Across the financial services industry, banks and investment managers — and everyone in between — are looking to improve their tech stack as part of their commitment to digital transformation. And while exactly what that means can differ depending on the size and maturity of your business, there is one universal truth that is undeniable: Better technology is essential for improving your clients’ — and your client-facing teams’ — overall experience.
These days, the push to use technology to drive client retention has never been greater. According to research from Accenture, for example, 90 percent of financial services firms have a long-term plan in place for technology innovation. Often, the underlying goal behind that plan is to find ways to increase customer satisfaction levels and reduce churn. Underscoring the point, 93 percent of the financial services companies with a digital strategy say that their primary focus is on improving the customer experience.
While most firms know that change is both imminent and business critical, they are not always sure where to start. In fact, some firms are reluctant to change as digital transformation seems like too large and disruptive of a task. The reality, however, is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Consider one of the most important changes you can make: adopting a sales enablement platform. Doing so has the potential to create massive efficiencies. As a result, not only is it easier for your client-facing teams to create highly personalized content, they’re also freed up to spend more time with existing clients and attracting new ones instead of spending the average 30 hours a month searching for and creating client-facing materials. Meanwhile, as long as you’re partnering with the right provider, implementation is a straightforward and relatively seamless process, especially compared to the benefits it brings.
Why change, why now?
Embracing digital transformation is the key to remaining competitive. Adopting a sales enablement solution is one of the best ways to help ensure that you’re improving your firm’s operational efficiency, while giving your clients the personalized attention and experiences that they expect. However, the benefits don’t end there. Organizations that implement sales enablement solutions typically see a:
- 350% increase in content usage
- 275% boost in conversions
- 65% uptick in revenue generated by new reps[sources]
Not only that, Aberdeen has found that organizations with a sales enablement platform experience a 13.7% annual increase in deal size. In the wealth management industry specifically, firms that use sales enablement can create pitch books 83% faster than those without a sales enablement solution. Meanwhile, other financial institutions have used it to free up capacity so that they could develop hundreds of additional investment plans representing millions of potential new assets. Results like these can be game-changing, and demonstrate why, in the age of digital transformation, adopting sales enablement is mission-critical.
Now that we’ve looked at why adopting sales enablement is an important part of digital transformation, let’s consider what the process entails.
Why sales enablement doesn’t have to be difficult
If you think that implementing a sales enablement platform is going to eat up lots of precious time and resources, you may not be seeing the full picture. This can be true for some technology providers, so firms are wise to consider the time consequences of implementing new solutions. However, if you are working with the right partner—one that will lead you through the process from start to launch to ongoing growth—sales enablement implementation should be far easier than you think. Typically, it consists of three simple phases:
This step is all about laying out everything that drives your firm: core strategies, team structures, current processes, and current and long-range goals. All of the information you gather here will be used later to help calibrate your sales enablement solution so it is optimized to meet your specific needs. You will need to outline your business strategy, products and services; brand strategy and design guidelines; current martech stack, applications and systems features; and your content strategy and organization. This should be done with any technology—not just sales enablement—and will ensure the technology you are implementing is futureproof.
Next you will use the Discovery information to bring your sales enablement platform to life. This should include:
- Determining the team of stakeholders responsible for implementation and adoption
- The identification of end-user personas and their needs
- Scoping out any integration configurations, including CRM, marketing automation, data providers, and compliance solutions, to ensure all systems work seamlessly together
- A review of all content, such as pitchbooks, factsheets, client reviews as well as any other high-frequency marketing materials to determine what should be kept, retired, or made into reusable components to drive efficiency
- Identifying preliminary KPIs and metrics to measure success
Last but not least, your partner’s implementation team will use all of the information gathered to customize your sales enablement platform and provide teams with the best possible opportunity for success. It’s best to look for a sales enablement partner that has a fully built out team dedicated to client success, as this can ensure your deployment is executed quickly and to your firm’s standards.
Implementing a sales enablement solution
Implementing a sales enablement solution doesn’t have to be hard. The key to ensuring that the process is quick and easy is working with a partner who will guide you along the way and do the heavy lifting. In addition, it is always a good idea to look for a vendor that you can grow with. The most successful firms engage with a partner that has allowed them to start small in terms of capability without limiting their growth trajectory. In doing so, you can futureproof your digital transformation by bringing on technology that will scale along with you.