AXA Australia replaces CRM

New application now used by sales staff

Financial services giant AXA Australia has implemented a new CRM application to keep track of its growing network of licensees and financial advisers.

With about $80 billion in funds under management and administration, AXA claimed its existing system was slow, underutilized, poorly integrated, and could not keep pace with the company's needs.

The new system is based on IBM software developed by local IBM business partner Coordimax.

From 2002 to 2005 AXA's partner business had grown from tracking a handful of licensees and 1000 advisers to 600 licensee groups and 15,000 advisers.

AXA Australia's national sales promotion manager, Barry Wyatt, said with such a large pool of advisers, the company needed a robust activity management system.

"It took 17 seconds to open a page in the old system and the information on it was sketchy, so the salespeople just weren't using it," Wyatt said. "We needed an information system that encouraged business development managers to use it and see it as a beneficial tool."

Wyatt said the business development managers had the mind set that using a CRM system meant a loss of sales time so part of the project was to turn around their way of thinking and get them to see how the advantages of using the system would outweigh the disadvantages.

Coordimax CRM is designed around a series of modules that customers can choose to suit their needs and can be customized further as required. AXA Australia configured the application to provide special functionality for its sales efforts.

The implementation took six months and Coordimax integrated the CRM system with other internal applications, including a business intelligence system that gives the company a consolidated view of its sales efforts.

"All of our systems are integrated," said Wyatt. "We input the data into one system and then it feeds through to everyone. In the past, you would have to look up another system if you wanted data on someone else's sales, for instance."

When speaking to an adviser on the phone, sales staff can call up their screen with personal details, and the products an adviser has sold for AXA in the last 12 months.

The CRM system's ability to improve internal efficiencies was a vital element of AXA Australia's efforts to restructure its sales force.

"Sales went up 32 percent in 2006 as a result of our move from having a system nobody used to one that works," Wyatt said.

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