ANYTIME, ANYWHERE CRM
When Stratos envisioned its future and the technology to support it, key considerations were the need to prepare for growth and provide departments with better ways to share information and communicate. Because of those requirements, Salesforce FSC functionality is available to Stratos advisors and employees both in a community portal built by the Sikich team and in a mobile app. The self-service portal is a centralized hub for communications and information exchanges between advisors and Stratos office teams. Workflows for attestations and other frequent activities have become speedy and efficient. Radzinski notes, “Through the portal created by Sikich, our back-office employees have access to live data, whereas previously they would have had to approach multiple individuals and access a variety of resources in the firm to get it.”
The transparency that becomes possible with Salesforce FSC has reached another level through the portal and app. Camacho describes, “Advisors love the idea of being able to pull up the CRM app as they’re walking into or leaving a client meeting, and entering notes on the fly. I can look at production across the firm and see what advisors are exposed to various positions, which advisors are growing with us and which are not, and what’s going on in the sales pipeline. These are steps forward in efficiency that really transformed the way our advisors interact with us and their clients. This is also a major differentiator between us and our competitors.”
EXTENDING THE PLATFORM
The Stratos and Sikich engagement continues as the two companies collaborate on expanding the Salesforce FSC platform. One by one, Sikich helps affiliated advisor teams around the country transition to the Salesforce FSC platform. Many advisors only used limited, basic functionality in Redtail financial CRM or other software tools, so they stand to realize significant gains in their ability to manage their accounts and activities by moving to Salesforce. In addition, Sikich is integrating Salesforce FSC with Orion, a widely-used financial portfolio reporting tool. Advisors will be able to see all their Orion client data, together with notes, in the CRM system.
An important part of the continuing effort is readying the Salesforce environment to accommodate companies acquired by Stratos and provide leadership with the visibility and business analytics to oversee these entities. The Sikich team has already created a dashboard for advisors in the firms that Stratos acquires.
Outside of such major enhancements, Stratos expects to work with Sikich to introduce incremental changes that can augment the value of Salesforce FSC. Radzinski says, “A next step will probably be to measure the ROI on our processes and our relationships with individual advisors.”
ENGAGE EARLY AND STATE YOUR VALUE
Having shared a strategically critical and productive CRM journey with Sikich, Stratos feels strongly that it’s important to talk to an experienced technology partner early in the process to avoid unproductive, expensive detours and errors. Camacho and Radzinski also emphasize that it’s important to define and share a clear value proposition for each area of a business before beginning an implementation project.
Radzinski says, “If you want a good implementation, find the right partner, deliver on your value proposition, and make sure you’re accounting for all the functionality that needs to be available. That’s what we did with Sikich. I’ve already had discussions with Sikich for things we might want to add in the future—there might be some big projects where we will want to bring them in.”