Mortgage services firm invests in hosted CRM

First National Financial Corp. has announced it has deployed a Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) application from Toronto-based Atum Corp. to streamline sales processes.

The Toronto-based financial services firm – with national offices in Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal – provides mortgage products to homeowners and real estate investors.

Ben Kawa, national manager, sales and strategic relationships, First National, said the company was looking to improve service to their Canada-wide network of mortgage brokers and turned to Atum’s Luxor CRM online hosted offering.

First National is experiencing growth in the number of account managers hired, mortgages administered, and residential mortgage brokers it does business with, Kawa said. The challenge was in managing critical sales data effectively and in real-time, Kawa said. “It was getting hard to keep track.”

“This is something fairly new to them…having a centralized repository and an environment that will allow them to capture data from the back-end system and push it forward to their users,” said Lukas Szczurowski, sales and channel manager for Atum.

For example, the hosted technology gives the sales staff the ability to access and synchronize critical mortgage sales data and expense management controls in real-time using tools such as Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook and handheld devices.

The implementation and training began in April, Kawa said. In looking at CRM options, the firm concluded that off-the-shelf software wouldn’t provide the level or customization and scalability required for growth, Kawa said.

Szczurowski said the offering can also be easily customized, adapts to the personalized requirements of each user and features sales force automation (SFA) tools such as real-time quota status and links to each user’s most recently viewed files.

The fact purchasing the Web-based offering doesn’t involve contracts, set-up fees or an upfront budget sign-off has its appeal, Kawa said. “The way they get compensated is month-to-month,” Kawa said. This pricing scheme means the vendor has great incentive to keep the client happy, he added.

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