7 Steps to Implement an Advisor Journey to Compliment a Client Journey
For the past couple of weeks, I have referred to the importance of an advisor journey and how a well laid out journey through a digital format can reduce the pressure on an advisor to meet business objectives (aka sales targets); the feeling of sales pressure and a product push from a client perspective and increase the engagement through a client-centric approach that will guide the advisor into a more meaningful conversation that will ultimately lead to a decision and heighten the client-advisor relationship; increase brand awareness and client referrals (advisors are doing a great job if they’re attracting referrals).
Taking action to create a more client-centric approach through an advisor driven journey is quite simple. Below are 7 high level steps to get your bank or insurance company started:
1. Decide and Commit: This may appear to be a no brainer but it’s the most important of all the implementation steps. Acknowledge and understand why your bank or insurance company needs to make the change, then, commit to that change. The financial services industry is under pressure to provide a more client-centric approach and less of a product-centric approach or fear the mass migration to fintech disruptors. Understanding this and convincing stakeholders that change is a must and implemented right-quickly will stave off competition and negative publicity.
2. Review KPIs and Metrics: Where along the journey are the advisors strong and what are areas of improvement? It’s not as simple as, “I want the advisors to close more business.” If the right tools and training are not provided and this is the thought process at the bank or insurance company, then, the culture is likely stuck in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It’s a different world, now. “Closing,” business is a function of following a client-centric dialogue and a properly designed advisor journey will address the areas of improvement. The clients today are much more knowledgeable and educated and most of all, know what the advisor is trying to do – sell product!
3. Third-Party Verification: The reality is that most individuals and companies know what their problems are. It’s not necessary to pay someone to tell you your problems. You can definitely pay someone to fix your problems. There exist metrics and KPI for a reason. Additionally, there is ample access to employees to survey and understand the problems in more depth. That said retaining a third-party company to verify your findings is not a bad strategy. Third-party consultants can provide insight and trends that can assist a company in implementing a product that is a step ahead of the industry. No sense in always playing catch-up.
4. Research Vendors and Technology Partners: The key takeaway here is to identify the vendors with the domain knowledge and actual proof of concept. The last thing you want for your business is to be the guinea pig. Implementing the right advisor journey that plays into your strengths and addresses areas of improvement will be game changing for your company. When identifying the technology partners, it is crucial to understand what each vendor is great at and has accomplished, then, a decision can be made whether or not to integrate multiple technology partners to rollout the best possible solution to your advisors and clients.
5. Training: Don’t assume that simply rolling out a new digital platform will on its own will be the answer to all the problems. As the advisors will be engaging the clients by following the digital journey, they will need to develop a different skill set that promotes a more client-centric dialogue. This is where you should seek third-party consultation, as well. The realities are, if the bank or insurance company could train advisors and implement a more client-centric approach they would’ve done so. The likelihood that a bank or insurance company can develop this sort of skill set is very low. The problem is that the old sales culture is too deeply embedded within the organization. Typically banks and insurance companies promote within and the old way of doing things (aka culture) is spread virally both horizontally and vertically within the organization. Inviting a third-party can bring in fresh and cutting edge ideas.
6. Measure and Adjust: The first 6-months following implementation is critical to the program’s success. You’ve just implemented a game changing service for the bank; monitoring adoption rate and KPIs will be important. Expect conversion and revenue to decrease while your advisors are adapting to the digital journey and learning a new skill, but trust the process. Obtaining and addressing feedback will help your organization get in front of adoption issues and help you make adjustments to the advisor journey where required.
7. See Step #1
Implementing a well thought out advisor journey with a proven digital wealth management company can be a game changer for your bank or insurance company. The advisor journey will reduce the sales pressure a client experiences from the advisor; promote a client-centric dialogue and increase the bank or insurance company’s image which will ultimately lead to a higher level of trust and revenue.
Head of Sales & Marketing
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