Mortgage services firm invests in hosted CRM

First National Financial Corp. has announced it is deploying a Web-based customer relationship management solution 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 o ffering. The emerging company is experiencing growth, particularly in the number of account managers hired, the number of mortgages administered, and the number of residential mortgage brokers First National has business dealings with, Kawa said. The challenge was in effectively managing the critical sales data and in real-time, Kawa said. “It was getting hard to keep track.

“This is something that’s 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 with tools such as Microsoft Corp’s Outlook and handheld devices.

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.

In looking at CRM options, the firm concluded that an off-the-shelf software wouldn’t provide that level or customization and scalability required for the company’s growth, Kawa said.The fact that the purchasing decision of 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 that the vendor has great incentive to keep the client happy, he added.

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