How critical is a dedicated CRM? Very important indeed says PROFTIT’s Natalie Badash

Making the most of expensive leads, motivating a sales team to be able to gain the maximum remuneration and ensuring efficiency are all matters in which an intelligent and dedicated CRM can be a key component in today’s retail FX brokerage structure. We take a very comprehensive look at this with Natalie Badash at PROFTIT.

The sales and retention element of operating a retail FX firm these days is ever more critical.

Not only has the cost of client acquisition and retention become one of the very highest in any online business with each new client costing approximately $1,300 to $1,500 for an average lifetime value of six months and an average trading account balance of $3,500 (excluding the United States where deposit sizes are larger), but the effectiveness of traditional methods of customer engagement is now beginning to be scrutinized.

Indeed, how data is handled by firms is inexorably linked to corporate efficiency, and specialist customer relationship management (CRM) software is now becoming a new ancillary sector that is providing specific solutions to the FX industry.

In order to take a close look at this, FinanceFeeds spoke today to Natalie Badash, Business Development Manager at PROFTIT who details why brokerages should look at dedicated CRM software to be able to maximize the efficiency of their data as well as their sales teams.

How important is a dedicated CRM that has been specifically designed for the FX industry, and what differentiates it from products, such as Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, which are still in widespread use among many brokers?

In order to do a job properly, you need the right tools for the job. While generic CRM solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and others, are excellent products, they were never built specifically for brokers and in almost all cases, these solutions require a substantial amount of extra customization to fit the very specific processes of a brokerage.

For those brokers who already have these solutions, many have had to adapt their business processes to fit the limitations of the CRM, which often means less than optimal processes and efficiency.

This is where PROFTIT outshines these “off-the-shelf” CRM solutions.

PROFTIT is much more than a CRM, as this is just one component of the bigger picture. PROFTIT has been built from the ground up, specifically for running and managing the entire operations of a brokerage including: marketing automation, call center management, retention, business intelligence, workflow and much more.

The other key challenge that many brokers face today is they often have multiple trading platforms and call centers as well as a wide variety of standalone applications that don’t integrate with each other and require additional processes and human resources to manage. PROFTIT gives a single interface that every component can be managed from.

With customer acquisition and retention costs at very high levels in the FX industry, compared to other e-commerce or electronic trading businesses (such as gaming), does PROFTIT consider automation a high priority, in which brokers can operate smaller sales team and use automated tools for acquisition and retention?

The core and the driving force behind the development of PROFTIT is automation. There are so many tasks involved in running a brokerage that can be automated in order to save time, money and human resources. As an example, let’s look at the sales and retention teams: reps need to be making calls and not be distracted with who to call, when to follow up and consuming their time with administrative tasks of keeping track of things.

With the ability for managers to set granular rules for tasks, every staff member receives their tasks prioritized and ready to be executed, eliminating the guess work and focusing on making things happen.

What really distinguishes PROFTIT from existing passive CRM solutions is that PROFTIT is an active management platform. What this means is that the automation features of PROFTIT are constantly driving staff forward automatically and allocating tasks, as opposed to the staff making the decisions of what to do next. This active approach increases productivity substantially and is not reliant on the staff to initiate their next task.

Another notable feature called “Lead Splitter”, that is based on a unique algorithm of past performance and is combined with preset KPIs, ensures that leads are split optimally, resulting in much higher conversions; plus, all the mundane admin tasks become automated with workflow rules, ensuring no more dropping of the ball or wasted time for the sales reps.

Finally, PROFTIT links all of this together with built-in gamification features that lets employees track their performance and keeps them motivated, while giving managers full visibility and the ability to manage better.

Can leads be streamlined and the most made of them so that more relevant clients to relevant new products are matched to the data that brokers own?

Absolutely, as part of the marketing automation, when setting up the segmentation of leads, customized messaging can be sent to specific segments as a whole, or even reminders can be set for sales reps to make contact with relevant and targeted leads regarding new offers or products.

This functionality extends beyond just leads and to active clients as well by giving staff the ability to see, at a glance, what assets a client prefers to trade, their trading history and even which products they utilize and interact with. The in depth reporting of PROFTIT also allows users to quickly identify and extract new segments on the fly that can be notified accordingly for both conversion and retention purposes.

What is PROFTIT’s recommended method of operating an FX sales team in today’s highly competitive retail sector?

A key component of a successful sales team is keeping sales reps motivated and incentivized, while also having the ability to easily perform their tasks and track their performance. The first element that PROFTIT takes care of is allocating targeted leads to the most appropriate person, which results in more sales, more often.

Beyond the automated allocation of leads, PROFTIT has a comprehensive KPI achievement management system, combined with gamification features, and coupled with an automated bonus management system.

PROFTIT empowers sales people to manage themselves by giving them the ability to clearly and accurately track their performance in real time; all of this is linked to a leaderboard to further boost competitiveness and sales. By removing uncertainty, having clear visible goals and automating non-revenue generating tasks, sales people can focus on what they do best…sales!

When sales people are focused and can clearly see their progress, they close more deals, earn more and remain motivated for longer.

In terms of functionality, how does PROFTIT’s solution integrate with other applications, customer records and improve the ability to keep in contact with customers at critical times; payment processing for deposits and withdrawals and the addition of services and ancillary products to client accounts?

PROFTIT has been built with ready to go APIs into the most common and widely used applications and platforms in the industry, from trading platforms, to telephony and payment processors and more. Importing existing customer’s data into PROFTIT is seamless. PROFTIT can also integrate directly into existing VOIP systems, which presents many advantages.

As a client calls into the call center, the client’s information and trading history are automatically presented to the agent. The next feature is PROFTIT can automatically place calls for the sales rep, plus all calls are recorded.

Agents are also able to set future follow ups and calls and update the clients’ records directly in PROFTIT. When the follow up is due, the agent receives a reminder and combined with the automated callback options, PROFTIT will make the call at the exact time for the agent, automatically. With a huge variety of APIs included, implementation is faster and seamless and all management can take place from the PROFTIT console.

Do brokerages need to use mobile-based CRM systems these days, in order that their sales teams can operate them outside of the office?

It goes without saying today that mobile is an integral part of any business, this is why PROFTIT has been built as a pure web-based solution, giving users (with permissions) to be able to access relevant data from their mobile device from any browser.

In terms of capital cost and ongoing support, how do brokers pay for PROFTIT?

There are two components, firstly is the initial implementation which is a fixed fee based on the exact requirements of the broker. We send one of our PROFTIT consultants on-site to the broker in order to understand the exact needs and environment, and from there the implementation takes place.

The second component of PROFTIT is a monthly fee that is $150 per seat and includes all ongoing upgrades and support. For organizations of 100+ seats, we offer a discounted price per seat.


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