Given our recent history, it’s no surprise that customers don’t have a lot of trust in financial services organizations.
Governments have responded with increasingly stringent regulation, and so now people selling financial products/services have a harder job than ever before. First, to gain the customer’s trust and second, to comply with the myriad regulations. And there are logistical challenges with both.
That’s where Sales Enablement comes into play.
‘Organizations in this sector are neglecting content as a key requirement in the recipe for creating compelling experiences…Without the right content to fulfil the particular needs of individuals at different stages of the customer journey, FSI companies risk missed opportunities to truly engage customers as they progress from touchpoint to touchpoint’*
How Sales Enablement can help you gain customer trust
There are two key components to winning your customer’s trust: they have to trust you, the salesperson, and they have to trust the company you represent. As a salesperson, your best path to developing a good customer relationship is to prove that you understand their situation. Whether it’s a B2B or B2C sale you need to show that you see where their challenges lie before you try to present them with a solution. Good sales training can help you ask the right questions to get to the bottom of your customer’s pain points. Great content will enable you to illustrate how your offering solves their problems.
37% of FSI managers say that targeting and personalization will be top priorities in the next 12 months.
Building trust in your brand is obviously a broader issue, involving PR, advertising and some evidence of brand credibility, among other things. In Sales Enablement terms, however, customer trust (and loyalty) can be garnered by ensuring all your sales collateral carries consistent branding, reflects the same corporate message, and generally doesn’t try to lay traps in fine print.
66% of FSI respondents say that having a consistent message across channels is very important to them.*
Marketing should be in charge of content (with help from Compliance)
Given all this, it’s a no-brainer that marketing should be in charge of sales collateral, or whatever you call the content you put in front of customers. Any other path puts you at risk. If you’re still operating in an environment where salespeople are making their own content – drawing on data they were emailed five months ago, or simply splashing the new logo on old materials – your business is in danger. It doesn’t matter if your intentions are honorable; if you’re found to be sharing out of date information with customers, you won’t only lose credibility and customer trust, you are risking legal action and a huge fine.
It is marketing’s responsibility to ensure that all content is up to date, on-brand and approved by the Compliance team. The simplest thing to do with that content, then, is to upload it to a Sales Enablement Platform, where it automatically syncs with all users’ devices. Old material can be deleted by admins, so there is never any question of the wrong resources being used. As an added benefit, there’s also no more scrabbling for content – everything is stored in one easy to navigate repository.
28% of senior figures in the financial services industry rank optimizing the customer experience as ‘the single most exciting opportunity’ in 2018.*
How do you ensure a compliant sales process?
Financial services really do get the tough end of the deal. Every presentation you make is like a legal document, with a whole heap of Ts and Cs. It used to be that these ‘boring bits’ could be squashed into the fine print at the end. Not anymore. Most financial services presentations will include information that you are legally obliged to disclose, however unappealing it seems. But how do you make sure your sales reps are doing this, and doing it right?
Another advantage of a Sales Enablement Platform like iPresent is its report and analysis function. iPresent monitors which sales collateral is being used, and by whom, even recording details such as the order in which resources are presented and for how long each item is shown. Of course, this data is useful when developing content, since you can effectively track content performance and decipher which pieces lead to a deal, and which don’t. It also gives you a good idea of whether or not your salespeople are following recommended best practice, and how that’s paying off in terms of close rate. From a legal standpoint, however, the biggest advantage of this feature is that it provides a virtual paper trail, confirming (or disproving) that the customer was shown the appropriate materials at the appropriate point in the presentation, and given sufficient time to digest that information.
Companies in this sector are significantly more likely than their peers to regard customer journey optimization as ‘very important’ over the next few years (81% for FSI s 69% for other sectors)*
What kind of results can I expect from a Sales Enablement Platform?
Let’s clarify from the outset that the Sales Enablement Platform facilitates best practice – it makes life a lot easier, but it can’t do everything for you. That being said, of course we have a lot of great statistics that reflect what is possible with a Sales Enablement Platform.
A Fortune 500 company, which rolled out iPresent across a large sales team, reported:
Case studies from our users show companies using iPresent to improve sales’ use of collateral, to build better sales and marketing alignment, to educate their salespeople and to improve the perception of their business, among other things.
'iPresent gives us the ability to adapt to a meeting and bring in other material if required - meetings do occasionally go off at a tangent so it’s great to have the flexibility to react when necessary.’
Do I need Sales Enablement?
If you want to make sure your salespeople have easy access to the right resources for every stage in the buyer’s journey, a Sales Enablement Platform will make your life much easier. If you want to guarantee the only resources they can use have been thoroughly compliance-tested and that they are being shown at the right time, every time, a Sales Enablement Platform can give you that reassurance. If you want to build customer trust and become a true ally, a Sales Enablement Platform can help you with that, too. If you want a record of every meeting that integrates with your CRM, iPresent can give you that.
So, yes. You do.
With 45% of senior figures in the financial services industry planning to increase their Sales Enablement spend this year, it’s clear that the industry recognizes the potential for this approach to improve customer experience and help the business grow.
*All stats and quotes taken from the “2018 Digital Trends in Financial Services” report by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe. The research is based on a sample of almost 700 FSI (manager level and up) respondents worldwide who took part in the annual survey in November and December 2017.
If you’d like to see exactly what iPresent could do for your business, we’d love to give you a tailored demo.