Contact Management Systems

man looking at contacts on laptop
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Many firms in the financial services industry use contact management systems (CMSs) to track their dealings with high net worth and corporate executive clients and prospects. This is especially likely if the firm has segmented its sales force and restricted contact with such persons to designated high net worth financial advisors, high net worth specialists, or senior investment bankers.

A CMS is also important for cultivating and nurturing client relationships. You have recorded all of their important information, which is easily accessible and used to provide clients with optimum service.

Using a Contact Management System

Each time a firm representative has had contact with the client or prospect⁠, whether in person, by telephone, by e-mail or by postal mail, they are to enter details of that contact into a CMS. The purpose of recording this information is to:

  • Evaluate these representatives and set their compensation
  • Ensure that the client or prospect is contacted with appropriate frequency, not too often or too infrequently
  • Track results of these contacts, such as financial assets gathered, or investment banking engagements won

As the final point suggests, inputs into a comprehensive CMS also should include notes on the results of these contacts, including the metrics that should be part of the firm's management reporting regime. Any accomplishments entered into a CMS must be subject to independent confirmation.

Incorporating a CMS into your business process is an efficient, effective way to manage and maintain client relationships. Satisfied, loyal clients can enhance your firm's reputation as a great service provider.

Contact Management System Case Study

The high net worth specialists employed by the high net worth marketing department in Merrill Lynch, then known as Private Advisory Services, had a bonus scheme that was largely formulaic, based on household assets gathered. In Merrill Lynch's high net worth CMS, the specialists would enter the amount of assets that a client or prospect had deposited⁠—or promised to deposit⁠—with the firm, pursuant to their marketing efforts. Subsequently, the controller of Private Advisory Services would monitor activity in the accounts of those clients to confirm whether those deposits had indeed taken place.

Additionally, entries in the CMS would be used for the subjective portion of the bonuses, to evaluate how active the specialists had been in following up on assignments.

Moreover, entries in the CMS would be categorized with respect to specific marketing initiatives, such as Vintage Motor Sports, the Merrill Lynch Shootout, and sponsorships of a symphony or museum nights. This data also would be used to evaluate the financial returns from sponsorships and promotions.

Benefits of Using a Contact Management System

There are many advantages to using a CMS, which can be used by any firm regardless of size. These benefits include:

  • Strengthens the firm-client relationship
  • Tracks and stores different types of important data, such as client contracts, asset information, and other important data
  • Provides deeper insight into clients through analysis of their data
  • Invites collaboration and sharing among designated firm members
  • Provides a secure site of recorded and saved data for those working to serve the firm's clients, such as marketing, sales, and customer service
  • Improves the client experience due to efficient and effective service

    A CMS is a comprehensive database of client information that can be used by those looking to provide optimum service to clients. Incorporating a CMS into your work process can also save costs by creating greater efficiencies in the workplace.