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How Technology is Changing Financial Services

The Introhive team recently had the opportunity to participate in the much-anticipated Dreamforce 2021. Jeffery Parrish, Peter Brusa, and myself took part in a session entitled “How Technology is Changing the Financial Services Landscape.” If you missed it, check out the playback, or read on for some of the key insights and takeaways.

Technology is changing financial services

We kicked off the session by sharing our perspectives on the innovations that are driving success in the financial services institutions that are adopting them. We then shifted the discussion to how more organizations in this sector are eyeing new and emerging technologies, given their potential to accelerate growth and win more profitable business. 

The tools attracting the greatest levels of interest are those that can automate away manual effort, gather and process rich relationship insights, and offer both employees and customers a frictionless experience. 

This allows financial institutions to innovate in ways never before imagined.

Enriched relationship metadata for the win

We also reflected on the fact that the days of people manually entering important customer CRM data at the expense of time-to-market are over—or at least they should be, given that the enabling technology and tools are here. 

Indeed, one of the most pervasive challenges for financial institutions is the task of gathering and inputting accurate customer information into their CRM systems, which represents a substantial administrative burden. 

And once this data is captured, it’s a constant struggle to keep it relevant and up to date. In fact, Salesforce estimates that 91% of CRM data is incomplete and that it decays at a rate of 70% per year. The inability to access and share this data cross-functionally often emerges as another challenge, especially in large, siloed organizations.

But now it’s possible to capture and leverage deep and rich relationship metadata in a way that’s accurate, automated, and near real-time, and make it accessible to internal teams from all areas of the business.

AI-infused Customer Insights

Furthermore, by investing in technologies embedded with advanced machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), financial institutions can start to put their data to work for them in new ways. For example, these tools can leverage and process vast quantities of relational customer intelligence to deliver timely, relevant, yet concise insights to the people who need it, when they need it. 

Consider this scenario: A commercial banker logs onto his laptop on the morning of an all-important first call with a potential new client. While they are finishing their first cup of coffee, they scroll through the auto-generated pre-meeting digest that the CRM system has “packaged” for him and sent to his inbox. The digest contains a wealth of insights and data about the new prospect, such as recent media highlights, its current stock prices, and reports on the latest CRM and marketing activities, such as recent email campaigns the prospect was included in.

The digest might also include details about the other attendees joining the upcoming meeting and anyone else within the firm who has recently had bi-directional communications with anyone in the client organization. It might even include information about the strength of those relationships, both present and historical.

A Connected Digital Enterprise

Relational intelligence also allows financial institutions to transform their CRM into a fluid, “living and breathing” ecosystem of insight and intelligence. It enables them to “connect the dots” and provide stakeholders across the business with relevant, timely, and predictive insights about what’s the ideal next action to take, and by whom, for each account or prospect. The result? Teams can market faster, make more informed decisions, initiate more constructive customer outreach, and avoid duplication of effort or opportunities falling through the cracks. 

During our Salesforce+ session, we also outlined how the best CRM tools ensure that a business can fully harness their employees’ internal and external personal networks, intelligently and seamlessly facilitating “warm” introductions to customers or prospects. 

Risk mitigation is another benefit. CRM tools can identify and flag important customers or accounts where relationships may be weak or missing altogether.

Virtual Walls – Abolished

CRM technology can also help financial institutions sidestep issues around cold calling and prospecting. With an average response rate of around 2%, cold calling and unwelcome soliciting aren’t effective ways of communicating with prospective customers. 

Forward-looking financial institutions are now upping their efforts to use technology to empower their employees with a view to increasing retention rates. They realize that if they can keep staff turnover to a minimum, they’ll be better able to capitalize on internal referrals, which have a 40–60% success rate. 

CRM technology can also go a long way to breaking down the “virtual walls” that characterize many financial institutions, using powerful automation capability to minimize the effort involved in information exchange between different departments and teams. 

Of course, eliminating silos and forging a culture of reciprocal sharing and transparency won’t happen overnight, but the right tools are powerful vehicles for change.

We’d love to keep this conversation going – so feel free to reach out to our team and we can show you how technology can change your organizational landscape. 

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