CloudSmiths Financial Services Centre of Excellence

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By Stephen Moore, Senior Solution Architect, CloudSmiths

Read Time: 3 minutes

360 Degrees of Excellence in Financial Services

A specialised system that combines CRM (customer relationship management) with fund revenue data to give you a 360-degree view of your business may sound like Asset Management utopia to some. Stephen Moore, Regional Director, CloudSmiths Cape Town has helped to refine a methodology specific to financial services, harnessing the power of Salesforce technology that is backed by expert industry knowledge and global best practice.

With over twenty years of IT technical consulting experience, Moore’s experience with CRM in financial services began in the early 2000s, resulting in an in-depth understanding of the industry, including institutional, retail and ‘umbrella’ firms and businesses.

His deep insights into the specific needs of the Finserv sector, combined with heavyweight technical skills and excellent client relationships, have enabled Moore and his team to provide a Salesforce solution to many Asset Management organisations,

”The Salesforce methodology allows for a solution to be built, demonstrated, analysed and adjusted in a delivery time that is up to ten times faster than traditional software development. The client is engaged throughout, and the value is evident almost immediately,”

Stephen Moore

Critical elements such as reporting, dashboards, security, and mobile apps all come standard with Salesforce, giving the customer control of the process, and enabling the CloudSmiths developers to make recommendations for further flexibility that will meet the client’s business objectives.

Addressing challenges in the Finserv sector

The challenge in Asset Management specifically, says Moore, is that it is not based on traditional sales methodology, but on influence and how client relationships affect the end goal, which makes it harder to measure and analyse. Clients are segmented into various categories based on Funds Franchises, Mandate/Portfolio types, AUM (assets under management) and Year to Date Flows. By using the CloudSmiths approach, management can draw both quantitative and qualitative reports that demonstrate how CRM activity influences revenue. The prize is the powerful amalgamation of the Salesforce CRM combined with the all-important fund and revenue data.

Tailor-made solutions

“When we work with prospective clients who say they need Salesforce, which is the best in the market, we demonstrate what we have built for other customers with similar businesses. Our insight, industry knowledge and understanding of best practices in the Salesforce space provides a great deal of value to our clients,” says Moore.

The team starts with an agile approach to each project, beginning with a general exploration of the business needs. Once the project is broadly outlined, workshops are set up to delve into the detail and functionality.

A recent example is the implementation by CloudSmiths of marketing automation for Prescient Investment Management. This system innovatively aligns marketing campaigns with the asset management team, allowing them to identify and target clients for specific marketing collateral, or maps out roadshows based on clients’ existing investments and other potential investment interests.

Prescient Investment Management’s data was provided by Coruscate, which is a widely used financial database that integrates seamlessly into Salesforce. The solution also saw the addition of Pardot, a B2B marketing automation tool built on the Salesforce CRM platform.

STANLIB is another example of the Salesforce impact. The CloudSmiths Finserv team in conjunction with another System Integrator was able to provide a solution where STANLIB’s Wealth, Institutional and Retail client data was gathered and secured into one centralised CRM, providing their Wealth and Asset Managers with deeper insight into their client base.

Stephen Moore, Regional Director, CloudSmiths Cape Town

The customer experience and interaction with their Wealth or Asset Managers is greatly improved through access to the service console.

Platform champions and users in the business are provided with a connected e-learning experience where trailmixes (training pathways) are customised to their system with videos and guides. Ongoing technical support is provided by a dedicated CloudSmiths Managed Services Team.

Staying ahead of the curve

“Having successfully created a financial services vertical for Salesforce, CloudSmiths has become experts from an industry knowledge perspective. Being technology experts as well, we keep our clients abreast of  new developments,” says Moore.

  • Relationships are vital in  Asset Management and Salesforce’s Finance Service cloud model enables the user to efficiently track relationships between the various entities.
  • The Salesforce analytics tools provide a visual representation of the effects that different relationships have on current portfolios and any potential opportunities.
  • Salesforce incorporates elements of AI such as making recommendations on lead- and sales activity by analysing email communication. Chatbots allow the customer to access information instantly and directly, without the need for agents in call centres.
  • Soon, WhatsApp integration will connect the customer to their financial advisor or bank directly from a mobile device. The result is increased speed of delivery to the customer and cost saving for the institution.

The bottom line

The focus of the CloudSmiths Financial Services Centre of Excellence includes banking, asset management and wealth management, and will soon be extending into other areas like securities and insurance. Having a 360-degree view of the customer by CRM activity and fund revenue provides clients with nearly limitless options for segmentation, reporting and analytics.

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