August 17, 2018

The Top 10 CRMS for Finance Professionals

Working in the finance industry means you could be filling one (or more!) of any number of roles. Whether you’re a financial advisor, financial planner, investment advisor, or wealth manager, there’s a common need to keep client records organized.

Today, most professionals in these fields choose a CRM not just for record and task management, but also for scheduling, email automation, billing, document creation, and more. These advanced systems improve productivity, reduce grunt work, and increase accuracy, allowing you or your firm to spend more time on billable tasks.

Below, we provide an overview of the top 10 CRMs available today that are best suited to finance professionals, including the pros and cons of each system, noteworthy features, and starting prices.

What is a CRM?

Years ago, firms of all sizes, meaning everyone from sole proprietors to large firms, were using separate, non-communicating software for bookkeeping, scheduling, and record management. Modern CRMs are designed to handle most – if not, all – of these processes. They centralize data while including tools to make every process faster.

Every CRM is slightly different, but the goal is always the same: keep data organized and secure; communicate and track communication with contacts; improve productivity by streamlining workflows; and make information as accessible as possible. Intelligent interfaces vary in design, but all accomplish the same feat of ensuring the information you need is accessible while funneling relevant information between you and various channels (such as email, billing, etc.).

For the finance industry, software is designed to track and engage both new prospects and existing accounts. Not only do these systems allow you to keep track of customer information, the software offers guidance by uncovering opportunities to cross-sell, alter an individual or family’s wealth plan when a new option is in their best interest, reduce the time it takes to complete tasks and core documents, just to name a few features.

In the following section, we’ll cover the top CRM software on the market, all of which have a track record of success.

Top 10 Financial CRMS

HubSpot

HubSpot came to the market back in 2006 and has since become a Premier Google Partner, adopting one the company’s most notable intrinsic values into the HubSpot model: make it free. The HubSpot CRM is an incredibly powerful tool.

Rundown of HubSpot CRM Highlights

If you’re working in a financial role with a DIY mentality, the free version of HubSpot CRM is perfect for its nonexistent cost. Surprisingly, you get all the features you would expect from a subscription to another service provider including a deal/task system, an analytics dashboard, storage for up to 1 million records, and many other features. Though it doesn’t inherently support document management, integration with the entire G Suite means these operations (and required storage) can be handled by Google. The only catch is that you’ll have to modify certain bits of the system to fit your specific needs.

If you’d like to check for yourself, you’ll see that the basic HubSpot CRM is free. For those looking to engage new and existing clients with marketing efforts, other options like the Marketing Hub and Sales Hub may prove worth the extra cost. Both services have free pricing tiers as well as several paid options which gradually increase depending on the number of extra features you’d like to use.

Pros 👍

  • It’s completely free, which is ideal for those working on their own or just getting started.
  • To capitalize on new business opportunities, extra features for marketing and sales can be added at a reasonable price.
  • Integration with Outlook or Gmail simplifies communication by putting correspondences at your fingertips.

Cons 👎

  • Because it’s free, it will take some tweaking to get right for your needs, and features are limited.
  • The included document system is ineffective – you will need to retain documents with another service like Google Drive.
  • Email tracking is included, but is limited to the most recent 200 opens, which isn’t ideal for large marketing or sales efforts.

If you like to save money and are undaunted by the task of setting up software to do as you please, HubSpot CRM has an effective toolset at the fiscally sound price of zero dollars. To learn more, click here.

InfoFlo CRM

Carmel Graphics Systems Inc. first emerged on the market with products oriented for graphic designers but later rebranded after selling this system in 2000 to focus on new directions. InfoFlo now offers a variety of solutions, sold in segments that can be hosted on InfoFlo servers or installed to a local machine.

Rundown of InfoFlo CRM Highlights

Because InfoFlo applications are designed to run on a Windows computer, the pricing and fragmentation of services seems odd at first glance. The local installation means you’ll have everything you need on your device, which is ideal for areas with less than adequate Internet service. The InfoFlo CRM Basic comes with all the core features you would typically see in hosted variations including a contact management system, a task-and-workflow system, and a document management system, among other useful components. It is ideal for those used to working with Outlook as the option syncing option allows access to several functions within your email.

