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CRM serves as strategic centerpiece

User stories from the knowledge front

Lincoln Partners, a Chicago-based investment bank, has selected a professional services CRM solution to support its business development strategy. The software will help with its game plan to outpace the competition in delivering superior services to clients.

Before choosing the InterAction solution from Interface Software , Lincoln Partners' client information was fragmented into various applications, which were unable to manage the company's long-term CRM goals. Scattered islands of information made it nearly impossible to obtain a 360-degree view of clients and prospects, according to a recent news release from Interface. With so many data repositories, duplicate and inconsistent information proliferated. The problem worsened when the firm decided to move its client newsletter and industry analysis alerts from paper to e-mail.

"Our clients have no tolerance for receiving misdirected and multiple e-mails," says Jim Lawson, managing director of Lincoln Partners. "And we had no practical way to consolidate the data and clean it up."

Bank officials initially considered building a custom CRM application but decided that they did not have a large enough IT staff to debug such a system or enhance it regularly. They also were wary of implementing a custom solution that would make them dependent on the consulting organization that built it.

What happens if they go out of business?" Lawson asks. "We'd be stuck with a system we couldn't modify."

The investment bank will use InterAction 5 to manage both its strategic and tactical business development initiatives and to process transactions. The solution will enable the firm, according to Interface, to execute targeted business development and marketing initiatives aimed at clients and prospects in selected markets. Lincoln Partners will also be able to track deals and manage its internal experience and expertise more effectively, using the system to answer such questions as who worked on which deals and what contacts were involved in specific deals.

The bank is said to have chosen the solution because it can grow with the company and because it has built-in tools to streamline the process of maintaining data quality.

"Having tools to efficiently manage and oversee changes to the database over time will be crucial to the long-term success of our CRM initiative," Lawson says

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