HELP ADVISORS MEET THEIR GOALS
Robust planning not only helps advisors define and understand their goals, it guides them in executing strategies aligned with those goals to achieve optimal results. Clarity and focus are core ingredients of sustained success. As your leadership team better understands what is happening within the business, it will be poised to Accelerate Advisor Success and drive advisor growth, retention and recruiting.
ASSESS READINESS AND SEGMENT
The assessment phase examines the advisor’s business to understand what goals are meaningful and appropriate for them and what goals and objectivesthey are motivated to achieve. The more resources you allocate to motivated advisors, the greater the probability of achieving targeted business results.
Since no two advisory practices are exactly alike, understanding their unique DNA is imperative. Where one practice may need to focus on attracting new clients, another may be better served spending their time deepening relationships with existing clients.
The variables that correlate most with an advisor’s success are defined by their readiness level, which is comprised of three elements: Will, Skill, andTime (or capacity). The most critical of these is will, or motivation.
■ WILL: The advisor’s intrinsic motivation to implement a specific set of strategies to achieve a goal is the greatest driver of success.
■ SKILL: The skill element highlights the advisor’s ability and experience in executing a set of activities or strategies. It is important to identify areas where the advisor is less skilled, in order for the financial institution to provide appropriate training and support to address them.
■ TIME: Does the advisor/practice have the time or capacity? Are they able to make the time to execute the mutually agreed upon activities that are crucial to achieving their goals? If not, the financial institution needs to help the advisor identify strategies that increase capacity and/or reprioritize their time.
Recommendations derived from the Practice Assessment gauge advisor readiness and inform your tailored solutions and action plan. For example, if an advisor scores high on motivation but low on skill, training is an excellent tool to use. Conversely, if motivation is low, training may not be the right solution and will likely not work, wasting valuable training resources. Exploring the underlying reason(s) for low motivation and then having a coaching conversation focused on the benefits and significance of the goal will prove to be a better use of resources.
Segmenting Best Practices
Financial institutions traditionally segment advisors by revenue production or career stage. But as they look to deepen their advisor relationships, market leaders are using more sophisticated tools to deliver value. High-readiness advisors who value coaching and are willing to put forth the effort required to invest in the success of their business consistently achieve the highest ROI.
In addition to readiness, it is important to understand the goals and vision of the advisory practice. The most successful advisors have a clear vision of the future and can vividly describe where they would like to take their practice over the next three to five years. They are highly motivated to pursue their vision. Other advisors may have the motivation to improve their practice but lack the skills to do so. With the first group of advisors, institutions can get great returns by focusing on more advanced topics and providing individualized programs. With the second group, creating scalable programs that can cost effectively provide skill-based training is the best use of scarce resources.
- Our experience shows that combining more traditional quantitative metrics (production, age, geography, etc.) with qualitative metrics (clear vision, goals, readiness, etc.) yields a more predictive model of advisor readiness. This model enables the financial institution to focus resources on advisors who are best positioned to use them to achieve greater success.
- One emerging trend is the use of sophisticated analytics, including artificial intelligence (e.g., Einstein from Salesforce or Watson from IBM) to drive growth and identify usage patterns within the “movable middle.” For example, rather than trying to move the whole group toward success, financial institutions are defining sub-groups of advisors most likely to succeed based on these analytics.
Segmentation helps you understand where to focus limited resources to yield the greatest ROI and advisor benefit. Advisors who are satisfied with their current state and not motivated to grow and improve their practice should be supported through lower cost means.
Forward-thinking financial institutions are creating unique advisor segments that align to corporate initiatives and can accelerate their advisors’ success. Most of the examples of advanced analytics are being applied to understanding investor needs, such as life events. There is a significant opportunity to apply these concepts to the “business events” in the lifecycle of a financial institution’s advisors. Examples include; succession planning, onboarding team members, moving toward a wealth management model, and so on.
Begin Your Assessment
I would like to extend you access to an interactive assessment tool, on our SuccessPro™ platform. It scores your financial institution’s readiness to accelerate advisor success, and provides a report outlining specific recommendations to improve your business. Let me know if you would like to take this assessment with our compliments.
I’m looking forward to being in touch over the next few months. Feel free to give me a call or email if you would like to discuss further.
Tel: (763) 550-0223