In the early days of any professional relationship, you want to make a good impression. For financial advisors guiding new clients through the onboarding and planning process, creating an effortless experience builds trust and confidence in your firm.
But these phases of the client relationship are not inherently seamless — the processes involve numerous people, steps, and moving parts. Making it all feel simple for your new client requires a lot of work behind the scenes.
Fortunately, technology can create efficiencies that take some of the onus off of your team during this time. Financial advisor proposal generation software that’s integrated with your CRM and the rest of your tech stack is one tool that can make for easier early days.
Let’s explore ten ways your clients, advisors, and firm can benefit when you establish an integrated tech ecosystem and launch your proposal generation process from within your CRM.
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1. Consistent Branding
With a pre-designed, white-labeled proposal tool, you can rest assured that your team is creating visually appealing proposals that contain all the correct elements and align with your firm’s brand standards.
Client benefit: A comprehensive proposal tool helps ensure clients receive all the background information they need to make informed decisions. Plus, a professional-looking proposal makes them feel they’re in capable hands.
Advisor benefit: Your advisors can quickly and easily create elegant, clean, complete branded proposals. No need for advanced PowerPoint skills or a graphic design background!
Firm benefit: Leadership can feel confident that each advisor is issuing proposals that uniformly align with your communication expectations and established look.
2. Integrated Data
The proposal creation process requires your team to assemble vital client data typically housed in various locations. If this data is copied over incorrectly, your proposal creation process can quickly go awry.
A proposal generation tool that integrates with your CRM reduces the need for manual data input and helps your team quickly get to work with the correct information.
Client benefit: Your client will not have to re-send or confirm data, saving them time and hassle.
Advisor benefit: With the correct information flowing directly from your CRM, your advisor gets back the time they’d otherwise spend copying, pasting, and double-checking data.
Firm benefit: When you help your advisors reduce their administrative workload, they can invest more time in growth-focused activities.
3. Real-Time Updates
It’s not always a straight line from the creation of that first version of a proposal to client approval. Your client may realize they forgot to share pertinent information with you, or the planning process may inspire them to rethink and redefine their long-term goals.
Meanwhile, an outside event, like a major macroeconomic shift, might cause an advisor to revisit their initial suggestions.
Any time your team receives new information, they’ll want to be able to quickly absorb, synthesize, and adjust. A financial advisor proposal generation software solution that’s integrated with the rest of your tech stack enables timely reactions to new realities.
Client benefit: No matter what precipitates the change to the proposal, your client receives updates quickly. And with most US consumers expecting speedy response times from businesses, this matters!
Advisor benefit: Your advisor can find all of the new information in one place and make adjustments on the fly without wasting time toggling between systems and making manual adjustments in each.
Firm benefit: Your leadership can feel confident that all data is accurate across systems, which enables better business intelligence, client service, and compliance.
4. Personalization Opportunities
Creating a personalized experience drives client satisfaction. However, delivering bespoke client service takes time.
An integrated proposal generation tool and CRM allow you easy access to relevant client information and empower your team to tailor each proposal accordingly with less time spent on rote activities.
If you already walked a new client through risk assessments and goal-based planning during the prospect phase, that information is housed within the CRM and ready to be pulled into your proposal.
Additionally, your CRM has all information about current accounts and holdings you gathered during the onboarding process. Even if some assets will continue to be held elsewhere, you have information about them.
An integrated system seamlessly feeds all that data into your proposal generation tool.
Client benefit: Your client receives a more accurate and tailored proposal because you can factor in all relevant information — from current holdings to risk tolerance to goals.
Advisor benefit: Armed with all the pertinent information, your advisor is well-positioned to dazzle new clients with a thoughtful, thorough, customized proposal experience.
Firm benefit: Your advisors’ early wins are ultimately your firm’s. The more longstanding client relationships you can help advisors foster, the easier it may be to maintain and expand AUM and wallet share.
5. Integrate BeFi Techniques
Behavioral finance (BeFi) can help advisors encourage clients to make more sound financial decisions.
With your proposal generation software fully integrated with the rest of your planning tools, it’s easier for your team to incorporate results from goal-based planning exercises and risk tolerance questionnaires, both BeFi-enabled tools.
An integrated, nuanced tech solution empowers your team to assign goals to each investment, which helps clients draw a clear line between what they want to achieve and the strategy a financial advisor suggests to help them reach it.
