CRM for the Financial Sector

By Heather Baldwin

CRM software vendors, having experienced explosive growth over the last couple years and now searching for ways to maintain that momentum, increasingly are rolling out industry-specific solutions which enable vendors to exploit market niches with a more targeted, customized application. The newest of these products is YOUcentric’s YOUrelate Financial Services, a CRM solution geared towards investment and commercial banking, wealth management, institutional sales and mutual fund wholesalers.

While each of YOUcentric’s software packages is customized for the user, YOUrelate Financial Services comes with a baseline set of functions geared towards the needs of financial institutions. For instance, the software’s Any to Any Relationship Modeling helps streamline the complex network of relationships that exist in banks. “If a banker is trying to find the highest decision maker in a [prospective] key account, and they know someone else is that person’s next-door neighbor, they can simply work with the relationship that already exists instead of going through the entire chain of that person’s organization,” said Amy Cojac, YOUcentric’s director of corporate communications. In other words, the software enables financial services personnel to find the optimal path to a prospective client. The philosophy, says Cojac, is based on Six Degrees of Separation, the so-called “small world” theory which purports that everyone is connected to everyone else through no more than six friends and relatives.

YOUrelate Financial Services also can be used to facilitate referrals between the commercial and investment banks and the private client service departments to measure customer profitability in real time and to measure sales effectiveness by identifying all the business opportunities associated with a specific salesperson.

The Financial Services solution is YOUcentric’s second industry-specific product (its first was geared to the pharmaceutical industry) and its potential for growth in this segment is enormous, according to Newton, MA-based Meridien Research. Meridien, a financial technology advisory firm, estimates financial institutions will spend roughly $686 million on CRM applications in 2001 and they predict that figure will grow in the future by about 14 percent per year.