Blog 360 View Sep 30, 2020 12:44:41 PM

A Must-Have in Your 2021 Budget


CRM: It’s no longer about IF you should, it’s about WHEN you will!

In light of 2020, budgeting for CRM should be near the top of your list. While many banks and credit unions continue to have reduced or no lobby hours, the ability to offer efficient and effective remote banking is driving the business. If the question used to be, “Should I or when should I budget for CRM?” the current question is “How do I budget properly for CRM?” or even “How do I revise my strategic plan to reflect the large role CRM is now playing in day-to-day banking, then budget accordingly?”

If budgeting for CRM is not in your current plan, it needs to be! The changes wrought by COVID-19 have made CRM the system that ensures “sales are pursued, customers are served, and employees are productive, even when they’re out of the office,” noted Glen Marks at Forbes. With that in mind, here are four tips for budgeting for CRM as you enter this year’s budgeting process.

Four Tips for Your Budgeting Pitch

1. Capitalize on the moment.

It’s the wrong time to overlook the importance of your upcoming technology expenditures. The current circumstances, which have made remote banking central, tell you that a discerning technology investment begins with a robust CRM platform—that means having a tool that addresses several pressing issues:

  • Effective remote work for customer-facing team members
  • Seamless digital feel for customers no longer coming into a branch
  • Automated email for communicating common and personalized information to all customers

2. Talk about both sides of the financial equation.

CRM, in its proper application, can reduce operating costs by increasing efficiencies, and it can increase revenue through its sales and marketing functions. You should talk about examples of both.

Operations Impacts

  • CRM deployment often prompts a review of a financial institution’s internal process, highlighting areas ripe for gaining efficiencies.
  • CRM prompts game-changer knowledge sharing between departments. For example, a CRM allows for an integrated, multichannel view of each customer and each lead, which encourages a productive and responsive relationship between sales teams and marketing teams and ties together back office support with the front line..
  • CRM offers every team access to your customer information and complete interaction history. You can keep track of what’s already been offered or communicated and avoid duplicating efforts.

Revenue Impacts

  • CRM gives you a better understanding of who your customers are and what they need. You can then target your interactions with them accordingly. This helps you to strategically up-sell, cross-sell, and nurture clients across all mediums.
  • CRM offers robust marketing automation functionality; scaling personalized outreach to your customers puts campaigns into action and impacts the bottom line.
  • CRM brings data together so that you can quickly know the value of customer accounts and household relationships and see customer ranking, trends, and month-to-date profitability. This allows salespeople to identify where the opportunities are and focus their efforts where it will have the most impact. The ability to segment customers according to profit equips you to better manage relationships and increase profits.

3. Talk to potential CRM partners before the budgeting moment-of-truth.

Costs vary significantly among providers depending on several factors (e.g., an asset-based pricing model which allows for deployment throughout the organization versus a per-seat pricing model which can limit usage.) Implementation times also vary. A 12-month implementation process affects the numbers differently than a 6-month process. Also, some CRM providers offer pricing plans when pitching their product, while others offer custom pricing tailored to your specific needs and current structure.

4. Already have a CRM? Negotiate an upgrade.

If your institution already has a CRM in place, it’s the perfect time to consider budgeting for improvements. Maybe the current product you are using is no longer the best fit for your organization. Some older products only update once or twice a month. Daily imports of data provide the most up-to-date picture of your customer putting you in the best position to serve. Investigate the latest CRM products available including the cost and ease of a transition. If you are happy with your current CRM, determine if there are modules (e.g., analytics, goals and incentives tracking, frontline pop-up messaging tool) you could add to increase the positive application of your system. Or, perhaps your provider offers customizations of your current CRM, which could increase efficiency and productivity.


With the right CRM in place, you’ll be equipped to manage the “new normal” at your institution as well as launch strategic sales, service, and marketing initiatives that benefit your business and attract the right customers. Don’t miss the current budgeting moment that will empower and position your team today and in the future.

Build Your Sales and Service Foundation with 360 View

By including a CRM in your bank or credit union’s 2021 budget, you’ll be better positioned to act on the initiatives and goals you set for your organization over the year. 360 View wants to help you build the necessary foundation for taking these actions. Our growth platform offers robust capabilities that you can take advantage of as you create more data-driven, personalized customer experiences.

We want to help you get started on the right foot during this budgeting season. Download our white paper about some of the lesser-known benefits of CRM that you can't afford to be without. 


Topics: CRM