Client benefit: When clients can easily visualize the connection between their desired outcome and your team’s proposed strategy, they can move ahead confidently.
Advisor benefit: Drawing a clear line between your proposal and a client’s goals helps an advisor demonstrate their commitment to fiduciary duty.
Firm benefit: Implementing BeFi techniques can help firms mitigate client biases and reduce the likelihood of rash decisions. This plays a role in keeping clients invested and thereby stabilizing your book of business.
6. Side-by-Side Comparison Tool
When clients are joining your firm with existing assets and holdings, offering a side-by-side comparison between current holdings versus your newly proposed approach can help you make your case for change.
An integrated proposal generation tool allows advisors to pull in existing client account information and display data like asset allocation, blended risk score, and top holdings from the current approach and your recommended one.
Client benefit: The client can see what they may stand to gain by switching up their investment strategy.
Advisor benefit: An advisor can begin to quantify the value of their advice when a client can see the potential benefits of following it.
Firm benefit: The more clearly you can articulate your firm’s worth, the stronger the potential positive impacts on your firm’s ability to retain clients and grow AUM over time.
7. Time Saved and Efficiencies Introduced
Embracing more opportunities for automation and seamless data transfer creates free time in your advisors’ days, which they can then reallocate to higher-value activities.
Financial advisor proposal generation software can pull all relevant data into a pre-formatted presentation. From there, your advisor can work within the tool to create proposed allocations, run stress tests, and show side-by-side comparisons of potential outcomes.
Client benefit: Your clients get more detailed information from the physical proposal, plus more face-time with your advisors to ask questions and gain reassurances.
Advisor benefit: Your advisors can reclaim the time they’d usually spend on rote tasks. And that’s time they can spend in strategy mode, delivering more nuanced solutions for clients.
Firm benefit: When your existing team can get more done in the same amount of time, you don’t have to think about expanding headcount and increasing operating costs.
8. Enhanced Compliance
A firm-wide, compliance-approved proposal template helps you to ensure necessary disclosures and information are included in each document.
A proposal template that automatically incorporates elements like a client’s risk score, allocation breakdown, and alignment between client goals and proposed investments can help you demonstrate that your advisor’s actions align with your client’s best interests — reinforcing your firm’s commitment to fiduciary duty.
Client benefit: Your client receives all of the disclosures and information they need to make informed investment decisions.
Advisor benefit: Advisors can showcase their commitment to fiduciary duty in those vital early days of the advisor-client relationship.
Firm benefit: Your firm is left with a paper trail it can point to that shows its commitment to compliance. This is vital in the internal audit process and at exam time.
9. Data-Driven Insights
When your proposal generation tool is a part of your larger fintech ecosystem, it can feed into your client and advisor portals as well as your CRM, which helps you generate data-driven insights now and later.
Client benefit: When tools like portfolio stress testing are integrated into your proposal generation process, your client benefits from timely, relevant testing on your proposed strategy.
Advisor benefit: Advisors can easily see data — like side-by-side comparisons of current holdings versus proposed adjustments — all within the proposal tool. This helps them make informed suggestions without having to toggle between systems.
Firm benefit: When client data can also be pulled from your integrated tech stack and assembled and considered in aggregate, it can inform leadership’s decisions about client acquisition and retention strategies — which can ultimately drive growth.
10. Enhanced Scalability
A streamlined proposal process empowers your team to deliver more accurate, nuanced, thoughtful proposals to clients in less time. And when you reduce the time advisors must spend on each client, you create more time overall for your team to focus on growth.
Shrinking your sales cycle even a little can make a big difference — reducing a four-month cycle down to three can increase your annual recurring revenue by 46%¹.
Client benefit: Clients receive a more professional and comprehensive output in less time.
Advisor benefit: Your advisors have the time to focus on closing more deals. When each client relationship requires less effort to maintain, they can find time to foster new relationships.
Firm benefit: The easier you can make it for your team to care for more clients, the more feasible you make it for your firm to scale while maintaining its commitment to quality.
All of these benefits of an integrated proposal generation tool and CRM can ultimately create a competitive advantage for your firm. By strengthening client trust, streamlining your advisors’ workflows, and enabling greater access to data, you create a scenario that encourages long-term client relationships.
And the stronger your client relationships, the greater the likelihood that your firm can grow AUM, boost wallet share, and build a healthy referral network.
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¹Source: “The Impact of Accelerating Sales Cycles”, https://commonpaper.com/, 2022.