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How best practice methodology can boost returns from sell side CRM


Key business objectives and processes can be centralised, measured and managed to achieve significant business value and distinct differentiation.

Firms have different approaches to client engagement, and their use of CRM but effective use of a sophisticated system can help a business differentiate its services in a highly competitive marketplace. There are many key business objectives and processes that can be centralised, measured and managed to achieve significant overall business value.

These are typically treated in a common way:

  • Identify a key business process/objective that can be quantified and managed via CRM
  • Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) which reflect the business’ current performance against that process/objective
  • Implement reports which quantify and visualise performance to give end users and management an instant view of current status, and the ability to take informed action based on that intelligence as required

Examples from key business areas:

Maximise individual institutional sales productivity

Objective: To give each salesperson an up to date view of activity and revenue production against their accounts, enabling them to focus their activities appropriately and take advantage of specific opportunities in real time. KPIs might include most read emails/research, recent/upcoming activities, recent/forecast commissions.

Maximise institutional sales management visibility

Objective: To provide sales management with an overview of the entire client base and a picture of how well key clients are being serviced, enabling them to set priorities accordingly. KPIs might include recent/upcoming activities (broken down by e.g. by type, tier, sector, salesperson), research metrics, revenue production, trading activity.

Increase industry survey performance

Objective: To maximise the firm’s performance in industry surveys by tracking client feedback in the run up to the vote. KPIs might include which clients have been asked for / have offered a vote (broken down by e.g. tier, sector, sales person).

Maximise account revenue visibility

Objective: To provide instant visibility of revenue production against key accounts in order to align and monitor activity appropriately. KPIs might include rankings of account by revenue (broken down e.g. by tier).

Maximise account profitability

Objective: To provide visibility of the ‘profitability’ of an account and a measure of whether the account is currently over- or under-serviced. KPIs might include (per account) commission (yesterday, MTD, YTD), budget (annual, YTD), revenue vs budget (absolute, %), activities by type.

Maximise impact of research initiation

Objective: To maximise the impact of initiation on a new stock across the institutional client base. KPIs might include (per initiation) number of meetings booked to discuss initiation (broken down by e.g. tier, region, salesperson), downloads of initiation report (broken down by e.g. account, tier, region).

Maximise visibility of sector performance

Objective: To provide an overview of all activity relating to particular sectors across the institutional client base. KPIs might include (per sector) recent/upcoming meetings, bespoke projects, downloads (broken down by e.g. account, tier, region)

Maximise overall research consumption

Objective: To provide a high level overview of research consumption across the institutional client base. KPIs might include email conversion ratios, downloads (broken down by e.g. account, tier, sector, month, analyst, report).

Summarise trading activity

Objective: To provide an overview of current trading activity. KPIs might include volumes (broken down by e.g. sector, month), most/least traded names.

Communicate corporate client activity levels

Objective: To provide an overview of all services undertaken on behalf of a corporate client so  that accurate feedback can be provided to them. KPIs might include (per corporate) institutional activities (broken down e.g. by salesperson, corporate broker), research downloads (broken down by e.g. account/contact).

Maximise performance of corporate client marketing campaigns

Objective: To provide an overview of marketing activities relating to a specific corporate client. KPIs might include recent/upcoming activities (broken down by e.g. account, tier, contact, salesperson/analyst), research downloads.

Maximise performance of corporate client IPO

Objective: To provide an overview of activities relating to an IPO for a specific corporate client. KPIs might include (per IPO) recent/upcoming activities (broken down by e.g. account, tier, region, salesperson / corporate financier).

Singletrack’s experience

Working with firms on four continents, Singletrack has developed a best practice methodology which it offers to all clients. Using clients’ individual culture and organisational characteristics to inform the deployment of the system is key to getting the results above. The aim is to create a ‘virtuous circle of adoption’ – when users get value from the platform, they use it more, they gain even more value, and they use it even more.

In fact, the firms that get most from Singletrack’s product are those which make a commitment to bring the platform to the heart of their business. The most productive policy is to utilise the platform fully for as many business processes as possible, within the bounds of its functionality and intended use.

Naturally, end users’ suggestions or concerns should be listened to and acted upon. The analysis of end user feedback ensures as positive and valuable a user experience as possible.

Nonetheless the cultural starting point has to be one of mandatory adoption, encouraged by an active support programme that makes sure end-user and management’s ongoing needs and desires are met.

About the author

Prior to co-founding Singletrack, Stuart Berwick spent a decade in business and technology leadership roles in the capital markets business units of major investment banks. As global head of Research technology for JP Morgan, Stuart led a large and diverse team of technologists spread across Europe, the US and Asia, developing and supporting innovative content management, collaboration and analytics solutions both for internal trading groups and the bank’s institutional and hedge fund clients.

Singletrack’s cloud-based CRM, client engagement and research monetisation systems are used by leading institutional brokers, investment banks and Independent Research Providers.

Stuart Berwick

Stuart Berwick

Published: 01/03/2017