requirements. He says: “Access was slow, and upgrading our Sage ACT! licences was going to be expensive, costing more than £7,000 a year.” Mace wanted to deploy a cost-effective cloud-based system that provided advisers with fast, reliable access to CRM tools whether they were working at the office or from remote locations. The CRM solution needed to be easy to customise and support the company’s three-year growth roadmap by automating and streamlining line-of-business processes. Solution Mace found what he was looking for in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Advisers can access the solution on any device with an installed client and Internet connection. Before deploying the solution, Mace contacted Microsoft Partner The CRM Business for in-depth information and implementation guidance. After the partner delivered an interactive demonstration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Mace was confident he could deploy the solution himself by using out-of-the-box migration and deployment templates. These are part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit. Features of the solution include: Tools to manage all tasks relating to client correspondence, meetings, and CRM Integration with line-of-business applications, including Microsoft Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client An automatic lead workflow that’s triggered when a potential client enters their details on the company’s website registration First, Mace imported data into the company’s Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 database. From here, he transformed data into Microsoft Excel formats for uploading into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Mace also customised the online solution to provide several new services. For example, he created a web registration workflow that automatically creates a next-day call task for advisers, generates emails to welcome the client, and notifies advisers of new enquiries. “I created a workflow for the web-generated lead so now we can send additional details of our services and invitations to join online membership services,” says Mace. Benefits Blackstone Wealth Management has cut costs, boosted productivity, and enhanced client communications since deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The flexible solution supports Mace to respond to new business requirements quickly, and will scale easily to accommodate rapid growth. Cost of CRM solution is cut from £7,000 to £2,000 a year. Blackstone Wealth Management has reduced its annual CRM licensing costs, while at the same time improving accessibility. Mace says: “We save around £5,000 a year with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and our advisers can now use CRM tools on any device they choose. It’s a better solution than the one we had before.” Client service is enhanced through consistent communication. All communications are tracked in one system so customers don’t repeat themselves or have to explain their circumstances unnecessarily. Advisers also promptly follow-up web enquiries, so customer experience of the company is personal and efficient from the first point of contact. Advisers are more productive. The workflows Mace created for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online have automated many pre-sales administrative tasks and streamlined client management. Advisers have more time to dedicate to their clients’ investment strategies. IT team has more time for strategic support. Mace no longer needs an independent backup service for CRM data because Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is covered by a Microsoft 99.9 per cent service level agreement. This leaves him with more time for high-value strategic work. Mace can also quickly add new functionality as required by the business, thanks to the solution’s flexibility.