Financial Services: 5 Best Practices to Enhance Sales Technology Integration
How to Boost Your Tech Adoption and Increase ROI
With all the changes precipitated by the pandemic, a lot has changed in the financial industry. To see continued success through 2021 and beyond, financial professionals must find ways not only to harness sales technology solutions but to ensure proper and effective integration. Here are some tips for kick-starting that initiative.
Top 5 Tips for Successful Sales Technology Integration into Financial Services Firms
When it comes to integrating sales technology, one of the biggest hurdles for financial services professionals is gaining buy-in from senior leadership. The success of your sales tech, however, often comes down to proof of concept. How can you prove this solution is worth it?
The easiest way to do that is by starting small and getting easy wins. If you can demonstrate that you’re getting traction from a given solution—even minimal traction—it becomes easier to convince that senior leadership that you’re on the right path.
If you try to boil the ocean (that is, solve all your problems at once), you’re going to be juggling and navigating multiple tech solutions at once, and that’s always a recipe for poor integration.
Focus on Adoption
You could select the best possible sales technology solution for your financial services company, but if nobody uses it, that solution isn’t going to yield any results for you. Adoption is key to successful integration.
For initial wins here, make sure you’ve thoroughly identified your stakeholders and taken their needs, challenges, and preferences into account. They’re the ones who are going to be either directly or indirectly affected by this sales technology solution, and if they aren’t considered and given a voice in the decision-making process, you’re never going to have successful integration—or a positive return on your investment.
Also, keep in mind that adoption is not something you get initially and then never have to think about again. Adoption is a long-term process. Make sure your sales technology integration plan accounts for initial onboarding, training of new hires, and any adjustments you’ll need to make based on continual feedback from those stakeholders.
(Having problems with your internal buy-in? Check out this more in-depth look at how to drive adoption.)
Have a Foundational Strategy
All too often, a company will recognize an internal problem. (For example, your financial services firm needs a way to meet virtually with clients in a landscape where face-to-face meetings are difficult or not possible.) The company will then immediately start looking at technological solutions that can solve that problem. It seems logical enough, but approaching the issue with a tech-first mind-set often leads to poor adoption, unsuccessful sales technology integration, and (lots of) wasted money.
Instead, companies in the financial realm should start with a foundational strategy that includes these steps:
- Identify, interview, and engage with your stakeholders.
- Identify and establish goals.
- Thoroughly audit your existing capabilities and any gaps in your ability to implement new tech.
- Narrow down a list of vendors to consider.
- Analyze potential vendors in terms of fit for your organization and return on investment.
(Discover more about the individual steps within a financial services road map here.)
The financial landscape is changing, and companies in this industry need to be agile and adaptable enough to respond to those changes. Having a reactionary process for sales tech selection is going to lead to wasted time, money, and resources. You need planning, forethought, and strategy to ensure the solutions you’re selecting are going to be well adopted, effective, scalable, and cost effective.
Assemble the Right Early Adopters
Having a small group of early adopters test your sales tech is always a good idea. For minimal expense, you can identify and resolve some of the common issues and problems before rolling it out to the entire team. Knowing these pain points can also help with the onboarding process.
For the most success here, you need to select the right group of early adopters. It should be a well-balanced assembly of top performers, those right on the cusp of success, and those who are reluctant to the change. Having the voice of opposition is surprisingly helpful and almost always uncovers unconsidered issues and opportunities for improvement. It also prepares you to better understand and to work with the larger contingency of workers who are prone to poor adoption of new solutions.
Top performers are also an important group because they are having success within your current system. It’s essential, therefore, to demonstrate the opportunity and value of the new solution to them.
Keep Your Eye on the Bottom Line
Successful sales technology integration is contingent on so much more than just selecting a tool that solves a problem. You need the strategy, processes, and system that will ensure high adoption rates, effective utilization of the solution, and a positive financial return. Remember, any tool that doesn’t actually save you time, money, or resources is a wasted investment.
What are some of the processes that can help you realize the financial rewards of your sales technology?
- Establish Goals
You can’t hope to get where you want to go if you don’t have that destination in mind. Establishing goals from the very beginning is essential to success. It gives you a barometer by which to measure if your sales technology is helping you or hurting you.
- Align Stakeholders
Aligning your stakeholders will help everyone feel invested in your goal or cause. This commitment will help foster better sales technology integration and adoption, and it will help ensure everyone is on the same page about goals, direction, and process to get there.
- Eliminate Silos
Departments that work separately and don’t openly share information and insight are going to be surpassed by teams that work collaboratively, share knowledge, and pool resources to best serve the customer.
- Lead with Value
Once you start talking about how great you are (“selling”), you’re alienating today’s buying audience. When interacting with a company, people don’t want product pitches; they want genuine value. They want to be educated and informed. With the help of the right tech, you can provide that value and position yourself as a trusted thought leader within the industry.
Adoption is one of the most essential pieces to successful sales technology integration, but it’s also an area where most companies falter. If you’re looking to partner with a company that has experience in the financial industry, can dramatically increase your sales tech ROI, and can facilitate the creation of overarching business processes, such as long-term adoption programs, our consulting services could be right for you. Contact us today to discuss.