RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • For financial firms, a client lifecycle management (CLM) approach to customer relationship management (CRM) can enrich both models.
  • Replacing a fragmented approach to data with a holistic, enterprise-wide strategy can improve both data and efficiency.
  • When client risks—and needs—are identified earlier in onboarding, regulations can be more easily met and clients better served.


Financial firms have access to reams of client data—but may be reluctant to tap its value. Is the data of high quality? What about the risk of data loss? Can data truly help prevent fraud and other financial crime?

One way to derive quality data might be a client lifecycle management (CLM) approach. When CLM is integrated into customer relationship management (CRM) processes a financial firm can benefit in the form of improved decision making, more effective client prospecting and even cross-divisional client reporting—all while protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and observing crucial “need to know” principles.

Unlocking CRM’s untapped potential

On their own, CRM systems might often function as little more than giant client address books—capturing and storing data but doing little with it.

What if the CRM process is reorganized through a CLM lens? This could equip financial institutions to collect, access and analyze client needs on an up-front basis, assessing each client’s potential and matching them to existing offers—while also meeting compliance needs. The data gains could be significant on a few fronts:

Addressing identified risks

Client risk analysis becomes part of onboarding, and insights into addressing identified risks are gleaned even before onboarding is complete.

Speeding up onboarding

Needs are identified earlier, providing timely opportunities for third-party data and direct client communications—speeding onboarding.

Focus on client relationships

Automation helps sales professionals focus on client relationships rather than redundant tasks and ongoing requests for more data.

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Integrating CLM and CRM begins with changing the onboarding process so it prioritizes consolidated client management alongside process efficiency. This means avoiding fragmentation of client data, instead routing it into enterprise-level reporting to capture greater insight. The firm then can build out processes such that delivered services are managed at the client level, as opposed to the product or account level.

The Fenergo example

Our strategic alliance with Fenergo illustrates this approach in action. Fenergo’s consolidated, omni-channel approach means each client’s digital journey—regardless of channel—is managed centrally. The solution provider’s single-system technology tracks every step of every CLM journey, from onboarding to maintenance, giving all stakeholders a consolidated view. The front office, middle office and client can move seamlessly from channel to channel. Centralized, omni-channel onboarding is, for Fenergo, a new reality.

An added advantage? Regulatory concerns also are addressed. A single regulatory engine protects the business as compliance statements are prepared. It also supports lines of business with their own risk leveling strategies.

Getting to CLM/CRM integration

Every financial firm is at a different point in terms of its CLM maturity, so technology solutions should have a configurable architecture that can meet any given firm’s specific needs. While some firms may be tempted to begin with a low-cost provider, they might be wiser to start with the end in mind, choosing a provider equipped to meet their eventual, longer-term goals.

Wherever they are in their CLM journey, financial firms should consider shifting to trigger-based, “automatic” KYC processes. These:

  • Use forced digital channels for clients to submit their data
  • Tap multiple third-party data sources to input or challenge data in the process
  • Enhance risk identification during onboarding, reducing time to onboard

The integrated CLM/CRM approach delivers clear benefits, such as:

Greater efficiency

Shifting to a mandate process versus a “cheaper is better” mindset promotes healthy, sustainable cost management and the chance for increased sales.

Reduced complexity

A CRM approach that includes digital journey management/orchestration helps firms build targeted client solutions while reducing onboarding complexity.

Prospecting support

This approach can support client prospecting—by identifying opportunities and by spotting potential risks related to client business cases.

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An integrated approach brings significant benefits that can help financial firms better onboard clients while addressing regulatory concerns. Are you ready to guide your firm toward a frictionless, digitalized, innovative approach? Let us collaborate with you to build your CLM/CRM solution. To learn more, contact Accenture.

About the Authors

Philippe Guiral

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting


Jonathan Jones

Director – Finance & Risk, Client Lifecycle Strategy Lead, North America


Harshnil Patel

Director – Salesforce Business Group


James Follette

Vice President – Sales, Fenergo

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