02/28/14

The Best Business Loan Pipeline Automation Tool

Business loan departments are starting to see the writing on the wall. The old way of doing things is just not getting it done. The old way of doing business (manila folders, loan officers tied to a desk, tracking down printed paperwork) is not only outdated, but it’s inefficient in today’s fast-paced base business world. Innovative lenders are starting to look for new ways to do business that give them a competitive edge. Many are turning to CRMs (Customer Relationship Management tools like Salesforce), but is that the right choice?

staff-meetingIn these circumstances Chief Lending Officers, Loan Department leaders and Loan Officers are asking themselves, is there a way to improve my volume, efficiency and effectiveness with technology? Is there a best solution for the specific needs and business practices of a Business Loan Department?

Finding the Answer for Your Business Loan Department

Try searching CRM in your browser and you’ll get millions of results. There are enough sales automation applications in the world that you can be selective based on what you really want to accomplish. There are industry giants who have built comprehensive solutions that have been implemented in nearly every industry, but you are not any industry the business loan department has specific needs.

Your real goal is to find a solution that fits your team and your needs not everyone else. So the real question is “How do I identify the best Business Loan Pipeline Management Solution for MY department?” The answer may not be a traditional CRM like Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle there are also specific business loan pipeline automation solutions to consider.

4 Important Questions to Consider When Evaluating Pipeline Automation

There are some good questions you can ask yourself, your organization and potential partners when selecting a CRM or pipeline solution. Here are some recommendations:

1. “Will my team actually use the tool?” 

If there is one question that is most overlooked in selecting a solution this is it. Numerous systems fail not because of poor planning, but instead because people refuse to use the system. How do you avoid this situation? Make sure that users are involved with the evaluation process. They need to answer this question, “Will I actually use this?” Systems designed to fit the loan process will be a better fit because they require less change from current processes.

2. “How will we know if we are successful?” 

The system you choose should make it easy to see progress. Many CRM systems direct you to build reports and dashboards that require development time. The reason you want a business loan-tracking tool is to improve, so progress tracking should be an inherent part of the system.

3. “How long will it take to implement a Business Loan Pipeline system?” 

This is a very important question to ask potential partners. Today’s technology is focused on experience and ease of use. Instead of long up-times, onsite consultants and IT involvement, systems are being created that are easy to understand and get running. If a system requires too much time to get running it jeopardizes its success.

4. “Do I need IT involvement to support and implement this solution?”

Let’s face it getting IT resources can be difficult if not impossible. You shouldn’t have to get on an IT waiting list to get a solution running. New technologies are being used now that diminish or eliminate IT involvement. Make sure you know what is involved in any system start-up before getting too far into the evaluation process.

Many banks are turning to pipeline automation to compete and finding success. There are hurdles to overcome, but with the right plan and the right partner, your department can improve volume, efficiency and effectiveness in business loan production.

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About the author

Adam Shiflett
Adam has a passion for telling stories with data. He has helped organizations identify opportunities to improve their business operations through collecting and analyzing data. He contributes concrete approaches that help improve businesses' performance and grow their bottom line.

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