Financial Services and Salesforce – What You Should Know in 2021

A few years ago, Salesforce decided to pivot their product offering towards becoming industry-specific. Financial Services was one vertical Salesforce had their eye on.

A few years ago salesforce decided to pivot their offering towards becoming more industry specific financial services was one vertical that salesforce had their eye on fast forward a few years to today has salesforce become a good choice for financial services what should financial services firms know about salesforce in 2021 and the opportunities it could offer

Someone who does have the answers is brian they’re almost a decade’s worth of experience in salesforce strategy and architecture for financial services firms and even more in data systems he’s someone that has now in the future let’s see what he thinks is in store i think first of all we need to define what we mean by financial services can you outline some

Typical organizations we’re referring to here absolutely yeah so that’s a great place to start because particularly there’s a salesforce product called financial services cloud right that we all know about and um it would say in general it applies to obviously the financial services industries but there’s different sort of sub um of that industry um that it

Was really originally built for and still a lot of the use cases really apply there so in terms of like at a high level when we talk about financial services there’s a whole bunch of different types of businesses in there okay we’ve got like um sort of the uh the big folks that you think about when you think about like wall street firms right so you’ve got like

Mutual fund companies money managers asset managers right the fidelities of the world um the folks that run the mutual funds that people invest in um you know that’s one bucket you’ve got the sell side firms or um investment banks like goldman sachs and jp morgan those folks that’s on the big end of the spectrum obviously um you’ve got custody banks you’ve got big

Insurance companies that write a lot of insurance business so that’s one sort of end of the spectrum those are large companies like in our marketing terminology generally speaking we consider them b2b companies right so that’s one end of the spectrum um there’s also another set of financial institutions that you as an individual um are probably used to interacting

With right like mortgage brokers that you mortgage from insurance brokers that you might get your insurance from your bank your community bank your retail bank and those are obviously sometimes smaller companies um and in general are working with individuals maybe small businesses um more on the retail side or b2b side that’s kind of a oversimplification but i

Think for the purposes of salesforce and financial services that’s a good um a good way to look at it and then of course you’ve got your folks who are like um for us in the states like your bank of america’s or your jpmorgans that do like all the above that do retail stuff that do institutional stuff um kind of the next question that comes up when we’re talking

About financial services as an industry is the question of financial services cloud and where that plays in in this obviously salesforce is expanding their offerings all the time um and um you know they have a sort of a roadmap for what they’re going to do with financial services cloud but originally conceived financial services cloud is really playing toward

Um that second group that i was talking about right more of those retail b2b like i’m getting a mortgage and the mortgage broker you know has me in their financial services cloud instance or an insurance broker or my retail bank yeah tasty and i think there’s always um a bit of a risk when we talk in terms of industries and just say okay financial services and

Using that term obviously we’re disguising a lot of different companies and ones that you may never thought would would need a crm say for example as much as the b2c um advisors that you’ll speak that you just referenced and furthermore kind of lumping everyone into okay financial services cloud is a good fit for them which right misconception absolutely maybe

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Let’s take a step back and um so we know that salesforce have really honed in and focused on financial services as a key vertical um over the past few years it’s been very obvious to anyone that’s been watching salesforce as a whole um but based on your experience working in the space what would you say like you know top benefits maybe two to three benefits

That salesforce offers the financial services space just in terms of the tech the core product um i think we in the salesforce ecosystem kind of take this for granted sometimes but the tech is fantastic right like when you compare it to other pieces of software out there like the user experience like especially now with lightning like it’s just very very good

And when we’re comparing it to um other even crm tools that you know uh retail financial services institutions are using like salesforce just in terms of features and user experience is just just really really great so that’s the first thing the second thing i would say is the amount of integrations within salesforce is obviously very very strong and when i say

Integrations i talk about integrations within the salesforce ecosystem and integrations outside of the salesforce ecosystem so what i mean inside the salesforce ecosystem we’ve got core salesforce crm right but then there’s uh marketing automation tools like part or marketing cloud right which are you know you can kind of debate whether or not that’s they’re

Integrating with salesforce or they are salesforce but there’s other tools that that you can play with um with salesforce crm there’s also community cloud basically allows you to create for lack of a better term like a web portal that your customers can interact with with their data their salesforce data directly um so great tools there that that are salesforce

Tools that plug into the core crm system that’s one side of the house the other side there’s a number of obviously industry tools um i mentioned jack henry as one there’s a tool called abrigo um it’s a company called abrigo they have a tool called sageworks um which does uh loan management and loan processing we have a client that um you know recently implemented

The uh sageworks salesforce managed package to integrate the two so there’s these there’s integrations when you’re dealing with like a best-in-class platform there’s a lot of integrations out there either managed by salesforce or not which are great and the third piece that i would say and lucy this probably isn’t a surprise to you like the salesforce community

Like in terms of talent and sharing and resources that are available either um online or in person whenever in person starts happening again like there’s just a lot out there in terms of talent documentation communities all those things that just make as you know when you own a big crm system knowing that you can reach out and get help either for your internal

Staff or external like it’s very very strong um uh uh thing on the salesforce side so that’s what i’d say in terms of kind of top of mind benefits so what opportunities do you think salesforce will offer salesforce as a platform will offer um financial services firms in 2021 like what competitive advantages could they uh hope for yeah i think that um a few things

Keep in mind first is just your sort of um sort of bread and butter uh crm type things that we think about right like um this year uh in the united states the federal payroll protection um program ppp as people call it um was a big thing in the in the states this year was a federal program that gave um loans or grants to small businesses to help them you know

