Quit using your CRM to manage applications
CRMs are wired to assist with sales.
They’re designed to move potential and existing clients through a linear “yes/no” sales funnel, and they’re amazing tools that work well for their intended purpose. However, they should not be mistaken for effective client-facing application management platforms. It’s hard enough for your team to learn and use a CRM. Is that really an experience you would want a client to go through while they’re considering other lenders?
There’s no denying the fact that off the shelf CRM tools are highly customizable. There are so many bells and whistles that one can easily assume an excellent CRM is just as good at the project management requirements necessary for effective application management.
While sales and marketing automations are wonderful tools, they are optimized for moving potential and existing customers toward a decision to purchase something from your organization. The goal is for a client to say “yes” as you move towards a potential close. Quite the opposite occurs once your client has completed the sales cycle to the point where they begin their loan application. The needs actually flip. It's your client who is now yearning for a “yes” from you... and they want to hear it as quickly as possible!
Consider the differences, and where various points of customer and lending team frustration might occur!
Generalized Sales Funnel - End Goal: Client Says Yes
Email campaign to attract interest from as many people as possible
Personalized quotes and offers to attract more interest
Attempt 100% click through rate to ensure as many new leads as possible.
Provide little to no additional information (Click to move forward)
New lead created
Generalized Application Project - End Goal: You Say Yes
Require more than basic contact information to determine eligibility
Ask for large amounts of information, documentation, and clarification
Move all information around internally between departments for review
Multiple stakeholders weigh in on whether or not to say “yes”
Approve only a portion of all final loan packages
The end goal reversed! At the point where a new or existing client is ready to apply, you’re now working on a project with a team member who has little to no access to the same systems as your team. You’re having to relay information with PDF checklists, email threads that cover 5 topics, and phone calls that require additional follow-up via written communication.
If you’re using your CRM to manage client interactions once the application work has begun, you're destined for headaches and lost leads.
Regardless of your ability to quickly receive information and documentation, your CRM is not designed to facilitate interactive communications around key information with your client.
They can’t efficiently identify bottlenecks in application processes over time because a CRM doesn't organize data in a project management orientation that's useful for application processes. It’s not able to inform your client about internal tasks that may cause a delay, send personalized updates that are specific to the progress they’re making, provide real-time pipeline updates across multiple teams and products, or send a note to your client when it’s been a few days since you’ve heard from them.
Every organization should have a CRM, and use it on a regular basis. However, managing applications and expectations with with external clients will be accomplished far effectively with a niche solution. Lenderfit was designed from the ground up as a client-centric application management platform. If this article struck a chord, we'd love to connect!