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When looking at a bank or wealth management firm’s corporate structure, financial advising is classified as a sales function under the corporate organization chart. Managers of financial advisors are accountable for generating revenue in the most efficient way possible. Enable your advisors to generate more revenue with an efficient and repeatable sales process through the implementation of software and process. Process and software have an integral relationship. Software enables your sales team to be more efficient with their time. Process enables your sales team to become a repeatable revenue generating machine.
The relationship between software and process
There is always a defined process and procedure in a software product through the use of required fields. Let us compose an email in Microsoft Outlook® as an example. As you are looking at your inbox, you must click “New Email” in the lop left to open an untitled email. Looking at the untitled email, you are forced by the software application to enter a recipient in the “To…” line. If you try sending an email with no recipient in the “To…” line, you receive the error “We need to know who to send this to. Make sure you enter at least one name.”
Sending an email in Microsoft Outlook® is an example of software having a required field to force a user to follow a necessary process. By making a field or button required in software, you are translating the software requirement into a real-world process. In your sales process, you can make a field required in your software, such as “Client’s Age,” to force your advisor to gather the desired information.
Software can enable your team to be more efficient through automation and receives a lot of attention for its ability to automate tasks. Through automation, firms can digitally track real-world processes allowing the firms to report on the performance of the processes. An example of this is every email or call your financial advisor team completes can be automatically logged under the contact information in a CRM system. This process also saves time because the advisor no longer needs to manually log activities and all history of activities for an individual contact are stored in a singular space. This is an example of a real world process being digitally tracked.
Tracking via software allows firms to mercilessly track its advisors’ processes and activities. In the above example, the firm can measure the number of touches (emails or calls) an advisor performs on a potential prospect. The number of touches is the best measurement of the cost an advisor puts towards the sale, giving the best indications of ROI on a sale. This information in the digital realm provides a firm with actionable insights into the bottlenecks of the process.
How can software enhance process management?
Process management can be enhanced with software, but good processes are guided by repeatable steps that efficiently accomplish a task. In the case of advisors, a good sales process is dictated by the specific steps for advisors to close a new sale. A good sales process involves:
- Prospecting: Create a short list of potential clients based on specific criteria, and focus on prospects that you to whom you can provide value. It is much easier to get someone to buy a product when they are offered a solution to a problem. For example, create a list of prospects that just had a child. Show them that you can be of value by showing them a 529 plan.
- Connecting: Working to connect with your prospect. Whether it is by phone, email, or social media, present your business case to your prospect. Show them that they gain value by working with you.
- Research: Learn more about your prospect. The more you know about your prospect, the easier it is to provide best interest advice.
- Build: Preparing for the next step by building your presentation and business case. This step may also involve approvals on a plan from the home office or a manager.
- Present: Showing the prospect the specifics of the financial plan. Which mutual fund will the advisor put them in for the 529 plan? Why? Present the specific business case for why they should go with your approach and service.
- Close: Working through the details to bring your client on board. This process can vary between prospects.
Force your advisors to follow this process. Then evaluate the process, focusing on continual improvement of it.
How can Advicent technology help?
Advicent software is leveraged in many enterprise organizations to enhance the sales processes of financial service firms that offer financial planning. Advicent can specifically help you with the research, build, and present steps in your sales process. Advicent can supplement the “research” process with our upcoming release of a client discovery tool which allows your clients to enter their personal information into an online portal. The information is used later in building a financial plan for the client. Our core software helps with the “build” portion of the process. Use our top-of-the-line calculation engines to create a plan more efficiently and accurately than with other tools. Additionally, our calculation engines are flexible enough to fit into your approvals workflow. Lastly, give your clients peace of mind with the client reports generated from our software in the “present” stage of the sales process.
Software and process go hand in hand. Leverage our knowledge and expertise to create an efficient and effect relationship between our products and your internal workflows and processes.
Click here to learn about how Advicent software can help you become more efficient, enhance your sales process, and provide best interest advice.