July 29, 2021

CRM Configuration vs. Customization for Capital Markets and Investment Banking

Choosing the right approach impacts efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Nobody understands the relationship management and workflow needs of the capital market business better than the business itself. So, at first glance, it may seem reasonable that the best route to meeting CRM requirements is to build it in house. Over time, however, highly customized systems become increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain and upgrade, bringing up the question: is CRM configuration more useful than customization?

An Analysis of CRM Configuration and Customization

No firm’s needs remain static. Your business will grow, regulations will evolve and client needs will change. Your software will need to keep pace. A firm must also be prepared to address competing priorities across desks in frequent, costly upgrades. But endless add-ons will be counterproductive, making the system clunkier and less user-friendly, with reduced efficiency resulting in slower adoption and, ultimately, stagnant, or lower revenues.

Employee churn can further exacerbate this, leaving the business without the collective experience and expertise to deliver ROI for clients. And in worst-case scenarios, business continuity can be interrupted entirely.

Configurability is an alternative approach that addresses the drive to customize, reduces costs and ensures greater flexibility. This leads to higher rates of adoption, allows the system to scale, and future-proofs it against changes in business, client, or market requirements.

Advantages of a Configurable CRM

“Configurable” and “customized” are often used interchangeably but they are not synonymous. A customized CRM is built according to individual specifications and requires requirements gathering, configuration and development cycles for many changes. This demands more effort from the business, increases costs and risks negatively impacting system performance – or interrupting it completely.

Faster, easier, and much less expensive to implement, a CRM with configuration capabilities addresses the collective needs of the business, while still allowing individual users to make changes – with minimal input and no risk.

This is because any modifications are made using the application’s built-in tools – and in Tier1’s CRM these tools are specifically designed for capital markets workflows. The result is a strong, comprehensive, and holistic foundation that goes beyond the perspective of any single firm, but which can also be configured according to individual visualization preferences and workflow requirements.

But if the CRM has been designed for a whole segment of the market, how can it also meet the needs of individual firms?

To illustrate, take the apps on your smartphone. The App Store gives you access to a universe of apps, many of which you will never use but others will. This saves its customers the time, effort, and risk of searching for individual apps across the internet by making it easy to find, add or delete them in one place. All users have access to the App Store, but they do not all need the same apps.

Likewise, clients in a particular market segment often face the same challenges and opportunities and have broadly similar workflows. This means the learnings from one are likely to apply to others and allows for the implementation of CRM best practices.

Knowing How to Configure a CRM

At Tier1, our focus on capital markets allows us to build a complete ‘universe’ of the market’s current and anticipated CRM requirements. It also enables us to identify challenges and potential obstacles across the entire capital markets space, both sell-side and buy-side, which is essential for future-proofing the platform.

While knowing what clients need is crucial, it is only part of the story – knowing how to enable them to achieve their business objectives is equally important. If you must educate your vendor on capital markets workflows and the tools needed to achieve your desired outcomes, it’s probably time to rethink your vendor partner.

At Tier1, we have decades of collective capital markets experience, which enables us to analyze the universe of client needs, identify requirements that are similar across use cases, and personas, and build a solid CRM foundation for all capital markets professionals.

Despite their fundamental similarities, clients also have their own distinct needs and preferences. Tier1’s additional layer of configurability allows clients to modify the platform to suit their individual workflows, without the risk of downtime and the adverse effect this could have on business. Clients also benefit from regular, seamless upgrades as part of their solution, ensuring the business remains productive and compliant.

So rather than missing out, capital markets firms that implement a configurable CRM will gain access to more rather than less functionality, at a lower cost, in a system that will adapt and scale as their business does. Why make any other choice?


Contact us to learn more about Tier1 CRM’s configuration capabilities and workflow solutions for capital markets and investment banking, or to request a Tier1 demo.