One of the most challenging things I faced when setting up my RIA wasdeciding on a CRM system. I first used Redtail, but I canceled it on the first day of the trial due to the poor interface and user experience.

I then moved on to Saleforce’s Wealth Management edition but found a better solution by usingForce.comand anoverlay by XLR8 (Concenter Services).

But I was still not happy.

Salesforce (using XLR8) is far too big for my solo practice. It’s nice that its terminology is customized for the financial planning community, but I’m not using it effectively. So I went in search of a more cost-effective CRM package, asking other Gen Y owner-advisors what they were using.

Advisor Sophia Bera at Gen Y Planning and she told me she uses a product called Less Annoying CRM (often referred to as LACRM). I liked the interface, but given my CRM track record, I didn’t want to jump in straight away. I went through the online videos, set up a live demo and participated in their 30-day trial.

I also made sure that this system would do what I wanted it to do. I need a contact management system, prospect management, a workflow system for existing clients, and email/contact integration. I also need it to log emails seamlessly.

It turns out that LACRM offers most of the functionality I got with the Salesforce/XLR8 combination, but in a much cleaner way. And the annual cost of using LACRM is 10% of the annual Salesforce and XLR8 licenses -- that's very important for a startup.

I’m only one month into using the product, but I really hope my CRM journey is over for the near future. I’m happy with the software I’m using right now, and don’t want the headache of researching and changing to another one.

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