Maximize Adoption of Advisor Platforms
Financial institutions have spent considerable time and effort building out their advisor technology platforms. As a result, these technology platforms have evolved and there is significantly more functionality than in the past. More recently, financial institutions have shifted investments to improving access and increasing integration across the platform. Comparatively, institutions have made fewer investments in driving adoption of technology. The current trend is to direct more focus and resources to driving effective utilization of existing platforms rather than adding more “bells and whistles.”
Advisor technology platforms are becoming more robust and many include the following capabilities:
- Portfolio Management
- Financial Planning
- Document Management
- Straight-through Processing
- Marketing and Communication Tools
Having these capabilities in place is important, but driving adoption and increasing usage is where the actual return on the technology investment comes from.
ActiFi research shows…
In our work with clients on programs designed to increase use of the advisor technology platform, our starting point is to understand the current state of adoption/utilization. Before we can help advisors increase utilization of the technology platform, we need to uncover the root cause for low numbers.
In one example:
35% of advisors reported limited use of a financial planning tool.
Upon further examination:
Of those not using the tool, 65% are time-constrained and 25% don’t have the skills.
Teaching the time-constrained advisors how to use the tools better would not create the capacity needed to do more financial planning. Instead, a program emphasizing time management skills and appropriate staffing models helped increase utilization by 66%.
Understanding actual advisor needs and providing an action plan and accountability process will improve the likelihood of adoption and increase utilization.
As we’ve emphasized in previous emails, be selective about what you choose to work on with advisors. Keeping the focus on bite-size actionable tasks that are within the advisors control and require no more than 90 minutes each week will derive the greatest level of success.
While financial institutions will continue to invest in access (desktop, mobile, remote) and integration (single sign-on, data synchronization, automation), adding more resources focused on adoption (training, practice management, field leadership skills) will continue to be one of the highest ROI activity a financial institution can make.