Blackstone Wealth Management, an independent financial advisory services firm in the United Kingdom, needed a more strategic online CRM solution to help establish strong, trusting customer relationships during its growth phase.
The wealth management firm was relying on Sage ACT! CRM via a virtual private network -- even while in the office -- but the infrastructure was hosted in a data center that cost around $781 a month and required special client software.
"Access was slow, and upgrading our Sage ACT! licenses was going to be expensive, costing more than [$10,900] a year," said Mark Mace, IT manager at Blackstone Wealth Management. When the existing CRM system coming to the end of its lifecycle, Mace started looking for a solution that better met the firm's needs.
Supporting Growth, Saving Money
Specifically, Mace wanted to deploy a cost-effective, cloud-based system that offered advisers fast, reliable access to CRM tools whether they were working at the office or from remote locations. The CRM solution needed to be easily customizable and support the company's three-year growth roadmap by automating and streamlining line-of-business processes.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online matched Mace's requirements. Advisers can access the solution on any device with an installed client and Internet connection. Armed with implementation guidance, Mace was confident he could deploy the solution using out-of-the-box migration and deployment templates that are part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit.
The result: Blackstone has cut costs, boosted productivity, and enhanced client communications. The solution is flexible enough to allow the firm to respond to new business requirements quickly, and will scale easily to accommodate rapid growth. Blackstone also reduced its annual CRM licensing costs, while at the same time improving accessibility.
"We save around [$7,800] a year with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and our advisers can now use CRM tools on any device they choose," he says. "It's a better solution than the one we had before."
Better Client Service
In addition to cost savings, Mace reports that consistent communication drives better customer service. The CRM online system helps advisers follow up web inquiries more quickly and helps them work more productively.
For its part, the IT team has more time for strategic support. Mace no longer needs an independent backup service for CRM data because Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is covered by Microsoft's 99.9 percent service level agreement.
"I have been critical of a lot of Microsoft software and services in the past, but I am a fan of Microsoft Dynamics CRM online," Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, told us. "Microsoft has understood the value of CRM via the cloud pretty early on with this product. I applaud them for that."