Beyond the “C” in CRM
Since its inception, a CRM system has focused ona firm’s “front office”, those employees that handle revenue-producing relationships (e.g. sales; service; support). Indicative of this, the“C” in “CRM” refers to “Client” or “Customer”.
At investment firms of all types, volumes of important relationships (the “R” in “CRM”) also exist in the back office. Think of the back office as the collection of processes that produce a firm’s services. The table below defines back office relationship networks and the typical roles that manage these relationships.
A CRM’s “Relationship Management” processing power tightly fits the needs that back-office employees have in documenting, managing, and analyzing relationships that form the firm’s key product/service delivery processes. This is especially the case with the critical processes that in many ways determine a firm’s success or failure: due diligence, deal flow management, and investment oversight.
Digging deeper, the different front- and back-office relationships often generate fruitful exchanges. These exchanges operate in the same way that LinkedIn and other social media facilitate network connections person to person.
Consider these common needs and how the other side of the firm can guide connections.
An enterprise CRM, while keeping the acronym representing the erstwhile front-office terms “Client Relationship Management”, actually lifts from this terminology the word “Relationship” as the sole focus. In other words, relationships don’t exist with a person, department, or division; they exist for the firm’s entire benefit. For a knowledge-based business such as investing, the firm’s relationships in all the various types, and wherever they’re located, are a precious asset.