How to Use Salesforce to Power Your Financial Services

How to Use Salesforce to Power Your Financial Services

The BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) industry has been pushed into rapid changes as open banking regulations have forced innovation, especially in Europe. Fintech companies (portmanteau of “financial technology) have created a plethora of tools that personalize and automate banking, capital markets, wealth management and insurance offerings to considerable degrees, forcing traditional BFSI companies to focus on technology as well. As we can see, digitization is no longer a maybe, it is now a necessity to make business faster, safer and more relevant.

With all this new technology, the result is a customer who expects much more than basic banking or insurance from financial services providers. Today, a great user experience cannot be a gap for the BFSI sector as clients are willing to part with data in order to receive integrated digital services.

Of course, the tech industry began bridging this gap before it became a problem and customer relationship management (CRM) tools have remained ahead of industry needs. The most diverse tool in use, by far, is the Salesforce platform. In 2015, it launched the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud to invigorate the BFSI sector with customized CRM software and solutions.

Why is CRM designed for BFSI important? Customers demand their financial services be as cutting-edge and digital as everything else. Today, financial services need to innovate because tech companies are already disrupting the sector.

Apart from financial services supporting features like AI-powered business intelligence and need-based functionality, there is a tailored data model and a suite of security and compliance features to deliver proactive insights, fact-based reporting, analytical planning tools and relevant client management.

However, it’s not all about the consumer. Going digital means finding more sources of revenue through new offerings. It means a better data flow through APIs, which is also more secure. An integrated CRM software tool is more efficient, as it saves time in finding the right data, which is time that can be spent on personalizing customer experiences.

 

Digital engagement with customers. Hear out your customers and offer them exactly what they need.

Most customers no longer expect to walk into a bank branch or even make a personal call to receive financial services. They look to mobile digital services that are intuitive, with the ability to connect with providers from anywhere.

A consumer study by Accenture shows that 31% of customers would consider banking services from Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon despite these companies having little experience in offering core financial services. It rises to 41% among ‘Gen Z’ consumers. This is how important responsive and tailored digital services have become.

A Salesforce investor report tells us that 65% of millennials ( people born between the1980s and 2000) and 45% of Gen X (the generation born between the 1960s and the1980s). would like the ability to make changes to their savings and investments via a mobile app. The bottom line is — without digital transformation, financial services companies will fail to meet customer expectations, and thus lose customers. 

A  Global Financial Services Consumer Study by Accenture reveals that around 50% of consumers want more than traditional financial services. For example, a customer buying property wants a personalized loan scheme, affordable home insurance and a future mortgage to come from the same ecosystem. This could be one institution or several partners.

Some of the best companies are combining financial services with a completely different value proposition, like health and wellness. This could mean wellness memberships, wearables or rewards for “healthy behavior.” To do this, you need easily accessible data analytics and business insights, and an integrated CRM like Salesforce helps. 

Consumers also prefer wealth services to be fully personalized. They want easy access to spending data and financial advice based on their individual circumstances. For example, 64% of consumers, according to Accenture research, wanted insurance premiums based on their behavior, like a safe driving record. They’re also willing to trade their data for this if it means offers based on what and where they shop, faster insurance settlements or preferential pricing on loans. According to Emarketer, 80% of consumers are willing to share personal data with the provider if it leads to personalized offerings.

Personalization to this degree means the financial services provider needs integrative access to the customer’s data. This should be coupled with data analytics and business insights to make sound decision-making faster. In an open banking system, this requires a complete view of the customer’s financial details, from shopping habits and general spending to long-term investments and loans. The same data should be available to customers digitally as well, with an app being the best option. Custom Salesforce integration is the solution to combining all these needs together onto one platform.

Custom Salesforce integrations can provide a summary and visualize data that shows what’s most important to the provider. With so much data available, custom integrations can be used to manage the data pipeline, prioritize information and maintain intuitive communication with customers.

To build comprehensive customer profiles, BFSI companies need to invest in digital solutions that make it easier to understand customer needs. This is the most efficient and customer-focused way to offer financial services.

Another part of open banking and digitization is the increased need for data security. Salesforce is a secure CRM platform and has even been approved by the US Department of Defense. But, data security goes beyond vulnerabilities. Data sharing is governed by a diverse set of laws in each market, requiring companies to customize solutions for sharing information. In addition, companies can use Salesforce to match industry regulations and ensure data is hosted in a compliant Salesforce Financial Services cloud.

→ Explore why Essentially, Data is good. It’s the use cases that can be problematic

Automation, AI and access to data. Facts and figures make sense when they work for your customer.

Automation reduces human error, especially for tedious manual tasks. This frees up time to make the customer experience a priority. A powerful CRM software also provides workflows that allow your interactions with customers to be more intuitive.

Modern banking customers are more willing to engage with automated support if it is personalized. However, it takes a powerful CRM tool to do this. Several studies by the biggest industry providers prove that a whopping number of financial services consumers are willing to receive automated support. The study also found that customers expect intelligent finance and automation to improve speed and convenience of the services provided.

But, automation isn’t the only process powered by AI. Let’s take the example of a personal banker who can help with new product sales and solve customer service issues. This requires two separate sources of data. AI-powered analytics can access data from the two sources and also provide insights that make the process more efficient. The same sources of data can be used to track team performances as well. Approximately 69% of investors said that trust in judgment was key to determining whether an advisor is a good fit.  Developing trust requires useful business comprehension.

