The program, which was released on March 8, allows subscribers to combine multiple data sources, such as bank accounts, investments, life insurance, and retirement savings plans into one customer profile-based resource, streamlining a process that often requires advisors to check 20 different systems when responding to a single question, Simon Mulcahy, Salesforce’s general manager of financial services, said.
“It’s very difficult to prioritize as an advisor,” he said. “You’ve got so many tasks going on, and… 20 or 30 different systems, each containing a fragment of the client’s profile, and it’s incredibly taxing to stitch them together to create a unified view.”
With Financial Services Cloud, all of the client’s information is in one place and can be accessed from any compatible desktop or mobile device, or even integrated into a financial services company’s existing enterprise software, Mulcahy said.
The program also presents advisors with more opportunities to engage with their clients, by encouraging them to reach out when user-defined triggers such as when significant portfolio shifts occur; or by tracking goals such as a client’s savings or mortgage payment plan and providing updates when certain milestones are reached – a significant improvement over the quarterly updates that are standard in the industry, Mulcahy said.
“It puts those moments of relevance at the advisor’s fingertips,” he said. “The result is a deeper relationship.”
To combine such a disparate range of services into one program, Salesforce is collaborating with more than 20 partners to deliver Financial Services Cloud, offering services such as data protection through cloud security firms CipherCloud and Blue Coat Systems Inc.; client acquisition through content marketing firms Idio and WealthEngine; electronic signature, delivery, and financial document management services through DocuSign and eSignLive; and implementation services from consultation firms such as Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte.
“So it wasn’t just Salesforce on our own, toiling away in a back office somewhere,” Mulcahy said. “It was very much done with end-users all the way through.”
Financial advisors interested in taking advantage of Financial Services Cloud can sign up for a free 30-day trial on the Salesforce website.