Zero-Cost CRM Implementation - Is it Possible?

14 September 2023
Siddharth Bhardwaj
Assistant Manager - CRM Strategy and Initiatives

CRM for investment banking is one of the fastest-growing categories in the enterprise software space, projected to grow from USD 71.06 billion in 2023 to USD 157.53 billion by 2030 (Fortune Business Insights).

On paper, most CRM platforms claim to be plug-and-play with minimal investments and time to market. However, in reality, CRM software comes with indirect expenses in the form of implementation services, time, effort, integration costs, and additional licensing in some cases. This is above and beyond the license fee from respective CRM vendors.

This blog will examine the indirect expenses associated with CRM implementations, especially for investment banks. We will also explore Zero-Cost CRM implementation and if it is even feasible.

Real Cost of Time 

There are innovations every day in this world of advanced technology, and time plays a crucial role in this fast-moving world. In this rush for time, we often need more details. You must determine the amount of effort, time, and resources involved in implementing an investment banking CRM software.

The time required for a CRM implementation can differ based on how complicated the system is, the size of the company, and the accessibility of resources. Banks must ascertain how much time they will spend ensuring a successful implementation.

How Long Does CRM Implementation Take? 

A vanilla implementation of any leading CRM for investment banks should take, at most, a few weeks. Investment banks need to configure and customize the CRM platforms for their unique needs, as it would be pointless to invest in state-of-the-art technology and not use it to its full potential.

Another essential aspect to consider is data migration. If you have a vast amount of data that needs to be migrated from older financial CRM systems, then you must feel the time and effort associated.

In our experience, CRM implementations can take 3-6 months if designed for something other than your domain. Investment banks have unique needs, from transaction workflows to confidentiality and reporting. Domain-focused CRM platforms would reduce this time from 6 months to a few weeks if done correctly.

Secret CRM Charges 

“This is an all-inclusive price” - Is a claim we often hear from software product vendors. This can be misleading for businesses if you don't probe with the right questions. Additional costs include implementation charges, integration connectors to your existing system, maintenance, consulting charges, and more.

Make sure you understand all these and plan your budgets accordingly. Ideally, asking for TCO over 2-5 years would be best to get a holistic view of how much you would spend on your CRM tool.

Customizing and Add-Ons

Understanding the Package/ Tier for your CRM licensing is also essential. Understand the features included in the package you are subscribing to. Are there any limitations on the number of data records, users, or integrations with your subscription package?

CRM software vendors often bundle extra capabilities in the higher price tiers, which you may never use. Ascertain your business needs, the cost of additional features, and if you will use them shortly.

Understanding your short-term and long-term requirements will help you choose the right package for your business.

Tricky Data Move

While moving data might seem straightforward, the reality is far more intricate. It's essential to make a distinction between the two main types of information: 

  • Client profile data: It includes basic information about clients (names, roles, emails, etc.)  and other contact details. 
  • History of past interactions: It records previous communications, transactions, inquiries, and other interactions of clients with the business. 

This data is essential for businesses to stay operating normally and use insights from previous contacts. 

The tricky part is that unforeseen complexities often arise during data migration, such as data loss, mismatched formats, and inconsistent records. These demand unexpected time and effort. But ultimately, the sound data obtained is worth the trouble. 

Appropriate data transformations and connecting procedures are required for effortless integration and reliable data transfer. It is essential to maintain data security and privacy while moving. Companies must comply with all applicable data protection laws and implement adequate security measures to secure private customer data. 

Organizations must opt for a CRM platforms that harnesses the total value of their client relations and promotes company development by addressing data quality, security, user acceptance, and, most importantly, efficiency.

Time We Don’t See

Time is a valuable resource for business leaders, and implementing a new CRM for investment banking might be intimidating. CRM software may require less than a million dollars or months to be implemented effectively. It could be overly time-consuming or stressful. If you do not invest the necessary time and effort in CRM implementation, the CRM tool you use will not be capable of helping you save time in the long run.

Additionally, monitoring the time and resources needed to implement the CRM platform within the organization is essential. Implementing different CRM timelines will commonly be contingent on various factors such as business size, resource availability, and system complexity.

The amount of data you need to transfer from your current CRM, the size of your team, who requires access to your CRM tool, and how elaborate you would like your CRM management to be can all affect how long it takes to set up your CRM. A few variables determine the duration of each step of CRM implementation. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge them all before you make a choice.

Data Migration Challenge

CRM implementation costs always include data migration costs. It's an extensive process that involves preparing and analyzing to ensure no information gets lost or corrupted during transmission. It additionally calls for you to research and pick the most appropriate financial CRM systems for your business that fulfills your requirements.

Data migration is demanding, with many moving pieces, and requires teamwork from everyone involved. Your implementation will probably take a hit if the team members get stuck in bottlenecks. Productive CRM technologies connect initiatives among departments by removing barriers and using ways to interact with connections and records management to enhance your efforts.

It is imperative to speak with your CRM vendor about data migration costs before you plan to make a purchase. Additionally, there is online material available to make your team hands-on with the new system, and many CRM platforms offer free training to their platform. All these factors need to be considered before the actual purchase happens.

Why InsightsCRM?

InsightsCRM is a domain-focused CRM software designed to meet investment banks, M&A, and Advisory firms' unique needs. We embarked on this journey after experiencing inefficiency, time, and cost associated with generic CRM platforms.

InsightsCRM comes pre-configured with your domain's templates, workflows, reports, and data fields. All these features speed up the implementation process while bringing the cost down.

Are you in the market evaluating a CRM platform for your unique needs?
Book a free demo with InsightsCRM Today!

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