Salesforce Insights & Opportunities: What We Learned at Portfolio Management Association of Canada Conference

In a competitive financial services world, you need to think strategically, so we were excited to attend as first-time exhibitors at the  Conference (PMAC) on November 16, 2022, at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario.

Formed in 1952, the PMAC shares financial industry knowledge and best practices. They currently represent over 300 portfolio management firms that manage pension plans, institutions and high-net-worth investor assets.

This in-person event was more than a chance to play hooky from the office. “We were on a mission to engage directly with industry leaders,” said Dominic Ionadi, VP of Financial Services.

Face-To-Face Connections

We anticipated hearing leading experts’ opinions, gathering industry insights and networking with financial, legal, and accounting professionals.

Matthew Maingot, Partner, explained, “It gave us the opportunity to…

  • Hear from national and global investment leaders reflecting on economic stability
  • Gather knowledge about technological challenges and future trends
  • Have deep one-on-one conversations and the chance to ask poignant questions
  • Catch up with long-term clients and discuss their needs and priorities for 2023

…and shake hands with recent clients with whom we have only had virtual discussions to this point.”

As exhibitors, we shared how the Brightmark team and Salesforce technology solve the skill gap to simplify business operations and grow sales for the Canadian financial industry.

We Were Keen to Listen

One of our key goals at the conference was to hear directly from financial advisors. We wanted their positive and negative feedback.

“We asked a lot of questions,” said Matthew. We gained insights into their concerns and priorities by hearing straight from the financial managers.

We wanted to know whether they:

  • were aware of Brightmark’s custom-built solutions, including optimizing customer communications, data security, systems integration and automation, and financial technology skill training
  • knew that we have a comprehensive understanding of compliance requirements that is critical for their industry

“PMAC is all about advancing the financial industry. Likewise, we can only achieve our goal of constant innovation and improvement if we hear directly from the chief users,” said Dominic.

Surprising Insights

We learned some unexpected and remarkable information by opening up conversations and asking probing questions.

For example, clients identified what was important to them regarding other technology providers and how various software integrated and functioned with Salesforce.

Dominic stated, “We think about the far-reaching technology implications when we engage in projects with clients. It is not just the Salesforce piece but what it does in the grand scheme of things for them.”

“In addition,” he continues,

“The fact that surprised me,” Matthew said, “was what projects clients and prospects were prioritizing out of the many things they wanted to do. We always want to make sure we’re aligning with their priorities.”

“Another thing that stuck out for me,” Matthew continued, “was the presence of American companies coming to observe and assess the Canadian market. The rumour at the conference was that these companies want growth and that growth is up north.”

Leaning Into Our Strengths

One thing that immediately became clear during the conference is that many people know a little bit about Salesforce, so it was a huge advantage to be the company that knew a lot!

“We showed that we had a solid understanding of the technology space and the issues people face,” said Matthew.

As a team of financial technology experts, we tackle the Salesforce skill gaps. With a comprehensive understanding of financial compliance and operational requirements, we build customized solutions to leverage and automate business communications, data and sales.

“And what particularly distinguishes us as industry leaders,” exclaimed Dominic, “is our ability to see beyond Salesforce and how it integrates and functions across all of our client’s technology, processes and operations.”

Gearing Up for Future Conferences

Our mandate of constant industry improvement also includes upping our trade show game as we attend other conferences.

Although we prepared for this first conference, we humbly admit we overlooked one thing. Who knew that people still used paper business cards after the pandemic? We didn’t!

Another must-have will be a visual demo showcasing Salesforce’s abilities in action. Our new saying is – a demo is worth a thousand words! “We’re going to need a bigger booth,” jokes Dominic.

Matthew states, “We’re excited to continue industry conversations and hear directly from our clients as we attend future conferences as part of our networking and marketing strategy.”

We’re looking forward to a busy 2023!