Stay afloat during covid for retail banks community banks credit unions it was a huge opportunity and a huge operational challenge to process all these loans obviously a tool like a sales force not only do they give you the tools but they also have a bunch of thought leadership in this space in terms of how to do customer relations and processing for these types

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Of use cases so that’s one and i mentioned financial services cloud which is another one but i’d also think about sort of things that maybe until recently we’re a little bit maybe considered um aspirational things in the crm space so i mentioned before pardot marketing cloud and community cloud so i consider those things to be um more on the customer experience

Side of the house right like if crm traditionally has been about back office operations and helping your sales and your service team you know individually work with clients and prospects customer experience uh on the web is about giving your customers and prospects better more robust digital experiences and i think that’s where like the leading firms are going do

You think there was a real scramble um when the pandemic the effects of the pandemic hits and do you think people reevaluated the importance of crm or were there other more pressing priorities don’t let a crisis go to waste right where with all this change going on you saw it in the remote work that a lot of companies are maybe for years and years and years they

Talk about remote work work remote work and then all of a sudden in 2020 they need to actually like really significantly take action on i think in the crm in digital space it was the same thing where companies were in the course of three or six months were automating processes um doing things in salesforce or doing things in you know their marketing automation

Tool or even with digital experiences whether it be simple forms or things like experience cloud they were doing a lot more very quickly than they probably expected to so definitely and again i mentioned the ppp program in the united states you know huge inflow for a lot of these banks of uh loan applications that they were processing and technology was really

You know how a lot of them were able to do it successfully so then with people that have approached you so financial services firms specifically that have approached you um and your your team of experts were there any trends and what requirements they were bringing to you i think for a lot of uh firms it was like okay we have an influx of um activity we have an

Influx of let’s say ppp loans that are going on okay how do we get our internal business processes and house in order so we can process these successfully we can process these quickly we can process these in a way that um reduces risk or manages risk right so that’s the one side um but then it’s like once you get as you know once you get the data and the processes

In shape on the back office then it’s like oh wait we can do you know when there used to be maybe a person who is working with people to fill out applications or process applications oh wait now we can transition this um some of this these features to experience cloud community cloud and people can do more of us customers can do more of a self-service model which

Is really exciting because it’s for us like in the crm space for a long time that’s been a like a bit of a holy grail right where you can automate things so your people don’t have to do them or give clients customers direct access so they can do it themselves but do it in a way that’s user friendly that’s seamless that’s on brand that’s um like manages risk and

Make sure the information that you’re getting in is good and sound so um i’d say those are the those are the use cases that we heard a lot about this year yeah i’m just hearing the word risk a lot risk yes yes we’re talking about financial services so lowering risk is a big one it’s like move fast but no risk right right and it’s like your definition in your

Definition of risk changes at different times right during covid when you’ve got ppp your definition of risk changes i worked with a i worked for a big asset management company that big etf provider and you know our definition of risk changed as that crisis happened and as like the government response happened like your things that you need to do change and they

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Change very quickly so definitely uh an important piece so brian you’ve been working on financial services project salesforce projects for financial services fans for i think coming up to a decade isn’t that so what should every financial services firm have top of mind before taking on the sales project um so this could be either a new salesforce customer or an

Existing salesforce customer so the first is understanding that your crm system obviously is sitting within a larger context of applications that your company provides so understanding the role of crm versus your back office system and how people will interact with those tools and that data you know how they’re going to interact um how those tools are going to

Interact from a technology integration perspective but also you know at a high level like how how will people access this data how will they use it and kind of your architecture um side so that’s one piece i would say the other piece is understanding um understanding that there’s opportunities for um kind of the back off office middle office process improvement

And data quality and all those things that are really great and really important but there’s also a ton of opportunity with creating like rich digital experiences for for direct for customers right so that’s the second piece the third piece i’d say is that folks should be thinking about is um is staffing like so if you hire a firm to let’s say implement salesforce

For you once you’re done with that what is staffing going to look like right or even if you already have salesforce and you built it internally like what is the staffing going to look like as you know lucy like within the salesforce space there’s roles called salesforce admin salesforce architect salesforce developer there’s managed services providers which do

Administration but do it on a you know fee for you know on a contract basis as opposed to hiring full-time employees i think that is a really important um a really important piece because what will happen sometimes we’ll go we’ll work with companies and they had um maybe somebody on their team that was great at like apex development and coding right and now we look

At their salesforce org and a lot of standard out-of-the-box features um rather than using standard out-of-the-box features they’ve got apex code legacy apex code that are doing those things and that as as you know it doesn’t scale as well um uh in general towards like as new salesforce features come out so really important to understand um that those different

Roles um serve can serve very different purposes and understand like what you need um and and and what the right uh support model is um so i’d say that’s the that’s the third piece this thing about staffing and ongoing um ownership of the system yeah exactly you can’t leave it unmanaged you can’t leave it untamed um right you may be surprised what kind of mix

Of skills you need to to run that walk right and for in the thing is for a lot of folks like will clients will reach out and they say hey we have this salesforce org do you have any developers or do you have any great architects that you that you recommend because we need to hire somebody and like the first conversation we have is like well what do you what

Are you trying to do because a lot of times you know folks can um really are better suited to have like an admin or even like a managed services provider you you know configure basic out of the box features rather than hiring you know a developer an architect which is higher price point and different skill set different problems that they solve so definitely important

Transcribed from video
Financial Services and Salesforce – What You Should Know in 2021 By Salesforce Ben