If you’re looking to simply install the system on a Windows machine (or Mac with Boot Camp and ideally, Parallels Desktop), there is a one-time fee of just $99 for the InfoFlo CRM which includes a lifetime of updates. Several add-ons are available, most notably the InfoFlo Outlook Sync, which runs an additional $79 for the product and a lifetime of updates. Optionally, users could take advantage of the InfoFlo Cloud Phone System at $19.99 a month, tethering communication with the CRM.

Pros 👍

  • ‍For those with a great backup plan, this locally-installed software is an incredible value.
  • ‍A cloud-hosted option is available at $79 a month, meaning you can access your information from anywhere.
  • ‍Additional InfoFlo Project Management at $79 is worth the extra cost for better control of large investment accounts.

Cons 👎

  • As it doesn’t run as cloud-based service, InfoFlo only accessible from the machine(s) where it’s installed.
  • The hosted option makes the amount of money saved by purchasing the software outright practically negligible.
  • Other systems have a feature built-in for online contact forms however, you can add this service for $9 a month.

Those who love the idea of owning something over the increasingly popular subscription model will enjoy InfoFlo for its capabilities to serve anyone in the finance industry. To learn more, click here.

Maximizer CRM

In 1987, Maximizer Software Inc. began nurturing their brand by serving the financial industry with useful software, steadily acquiring high-profile accounts over the past few decades. This experience allowed the company to create the versatile Maximizer CRM, arguably one of the most efficient CRMs on the market.

Rundown of Maximizer CRM Highlights

The Maximizer CRM is designed for use for financial professionals and it contains a few other features that are uncommon for finance-oriented software. The all-in-one CRM ties into a workflow system, complete with a document management system. There is a sales automation portion, similar to other systems designed for this particular aspect of the business, however it is not the secondary focus of the Maximizer system. For times when a problem arises, there is a unique ticketing system which is helpful in addressing errors, as it allows issues to be addressed in a more organized fashion. The company will also tailor the system to do what you like if the base version of Maximizer CRM isn’t to your liking.

The company does offer an on-premise solution where you can purchase a license outright, but this pricing isn’t revealed on the website however, there is a monthly option that runs $40 a user per month with a 5-user minimum. Their hosted solutions start at $60 a month per user with a (negotiable) 2-user minimum which provides all the CRM features, unlimited records, fields, support, and 75 Gb of data for storage. For just another $5 a month, the “financial advisor” variation adds additional tools for investment accounts and insurance policy management as well as includes several prebuilt workflows based on industry standards.

Pros 👍

  • ‍Decades of experience have made this an ideal CRM option, with special thanks to a minimal learning curve and unlimited support included.
  • ‍Though you can customize Maximizer by altering fields and making your own workflows, they will do it for you at your request.
  • ‍Included sales and ticketing features are both highly valuable in converting leads and resolving issues for customers, respectively.

Cons 👎

  • Some report that certain processes seem to be consistently slow, namely syncing with Outlook, though this process is a two-way street.
  • Calendar feature and integrations aren’t as well developed as most competitors.
  • The Maximizer CRM is easily one of the best options on the market for the price – even if you’re a solo practitioner, they will cut you a deal. To learn more, click here.

Method CRM

The Method system originated as a software called QXpress back in 2001 where over the next few years the founder would realize, as many other developers did in that era, the value in making highly customizable software affordable and accessible. Eventually, the Method system would be launched in 2010, and then refined over the years to become the unique system it is today.

Rundown of Method CRM Highlights

The Method CRM is one of the most unique CRMs in the list in the sense that it designed to work around QuickBooks to assist a variety of different business roles, especially those in finance. The CRM system features a full contact management that syncs both ways with QuickBooks. It includes a customizable web form tool for intakes that pushes information provided by potential customers into the system. This funnels into the sales automation system which translates into the workflow system that can be tailored for any financial process. The customer portal allows customers to access their information as well as make payments, when necessary.

