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3 min read

How CRM Systems Can Benefit Commercial Banks

How CRM Systems Can Benefit Commercial Banks

CRM Systems & Commercial Lending

While sleek websites and mobile apps with features like voice and facial recognition are typically at the forefront of digital transformation in the banking industry, we shouldn’t forget about the tangible benefits that CRM systems can provide to banks. While technology is evolving, many banks still lag behind in digital transformation, operating with highly manual processes, cumbersome tracking mechanisms such as excel spreadsheets, and inefficient ways of connecting with their customer base.

What is a CRM system?

Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) manage all relationships and interactions with existing bank customers and potential clients with one simple goal: Improving business relationships. CRM systems help you stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. They typically touch multiple business processes where both customers and internal users are involved and function as an archive for data which can be beneficial during regulatory exams.

Why CRM systems are important to banks

Most banks are functioning without CRM software in place even though there are several business processes that could benefit from automation. In the absence of a CRM system, these processes require significant manpower to run. In fact, the lack of automation could result in many issues including compliance breaches, reputational risk, customer losses, as well as loan lossesBut more importantly, some of your most highly compensated resources are spending time managing these processes, such as commercial lenders, portfolio mangers, and credit analysts — human capital that could be used improve customer experience and influence business results.

If you’re one of the banks not using a CRM system yet, here are a few of the benefits you may be missing:

  • Consolidating data silos from branches, advisors, and back systems to create a unified customer view.
  • Improved cross-sell conversions by targeting the right time to offer additional products or promotions.
  • Shortened sales cycles and improved forecast accuracy by utilizing automated workflows and repeatable sales processes.
  • Higher client support as a result of automated cross-department collaboration, follow-ups, and escalations.
  • Account relationships can be handed over seamlessly in the event of lender turnover. Similarly, this information can be very helpful during an acquisition.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the many CRM systems available to banks. The system allows you to segment customer data and get a clearer understanding of the client’s financial journey. Integration points with core systems also help bring in data about risk behaviors like poor credit score, late payments, and many others resulting in improved regulatory compliance and increased profitability. Role-based permissions help keep customer data secure.

Banks with Commercial Lending Operations 

Most business lenders worry about two things:  

  1. Losing existing corporate clients
  2. Closing new commercial deals 

On the flip side, business borrowers have similar worries. In a 2016 Small Business Credit Survey completed by the Federal Reserve, applicants were less worried about rates and repayment terms, citing higher dissatisfaction about the credit process they encountered while securing their loan.

What’s core to both cases?  Manual business processes, poor communication, and a lack of transparency taking business bankers away from spending time on the one thing that matters the most: helping the client.

A Powerful App for Credit Reviews

Virtual Loan Assistant

CRM systems also provide a framework for banks to dig in and fine tune challenging operational workflows. Virtual Loan Assistant (VLA) is an example of a CRM-based solution designed for banks with commercial lending operations. Built using Microsoft’s Power Platform, it solves two main pain points of the credit process: collecting financial documents and increasing transparency across the organization by automating key workflows, sending triggered notifications to customers and third parties, personalizing work queues, and providing robust data dashboards for the team. 

Virtual Loan Assistant stores all data on Microsoft’s secure cloud platform and can be integrated with third party apps, including core processing systems like Jack Henry, FISERV, and FIS.

Learn more about Virtual Loan Assistant

This is just one example of how CRM systems can help banks. Other industries can benefit too.

Read more about CRM systems in other industries

Find out more

If you’re among the many banks with or without commercial lending operations who have yet to adopt a CRM system, but unsure where to start to find that best-fit, the first step is easy: Consult a CRM system implementation expert. A CRM implementation partner can help you define your existing business processes and needs – and take you through the subsequent steps to choose and implement the right solution to support your operations. We’ve even put together a free guide to help you identify signs that it’s time for you invest in a CRM system.

When evaluating potential partners, it’s important to look for a one-stop shop who can guide you through the entire process from start to finish, including discovery, design, implementation, customization, integration, and training.

Learn more about Microsoft D365


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