Once you have a solid plan and effective tracking in place, you can turn your attention toward assessing progress, coaching and adapting where necessary.
Visibility on advisor progress and goal achievement is a challenge for most institutions. The further you move away from the advisory practice (point of execution), the harder it is to see what is being executed and the corresponding impact of those activities.
It is as important to have clear visibility on how advisors are executing (or not) on the bite-size tasks as it is to understand the big-picture leading and lagging indicators. Few institutions have this level of visibility on incremental progress, which makes it difficult for them to drive behavioral change at the activity level. In addition, many financial institutions don’t know how to effectively leverage practice management content and other support resources (i.e. financial planning support, managed account consultants) to influence changes in advisor behavior or execution of the plan.
Coach to the Plan Based on Results
Clear definition of the KPIs and careful development of the supporting processes, reports, and dashboards are the elements that enable effective measurement and subsequent management of resources. Having a process in place for tracking results and assessing progress toward the institution’s goals creates the visibility that may have been lacking. This process enables prioritization and re-prioritization, and makes advisor coaching more effective.
Regular development and coaching interactions with advisors, where KPIs are reviewed and discussed, are an effective way to drive execution. Institutions across the industry are challenged to conduct regularly scheduled conversations at each level of the financial institution, leader to leader, and leader/coaches to advisors. Getting advisors to consistently review activity metrics in regularly scheduled meetings and cascading the metrics throughout the institution can have a significant impact on the achievement of financial institutions’ goals.
One of the most important outcomes of tracking results at the activity level is the ability to re-assess and re-prioritize.
Strategies and actions are only as effective as the team’s dedication to making sure they are contributing to progress toward the goals you set out to achieve. It is all about answering the key question; “How do I know if advisors are making progress?” Simply feeling like things are going well or not going well is not enough. You need concrete indicators of what is working and what is not, to make decisions regarding how you and your advisors can accelerate success.
Accelerating Advisor Success is driven by the quality of execution. Key questions to ask include:
- Did the advisor do what they said they would do?
- If not, what prevented them from doing what they said they would do?
- Are they on track or off?
- Are things taking longer than they thought they would?
- Are they clear on what comes next?
Practices are typically not good at estimating how long things will take, which means that timelines will need to adjust along the way. Because of this, re-prioritizing is important and the KPIs will help.
Answering the questions above will help pinpoint progress and identify areas where advisors are likely to benefit from additional coaching or resources. The key is discussing regularly so that you know precisely where changes are required in order to improve results.