How Barclays is moving from myriad systems to a unified CRM with Salesforce

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Barclays took 10 months to fine tune its Salesforce rollout for its account managers in the Premier department of the bank

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Barclays is close to deploying the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) software, starting its rollout in the Premier banking division to help relationship managers move on from having to access between 30-40 systems to get relevant customer information.

During a breakout session at Dreamforce in San Francisco this week, Kevin Heggie, head of CRM capabilities and strategy, and John Howarth, head of the CRM Centre of Excellence at Barclays, walked through the 10 month-long design period ahead of its initial rollout of Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud product.

“The aim is to create a new central CRM function, not on the periphery, but at the heart of what we do,” Howarth said.

Design thinking

Barclays worked with the Success Cloud Envision team at Salesforce to map out its rollout of the cloud CRM product, using what it called a “design-led, human-centred approach.”

“The first part was research and insight gathering,” Heggie said. “We have done this before organisationally, but this time it felt different, we spent time with users to observe them in the real world and could get candid feedback.”

After 10 months of research, the result was an ‘in the field’ summary of more than 80 pain points, compiled from interviews with 50 relationship managers across five UK locations.

The bank even brought colleagues into its user validation lab on the 23rd floor of its Canary Wharf headquarters for the first time, to get feedback on the UX, before entering a 'co-creation' phase with Salesforce to build out the platform.

Read next: Salesforce lays out its vision for Financial Services Cloud one year in and introduces AI-powered Einstein capabilities

Before turning to Salesforce the bank had customer information spread out across myriad systems, some home grown and some from third-party vendors, meaning agents had to log in to 30-40 systems to piece together a complete view of their clients.

During the feedback phase of the project one user told the Salesforce team that “sometimes as a [relationship manager] you just want to say the name of your customer’s daughter but the information we need is just all over the place.”

Test bed

Premier banking, reserved for £75,000+ earners, is by its nature a more high-touch proposition than normal retail banking, so giving those agents better access to customer information seems like a natural initial test bed for the Salesforce CRM.

“When we drilled down to the critical objectives of delivering world class customer experiences we decided to work with Premier as a beacon team and help them double the customer base, build and improve upon relationships, with the key constraint to not grow the workforce,” Heggie said.

The potential benefits range from reducing the time to release to under a year, to offering more dynamic money management, relevant and rapid optimisation and faster value realisation.

In terms of measuring value, Howarth has a high bar, saying that “a barometer for this would be if colleagues are willing to pay for the license themselves out of their own salary, not that we would ever do that, but to get to that point, because they see the value so much, it would be hugely compelling.”

What next?

Barclays is starting a staggered rollout of the software to staff imminently. “We will continue to optimise the way we manage change and one metric is growth of users, so Premier will be a great foundation for us to drive business value,” Heggie said, “but we need to think about the other segments and get this capability we have developed into as many hands as possible.”

Elsewhere the bank is continuing to leverage Marketing Cloud in its marketing department, particularly for email and social media automation. Heggie says it is also keen to broaden its marketing mix by adding new channels, such as notifications within its mobile app to nudge customers.

It is also eying Salesforce’s latest product, Customer 360, which has the potential to bring all of the customer data from those old myriad systems, and across the bank’s growing Salesforce estate, into a single place.

Read next: Salesforce Customer 360 aims to unify customer data across systems

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