This need for analytics and business insights reveals why AI-powered data management is so important. All departments can access the data relating to customer services, sales, and marketing from a single source. You can use this data to create dashboards for business-specific needs as it streamlines interoperability within the company. Or you can use Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to develop custom AI-powered solutions and services. The idea is to leverage the abundance of data to improve all aspects of customer service management.

But again, it’s about more than the customer. Analytics also improves business decisions. BFSI companies have realized that it’s impossible to keep up with the newest innovations within fintech services. This has changed competitors into collaborators. You’re more likely to succeed if you’re part of an ecosystem that’s sharing data to offer a full suite of services. Customers are happy to use a single point of contact for all their financial services needs.

This means platforms must be digital, open (using APIs), and employ all the benefits of cloud computing in order to make flexible business decisions. That’s why 68% of fintechs in the Forbes top 50 use the Salesforce ecosystem.

→ Read why A Digital Financial Economy Needs Open Banking to Succeed 

At the same time, increased competition also means doubling down on the customer experience as a winning strategy. BFSI companies want to be seen as the customer’s primary financial partner. How you can achieve this remains the same — access open banking data through APIs, as well as offer new services and personalize financial services. Luckily, Salesforce’s various solutions meet these demands.

In the best-case scenario, a customer should be able to open an app, choose a service (a loan application or credit card) and receive a response (rate of interest or eligibility) in real-time. While it seems too good to be true, it is possible for you to implement this kind of customer journey with real-time access to all customer data and AI-powered automation.

Financial services represent a wide range of businesses and each service operates differently, but AI analytics can help with this too. Salesforce can be customized to individually suit each market. Consider Europe’s GDPR; in this case, Salesforce could ensure all your marketing is GDPR compliant.

 

An Ecosystem for Faster Scaling. Business in the 2020s is about flexibility.

In 2006, Salesforce launched AppExchange, an open marketplace similar to the Android or iOS ecosystem. Thousands of independent software vendors have built expertises by creating Salesforce apps.

Open platforms are new to the BFSI sector, which has always been regulated and reluctant to use third-party services to extend their capabilities. However, for many financial services companies, it’s the fastest way to scale. The functionalities you need can be found in an AppExchange. It reduces time to market considerably as you don’t need to code every bit of the solution you’re looking for; it’s already out there in some form for you to customize.

With developers using the Salesforce platform to build and deploy applications, banks can rely on third parties to develop services that can integrate immediately into the customer engagement process. Salesforce estimates over 8.4 million app installs so far, and that 86% of Salesforce users, startups, or enterprises have installed at least one solution.

Onfido is a good example of what this type of ecosystem can produce. Onfido specializes in identity verification, a process that’s common and crucial for all financial services firms. They developed an app for the Salesforce platform, which allows any firm to embed their identity verification capabilities.

Smart companies also see this as a new revenue stream. The custom Salesforce solution you create can be a software solution for which someone else is willing to pay. In 2017, the IDC estimated that for every dollar Salesforce made, the ecosystem made approximately $3.67. That figure is expected to be $5.18 by 2022.

 

Conclusion: the choice is never easy, but it’s about future implications.

The ability of the Salesforce platform and tools to increase efficiency is measurable. The 2019 Financial Services Customer Success Metrics reported 44% faster collaboration, a 34% increase in sales productivity, and 37% faster decision-making. There was also a 41% increase in client satisfaction, according to PWC, which translates into actual income. Sequoia Financial Group achieved 188% ROI with their Salesforce Financial Services Cloud attribution, paying back their investment in one year. Trilogy Financial also reported a 147% ROI in their first year.

Legacy systems, increasingly outdated in modern customer service management, can rely on custom Salesforce integration to assist in digitalization. Startup fintech companies can lean on Salesforce to scale and innovate. It’s the all-around package for digital transformation in financial services. Since the majority of services and products by financial institutions are technology-based, they need to be able to achieve and demonstrate agility, data integrity, simplify their technology infrastructure, and look at encompassing cloud computing  infrastructure, AI, digital twins, etc. to extract the most value from their technology investments.

For financial services providers, be it banking or capital markets, asset or wealth management, or insurance, cloud computing (SaaS/PaaS/IaaS/BaaS/DaaS…. XaaS) is the key factor for secure, compliant and connected services delivery. Sophisticated cloud computing solutions are winning consumers and businesses over by freeing them from the complexity and costs of legacy IT infrastructures, enabling extreme flexibility, giving control over their data, and providing on-demand global connectivity.

Moving towards digital transformation is not an easy undertaking for the industry, which we know is typically associated with a closed, cumbersome, and highly regulated environment. While the way to digital is hard, risky, and differs for every organization, Salesforce makes it manageable.  It is a cloud platform that allows you the custom integrations you need to meet your specific business requirements. It is popular among developers and software vendors and they can assure that all the CRM software needs in the BFSI sector can be professionally met.

Our seasoned team at Avenga can help implement your next Salesforce project with expertise in everything from customized Salesforce integration to Salesforce mobile app development.  

Digital transformation in financial services: technology and solutions mindset

Where is the Financial Services Industry on its journey to digital? A whitepaper by Avenga explains digital transformation for financial business resilience. Demystify key challenges affecting the Financial Industry and find out how to evaluate your paths to digital.

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