As a Salesforce implementation partner, we have been implementing this technology for RIAs for over 10 years. We have implemented various OEM solutions on Salesforce, the Salesforce Wealth Management template, and the Financial Services Cloud. Our clients have given us plenty of feedback as to what they need, which has allowed us to develop our own set of best practices. We know the industry so well that we know all of their needs. Or so we thought…
I recently held a number of one-on-one sessions with wealth advisors in the industry to get feedback from them as to how well our solution is meeting their needs. After all, we are implementing the Financial Services Cloud, which they love, and we have a number of best practices. One of the items that surprised me was that each advisor would provide requirements that built upon the previous advisor’s feedback. I would demonstrate what has been built and also explain that “We are also going to build X” (previous advisor’s feedback), and when I said that, the advisor would say, “Once you build X, you need to build this.” Some of the lessons from these sessions are as follows:
RIAs are looking for our help to make the entire meeting process go smoother.
There are so many things that go into a client meeting, that simply looking back through the past activities to find the right meeting notes does not work for them. Advisors want to be able to see their past meeting notes, past meeting follow-up tasks, what steps they need to take to prepare for this meeting, and information to cover during the meeting. In addition, all of this info needs to be easy to access.
During these client meetings, the advisors want to update the information in Salesforce, but do not want to click around to access the various data to update. All of this information needs to be on one screen to prevent having to tell a client “hang on a minute while I find that record.”
Ensuring they are providing value to each client on a regular basis.
Being an advisor now requires more than just investment management. Advisors need to be talking to clients about tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and the like. Whether they are a gold, silver, or bronze client, how do advisors know that they are providing the most value? Simply meeting with a client is not enough, and advisors want a way to see when the last time they spoke to each client about tax planning, investment management, and more. It’s great that an advisor meets with their client every 6 months, but if they are not having these other discussions, are they really providing as much value as they should?
Advisors want to be able to see which clients they have not discussed various topics with, and they need this data to be readily available and updated easily. This will help RIA firms prove that they are providing their clients with the best overall value.
Standardization of business processes.
RIAs understand that in order to grow your business, you can either add headcount or you can automate certain processes. Given the speed of business today, it is critical to have many of your business processes automated. Many RIAs utilize processes like automated client onboarding, adding a new financial account, change of address, and money movement. Some clients have developed processes that are extremely complicated and lengthy, and often require too much data entry in Salesforce.
When creating business processes, there are often two questions that I ask:
- Do you assign tasks to the same person or queue, regardless of who the advisor is, or do you dynamically assign tasks to an employee that is listed on the client record?
- Can you assign all of the tasks at once or do you need to create tasks dynamically? Advisors are on both sides of this question/answer ,with some creating them all at once and others wanting to not create and assign the second task until the first task is marked complete.
Just by listening to their feedback, I have a new appreciation for the job that they do and realize it is more than “buying low and selling high.” Having just gone through updating our trust documents, my wife and I have had to interact with our advisor, insurance agent, and CPA to ensure everything was in place. By building a system to help them serve my wife and I easier and with higher quality, we are now better protected for the future. As a result, I am happy to provide referrals to my advisor.
Are you evaluating Salesforce or looking to optimize your solution? Join Sikich on September 9th for a look at the Top Three Features of the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (FSC) Summer ‘20 Release.