Tech Time: Interconnected and efficient relationship management

CRM offerings are moving from siloed sales solutions to highly integrated and user-friendly platforms.

With a breadth of new, interrelated offerings, Ryan Myers, director for CUES strategic partner Cornerstone Advisors, Scottsdale, Arizona, says CRM vendors are quickly surpassing the concept of CRM as a sales management-only tool, diversifying into platforms with complex automation, analytics and new member-facing technology. “Just look at the slew of Salesforce acquisitions (such as Tableau, an analytics platform, and Mulesoft, a provider of integration software for connecting apps and data) as clear examples of innovation, which aid in reporting and integration.”

Integration and Centralized Data

Most surprising for Myers is how complex organizations can be centralized into a single platform, including multi-product loan operations or contact center support. “CRMs have rarely replaced any of the dozen or more critical systems on which credit unions rely,” he adds. “But the trend has been for a web of technology to integrate via application programming interfaces. We see large financial institutions configure CRMs into enterprise service platforms that integrate data and add supplemental value (i.e., user dashboards or cross-sell recommendations) through improved user interfaces, automation and analysis.”

Another dramatic change is the expanded utility and flexibility of CRM offerings. “System vendors and implementation partners are improving out-of-the-box capabilities to solve common pain points that plague credit unions, such as pre-built integrations with online banking and loan origination solutions,” explains Myers. “Hopefully, these efforts continue to drive down costs and complexity barriers to implementation.”

 

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