The Contact Management plan pricing is the least expensive option, starting at $28 a month per user, providing the basic contact management system, QuickBooks, and custom apps. In order to take full advantage of Method, the CRM Pro plan will run $49 a month per user per month. This plan enables online payments to be made through the customer portal. It also unlocks the sales-pipeline function.

Pros 👍

  • ‍Solid syncing service greatly reduces the time it takes to generate invoices.
  • ‍Secure customer portal allows clients to easily gain an overview of their account as well as make payments, if necessary.
  • ‍A specialist will help you integrate and modify the system, specific to your workflow needs at any price point.

Cons 👎

  • Because it’s so heavily integrated with QuickBooks, it’s best for smaller operations.
  • Industry workflows need to be manually defined so it takes some tweaking for wealth managers, advisors, and planners.
  • Extra features such as purchase transaction for vendor invoicing, bulk email campaigns, and case management are all available but feature each run an extra $10 a month.

The Method CRM system is an affordable and powerful system, which is ideal for financial professionals who rely on QuickBooks for their accounting needs. To learn more, click here.

Pipedrive CRM

The Pipedrive CRM, which originated in 2010, is focused on engagement with application to various roles in finance. It was designed with a sales-lens to provide better tools, rather than just reporting mechanics that provide a surface-level view for upper management. The system has since expanded to serve multiple business verticals and finance roles.

Rundown of Pipedrive CRM Highlights

One of the best parts of Pipedrive is the design around the client acquisition process, which is one of the most difficult challenges faced in solo operations and smaller financial firms. The interface is visually designed to provide insight for the whole sales cycle, and other tools within the system allow you move a converted lead into a different cycle, depending on the exact services you provide. There are a variety of integrations available with Google products and 3rd party project management software, such as Trello. By pulling in additional integrations, the foundation of the Pipeline CRM becomes a powerful tool for efficiently managing your entire business.

Pricing is remarkably low, considering many CRM systems catering to sales optimization can be pricey. The Silver package starts at $15 a month per use which provides barebones services. At $29 a month per user when paid monthly, you unlock 2-way email sync and tracking, providing in-depth analytics for marketing and sales campaigns for generating new business from both existing clients and prospective customers.

Pros 👍

  • Ideal for firms of any size for managing sales processes and acquiring new customers.
  • ‍Modular design means you won’t be stuck paying for features you won’t utilize.
  • Low price, email insights and visual dashboards are perfect for internal teams to target the best prospects.

Cons 👎

  • Not inherently designed for any specific finance role – you’ll have to customize the system.
  • The modular design also means investing time to mold something into the perfect fit.
  • Those organically acquiring new clients might be better suited for an out-of-the-box finance CRM.

For financial professionals with a mind for increasing revenue with a better sales experience, this is one of the best solutions available for the functions specifically geared toward converting new and existing clients into a mutually profitable relationship. To learn more, click here.

ProsperWorks CRM

Throughout the years of developing other successful businesses, the founders of ProsperWorks CRM came to the realization that most CRM systems were too complex which would later lead them to invest in a team who could design a simple but powerful system. Today, the fruits of this labor are known as ProsperWorks CRM.

Rundown of ProsperWorks CRM Highlights

The core of this system is built around a sales-focused engine that improves visibility for sales efforts, making the entire conversion process more efficient. Of the several solutions tweaked for different industries, the ProsperWorks for Financial Services solution adds relevant features for portfolio management, investment staging, and a contact-indexing system, among many other features, to fit just about every niche in the finance world. Integration with the entire G Suite supplements primary tools for other processes, for example, saving time in manually entering data during intake with a Google Form.

The Basic plan for the ProsperWorks system is priced at $24/month per user for up to three users and includes a simplified feature set with limited 3rd party integrations (aside from Google) and 2 Gb of total storage. At $69 a month per user, the Professional plan expands on features, allowing for email tracking, MailChimp integration, includes 200 Gb of storage, and offers several other features.

Pros 👍

  • Perfect solution for smaller firms looking to do small sales campaigns with a powerful contact management system.
  • ‍High number of integrations allows you replace some aspects of the system with preferred 3rd party software.
  • ‍Visual information allows those to quickly parse information and adjust attention to pertinent matters.

