What a strange question. The answer as to whether inflation is having an impact on anything these days, including the use of your CRM is, well: DUH!
When you take a step back and look at all the time that is required to manually enter and maintain data in your firm’s CRM, financial planning, and other tools you use, one has to ask the question: what does that wasted time cost me now that labor prices are on the rise?
Let’s take a closer look at what it costs to use your CRM, even at today’s staff wages. If you’re not using PreciseFP to gather data from your clients and automatically fill in the fields of your CRM, you are probably losing at least 30 min per new client. Remember, there are a lot of fields beyond simple contact info that need to be carefully manually entered, including assets, liabilities, insurance policies, and more.
Also, if you don’t have a streamlined process in place to update client data with (for example) an annual PreciseFP client information update engagement, you’re also likely wasting time pulling information from an email or a vmail, and then manually entering data into your CRM. That exercise is likely taking you 15 min or more per existing client, when you factor in not only the data entry component, but also the time lost from pivoting from other important tasks that you are likely working on.
Let’s see how much money you could be wasting by doing manual data entry into your CRM:
2 new clients/ mo x $50 = $100/mo
5 client updates/mo x $25 = $125/mo
Monthly cost of manual data entry into your CRM = $225/mo
Yearly cost of manual data entry into your CRM = $2,700/yr
In my view, the above numbers are conservative and assume an average firm rate of $100/hr. Most firms will have a much higher average rate. Also, don’t assume that since you have an admin that works at a lower rate that it isn’t costing you more. Principals and higher-paid staff will likely get pulled into the data gathering exercise if you don’t have an automated process in place currently.
I know that the title of this email was about inflation affecting your CRM and I didn’t really talk much about inflation. The fact of the matter is, inflation is what it is – us little folk can’t do much about it. We all know the cost of pretty much everything is going up and if automating your data gathering process makes sense for an hourly rate of $100, it makes even more sense if it goes up to $110, $120, or even $150/hr.
Here is some food for thought: The reality is, for about half of what it costs to buy a fancy cup of coffee a day, you can automate data gathering and data sharing with your CRM, financial planning tools, and others. So what are you waiting for?
If you are already a PreciseFP user, you get it – your time is valuable. If you’re not already a user, now is not the time to be pound wise and penny foolish. Invest a few dollars a day and modernize your client engagement experience. Your clients will thank you, your staff will thank you, and your bottom line will thank you. And those are not, by any means, over-inflated promises!
Don Whalen, CFP®, President