When starting a new financial planning office, some technology challenges come even after you’ve made a software decision. Recently, I’ve been struggling with my last piece of software -- a CRM system.

A couple of weeks ago, I tried out different pieces of software and settled on Salesforce Wealth Management edition. However, through a miscommunication I ended up with the standard Professional edition of Salesforce. Since it didn’t really fit my needs, I ended up with two options: switch my license to the Wealth Management edition or look for an appropriate “overlay” -- that is, a vendor who builds a different interface customized for a specific industry’s terms, preferences and business processes. One such overlay for the financial services industry is XLR8, from Concenter Services.

After trying a user demo and watching some videos, I decided that I needed XLR8 to maximize my CRM usage. Its software allows you to build custom workflows for a financial planning practice, and it has added specific fields that apply to financial planning.

I called their team to go through the installation process and costs. What shocked me was that the training was going to be three times more expensive than the software. Even if I chose the specific elements I wanted to be trained on, it was still twice as expensive.

I chose to bypass the training, knowing that I may pick up some training later on down the road. But for now, trial and error will do just fine.

One thing that saved me some money: I didn't need to do any data migration. Since I had all of my contact data in my email, I forwarded the info to my virtual intern to upload. Luckily for both of us, XLR8 does have basic training videos online.

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