Cons 👎

  • The Basic plan is limited so those looking to conduct heavy marketing will need to start at the Professional tier.
  • If there’s an issue with the software, phone support isn’t included with anything lower than the $119 a month per user Business plan.
  • Will likely require some time to figure out the best combination of useful addons, depending on how you plan to use the system.

As a system engineered with user experience (UX) as the top priority and the inclusion of a slew of integrations, ProsperWorks CRM is solid choice for finance professionals. To learn more, click here.

Redtail CRM

Redtail has been around since 2003 and now serves as a web-based technology provider, offering a small number of focused applications. The Redtail CRM is finance-oriented system, offering a several tools specifically designed to cater to the needs of the industry.

Rundown of Redtail CRM Highlights

The Redtail CRM is one of a few services offered by Redtail – other services such as Redtail Imaging complement the core CRM system by supplementing storage and auditing tools. On its own, the actual CRM portion offers a contact management system with a highly visible indexing system, which is useful for tagging certain items to find at other times, like when data has value for other accounts. This all ties into a document management system which can be optionally supplemented with the Redtail Speak service, a messaging service for securely sharing texts and documents with staff and clients.

The Redtail CRM has a straightforward pricing model at $99 a month, with a generous allotment of up to 15 users. If you would like to add the Redtail Speak service, this will run an additional $79 a month for these 15 users and the Redtail Imaging service will add another $49 a month for up to 10 Gb of storage.

Pros 👍

  • ‍High number of users enables a competitive price in the finance CRM market.
  • ‍Even for small firms or just a single user, this system is affordable plus, the automation tethered to accounts will greatly improve productivity.
  • ‍Firms looking to keep personal contact info private but keeping communication channels open, Redtail Speak is worth the extra money.

Cons 👎

  • The Redtail Imaging service is limited in storage space compared to less expensive hosted storage solutions.
  • Some features such as the built in social tool that links to Twitter may go underutilized.
  • Straightforward interface may not be appealing for those looking for dazzling visuals, but it moves quickly.

Redtail CRM is a stellar value for a CRM for those who need more than 5 to 10 active users. To learn more, click here.

Salesforce IQ

As perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the CRM field, Salesforce has the ability to accommodate any industry. The Salesforce IQ CRM is designed to be more accessible to smaller businesses with easily modifiable operations at an affordable price point.

Rundown of Salesforce IQ CRM Highlights

This system runs on  the same framework that has made Salesforce the top CRM in the world. Until recently, it wasn’t an ideal option for those below enterprise-grade business, but the Salesforce IQ allows customization via easy app integrations, meaning no coding is required. Depending on the direction you want to go as well as your specific role in finance, you can choose the apps you know you’ll need to be successful or speak with customer support to help guide you in selecting the best package. There are also systems specifically designed for wealth managers, financial advisors, insurance professionals, and others in the finance industry, for around the same price.

For a basic system with five users or less, the pricing is $25/user per month for the Lightning Essentials package, when billed annually, and includes some integrations, contact management tools, and interconnected workflows. At $75/month per user when billed annually, several additional features are unlocked under the Lightning Professional plan such as contract and quoting tools, a lead registration tool that other partners or referrers can use, Google App integrations, and more.

Pros 👍

  • ‍Well-backed system is a leading choice because of superior functionality and a large support community.
  • ‍Works out of the box but will need some tweaking unless selecting a package for your specific role in finance.
  • ‍Known for having one of the best dashboards in the CRM industry plus, it can be customized to reflect your preferences.

Cons 👎

  • Lots of intertwining and different names for similar products is confusing when navigating the site.
  • Known for having one of the best dashboards in the CRM industry plus, it can be customized to reflect your preferences.
  • To get the full Salesforce suite of tools, you’ll need at least the Lightning Enterprise plan, starting at $150 per user per month.

Salesforce is considered the best in CRM systems. Now, the simplified and less expensive Salesforce IQ and Lightning pricing options makes it accessible for everyone. To learn more, click here.

