Dalbar Sets Up Product Rating Service

Want to know how valuable that contact management software is, or how useful that sales guru really can be? Dalbar aims to find out.

Want to know how valuable that contact management software is, or how useful that sales guru really can be? Dalbar aims to find out.

The financial services market research firm says it will soon rate suppliers and their products to financial services firms including broker/dealers, mutual fund companies and insurance companies.

Dalbar will evaluate customer relationship and contact management software and related software as well as Web-based training programs, says Lou Harvey, president. The firm also will rate other training programs, such as those that promise to turn the ordinary broker into a million-dollar super-producer.

"The objective is to find out how [the broker/dealer] spends money and where they can do a better job," says Harvey. "They needed a central place to find out how good these suppliers are without just basing their decisions on talking to a few customers."

The survey will be conducted and funded by suppliers. Asked whether that poses a conflict of interest, Harvey likened it to S&P ratings or an accounting audit–a critical process that’s funded by the company getting criticized. "I’m not worried about a conflict of interest," he says. "People will have to explain why they’re not being rated."

The firm’s intention is to break down the ratings into various categories, including the capability and competence of the product; value-added features, customer ratings and financial measures.

Dalbar also plans to rate suppliers of print communications, third-party data administration, external custodians and fulfillment services.

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