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Succession plans and business continuity are often treated separately. But in practice, they’re deeply connected. Nowhere is this more true than in Financial Services.

Faced with the uncertainty created by an aging workforce, and the looming threat of acquisition, practices of all sizes need to prepare for the future — or chance damaging service disruption. In this article, we show you the difference between your succession and business continuity plan, and how you can leverage CRM to ensure your practice runs smoothly across inevitable speedbumps.

Succession vs. Business Continuity – know the difference

Not to be confused – your succession plan and business continuity plan each deal with different scenarios. But like puzzle pieces, both serve as indispensable and interlocking parts of a bigger picture.

Your business continuity plan deals specifically with preparation for an unexpected event – like an office fire, a data breach, or a staff member getting sick. It includes measures like safe storage of client data. It entails assigning responsibility to an individual who takes charge of operations during an emergency.

A succession plan, in contrast, tackles the foreseeable: a staff-member leaving your business or when an advisor passes a book of business to a new owner.

In practical terms, your succession plan entails ensuring client data is kept up to date; ensuring your clients are properly segmented; and setting up data capture processes according to industry standards. That way, you crush new advisor learning curves, with everything they need to get up to speed handed to them on a silver platter, including information about your processes, your clients and their products.

CRM: The tool for business continuity and succession

No CRM can ever be a one-size fits all solution. Every practice relies on a different combination of FinTech to meet their unique client needs. CRM truly shines, however, given the way it empowers you to embed your processes in code, allowing for standardization and a degree of automation.

In a multi-office practice or MGA, CRM brings everything together into a single location. This creates visibility across your organization, while laying the groundwork for your business continuity and succession plans.

Indeed, an industry-specific CRM simplifies succession planning by ensuring your book of business is organized according to industry standards. With pre-built workflows for KYC Checks, previous contact history, accounts, and any other products a client may use — right out of the box — Financial CRM ensures your advisors follow best practices for data capture.

Additionally, Financial CRM fortifies your business against data loss with secure cloud storage, negating the need for costly in-house setups. Don’t take our word on it. Read up on the many virtues of cloud storage yourself. Any cloud CRM used for Financial CRM should provide state-of-the-art security. As rule of thumb, you can ask about the Tier Rating of your vendor’s data centers. The best on offer, Tier IV, will take every precaution, such as daily backups, complete server redundancy, third party penetration testing, and 24/7 intrusion detection monitoring.

Putting your plan in place

Ultimately, CRM is more than a place to stow contacts. It can serve as the foundation of any successful practice. Let’s look at the steps to using your Financial CRM to prepare for the future:

1. Move your contacts into a CRM: By moving your contacts to a cloud CRM, you immediately ensure their safety with world-class security at a monthly subscription cost your business can easily absorb.

2. Organize your Data: Next, you can use your CRM’s pre-built workflows to organize your client data capture; or personalize your solution to match your way of doing business.

3. Segment your client base: Using your CRM’s advanced searches and filters, you can also organize your client contacts into subgroups using criteria like age, net worth, products they have purchased — or any number of other behavior.

4. Implement consistent processes: Finally, you likely already have processes for onboarding, setting up accounts and purchasing products. By embedding those processes in your CRM, you allow for their complete documentation, enhancing visibility, while providing future advisors clear guidelines for how they should do their job.

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