Solving The Everyday Challenges Of Wealth Management With Salesforce Financial Services Cloud
In our increasingly digital world, one industry where traditional players have particularly struggled to keep pace with evolving customer demands is financial services and, specifically, Wealth Management. With new fintech or Digital Financial Services (DFS) players seemingly popping up every week (see article), traditional wealth management firms have more competition than ever, which forces them to undergo a digital transformation as well. Relying on data for decision-making has also been on a sharp rise, and advisors can easily be overwhelmed by the amount of data and information they now have at their fingertips. They can experience a type of paralysis where they do not know where to begin on best utilizing the data, often reverting to old outreach habits. Finally, leading wealth management firms use their CRM to track not only empirical data such as financial performance, but also personal interests, hobbies, and relationships to drive qualitative measurements of high-value client households.
Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (FSC) empowers wealth firms with the tools they need to compete in this crowded marketplace. We’ll walk through the three main challenges we hear our Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) customers currently face and how Salesforce FSC enables wealth advisors to overcome these obstacles, improve their client relationships, and ultimately increase their bottom line.
Core Challenge #1: Limited Digital Offering
As end-users in today’s world, we’ve been spoiled with fast on-demand services, and now expect instantaneous and seamless self-service from all of our other service providers. This expectation is part of the “connected” world, as it’s been coined.
With the pandemic, digital engagement preferences have only accelerated and now is the norm for many formerly in-person activities. According to a Salesforce Research study completed in October 2020, 68% of customers say “COVID-19 has elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities.” Another study done by JD Power noted that 41% of banking customers are now digital-only.
With these high expectations of digital offerings, how can wealth advisors possibly meet or even exceed their clients’ demands?
With Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (FSC), you can build a self-service client portal directly in Salesforce that allows your clients to:
Complete onboarding tasks through guided prompts
Submit Know-Your-Customer (KYC) documentation
Securely access investment accounts and performance dashboards
Self-Schedule appointments with the appropriate resources
Engage with trusted resources (tip of the day, weekly newsletter, blog posts, etc.)
Engage with a chatbot for frequently asked questions
Imagine that after a new client signs the agreement, they receive an email to confirm registration to the client portal. After choosing a username and setting a password, the client can log in and see a welcome message as well as their onboarding status and action items, such as filling out beneficiary information. After funds have successfully transferred, the client can view account balances and portfolio performance updated daily in a dashboard view.
Example of a branded client portal:
Core Challenge #2: Low Advisor Productivity
Wealth advisors typically spend their days meeting with and maintaining existing client relationships, prospecting for new clients, preparing financial plans, preparing for meetings, and administrative tasks.
While preparing for meetings and helping with administrative tasks such as client onboarding is necessary, client-facing tasks like prospecting and client meetings are typically considered higher value. Studies report that most advisors are spending an average of 50% on these administrative tasks. A 2019 report by Michael Kitces found that 46% of advisor time is spent on “(largely delegable) middle-office tasks involved with planning and meeting prep, client servicing, and other office administrative work.”
Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (FSC) delivers several features that help wealth managers streamline workflows and reduce time spent on administrative tasks.
Action plans are smart checklists of to-do items for your team that act as a template and guide for any repeatable process. Suppose five tasks are required for every client's annual review. In that case, you can create an action plan that details those tasks and automatically creates them, assigning the tasks to the appropriate department or individual.
With the other 50% of their day, advisors often struggle with who they should call or email first. If three referrals have come in, which one should be called on first? How can advisors prioritize their call lists without solely relying on their “gut”?”
Salesforce has been investing heavily in its AI engine, Einstein, for prioritizing prospecting and client activities, which has multiple applications in driving efficiency for wealth advisors. Einstein Opportunity Insights uses data science and machine learning to generate relevant updates and suggestions to help advisors win more business.
Next Best Action
Next Best Action is another tool that can help advisors serve their clients. By blending business logic and Einstein’s predictions based on your data, Salesforce shows appropriate recommendations to your advisors at the right time. From exclusive upsell offers to sending resources to suggest a congratulatory email after a life milestone, Einstein Next Best Action can tailor offers and actions to your users. Next Best Action can be exposed directly via the client portal to display recommendations that clients can take action.
Core Challenge #3: Lack of Insight Into Client Needs and Relationships
Relationships can be complicated. That’s why the “It’s Complicated” Facebook relationship status exists. Tracking complex data points requires a flexible platform built to handle these complexities.
With Salesforce FSC, a unique individual and group data model supports viewing relationships at the individual level, household level, organizational level, professional level, and everything in between.
Typically, keeping track of clients' personal life events, hobbies and interests has either been information inside advisors’ heads or kept in a disorderly “Notes” field, which can become unwieldy to manage. Instead of trying to remember the names of children or maintaining a lengthy essay for each client, Salesforce FSC encourages users to log these important data points in Salesforce.
Accompanying life events are interest tags, which allow advisors to easily tag which clients play golf, who attends a local church, who will talk your ear off about politics if you let them, who has children nearing college age, and much more.
As advisors store customer details in life events and interest tags, clients’ profiles grow fuller in Salesforce, which in turn helps organize and better segment clients for product recommendations and marketing efforts, and leads to more personalization and an improved client experience overall. Client transfer between advisors becomes more seamless. These tools can also serve as indicators for a client’s investment preferences and risk tolerance and contribute to the financial planning process.
The wealth advisor of today faces challenges that can be overwhelming if the right CRM platform isn’t in place to facilitate digital engagement, streamline workflows and capture detailed client data. With the “Great Wealth Transfer” (article reference) predicted to occur over the next ten years, digitally-savvy millennial consumers will not settle for lackluster digital offerings. Wealth firms that aren’t currently equipped to provide self-service options and personalization at scale need to evaluate the risk of maintaining the status quo with legacy technology that is better off left in the past.
For a demo of Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, including any of the listed features above, please contact us!