UGRU CRM

Founded in 2011, the UGRU system is designed to be the best-in-class CRM for financial professionals. Rather than positioning themselves as a CRM provider, the company considers the UGRU service to be a comprehensive financial practice management Suite.

Rundown of UGRU CRM

The UGRU CRM is an award-winning system for good reason, as this feature-rich system has the entire breadth of financial tools you’ll see in competitor systems, although it is one of the most expensive solutions on the market. The base of the system is designed with automation in mind for financial processes, automating sales and then funneling customers into a highly sophisticated financial-planning module. The contact management system works with other systems such as the "workflow and financial planning" service, plus, it syncs your emails and calendar, and provides document management. Everything also ties into the sales pipeline tool, which assists with forecasting and planning day-to-day activities.

The most basic option is the CRM Plus plan that will cost $59 a month for up to 3 users. Core features are included such as the contact management system, the financial planning tools, lead management, and 10 Gb of storage per user. The Performance package jumps in price, running $139 a month per user, but adds additional tools like mass emailing, a client portal, and a full document management system. The Professional package is priced at $179 a month per user and adds several tools for marketing automation.

Pros 👍

  • ‍The financial planning tool is a great asset for advisors and wealth management professionals.
  • Customer service is highly accessible and more than willing to assist with teaching more advanced processes or help modify the system.
  • ‍A large variety of built-in tools means you won’t need to spend time integrating 3rd party apps or learning other systems.

Cons 👎

  • Expensive with respect to the price points for most competitor systems.
  • Storage is limited at 10 Gb a user however each additional 10 GB of storage can be purchased for $14.99
  • Though it is self-proclaimed practice management system, it doesn’t offer a great inventory system for asset management.

Though the UGRU CRM may be pricey, it more than makes up for the cost considering the services it provides in streamlining the conversion of new clientele and the practice-optimizing benefits of the workflow system. To learn more, click here.

Zoho CRM

Zoho was originally conceived in the mid-'90s under a different name, Advent, Inc., until 2009 when the company was renamed to reflect its copious online solutions. A wide range of products, including Zoho CRM, work seamlessly with other applications in the family as well as play nicely with most third-party services.

Rundown of Zoho CRM Highlights

In the realm of CRM solutions, Zoho CMR starts at one of the lowest price points and can scale to match the power of virtually any competitor on the market. For those on the smaller end of the spectrum, the bare-bones Zoho CRM is will save time however, many find benefit in appending additional tools such Zoho Invoice to greatly improve productivity. The industry-specific Zoho Finance Plus includes a suite of tools such inventory tools, a more sophisticated billing system and integrated payment processing, inventory management tools, an expense feature, and many others. Too, Zoho has a wide selection of tools you can plug into the system to tailor it to your liking.

You can start by using the Zoho CRM solution for as little as $12 per month for each user and manually link services like Zoho Invoice (which has a free option) for invoicing and payment processing and Zoho Sign (starting at $10 a month a user) allowing customers to digitally sign documents. Small or large organizations can take advantage of the Zoho One solution, Zoho Finance Plus, starting at $99 a month for up to 10 users, which includes a variety of applications specifically designed for financial operations.

Pros 👍

  • ‍The basic Zoho CRM is inexpensive and useful just as a standalone CRM.
  • ‍Adding other Zoho applications into your service is as simple as installing an app from a marketplace to a smart phone.
  • ‍The Zoho Finance Plus is a great deal, considering the lowest plan provides access for 10 users with their own spaces plus, several included applications.

Cons 👎

  • Manually creating perfect an ideal system requires overcoming a slight learning curve.
  • Lots of options for custom installations – just like apps for other platforms like Android and iOS, not all are good.
  • Smaller firms may find that certain tools for large marketing campaigns aren’t useful for their model of operation.

Putting a little time into the base Zoho CRM and adding à la carte services can make for a perfect custom system and save money. You can also opt for the value-rich Zoho Finance Plus option. To learn more about Zoho, click here. To learn more about the Zoho Finance Plus package, click here.

Is your favorite CRM missing?

Are you a finance professional using a CRM that's not on this list, but that you'd like to recommend? Please share its pros and cons in the comments below! Be sure to mention your specific profession to provide context.

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