For banks and financial services institutions forming and maintaining bonds with current and potential customers, means pitches and presentations galore. Today, organizations have access to larger data sets than ever before, which can make developing presentation materials, and ensuring that they are accurate, consistent and compliant across a broad employee base, a Herculean task.
On the other hand, more data means better customer insights and greater revenue opportunities. It so happens that Big Data is bursting onto the scene just as mobile technology is becoming a mainstream sales tool. The convergence of data and mobile can be a boon to any organization’s sales teams, marketers, and customer account reps and advisors, especially if new technology, such as the right mobile enterprise apps, are implemented and used.
Here are four big reasons for banks and financial institutions to implement mobile enterprise apps to best take advantage of available data.
1. Improve brand perception : Banks and financial institutions support large and distributed sales teams. These non-desk workers are trying to get the most out of their CRM software. They also frequently share marketing materials with current and potential customers. In this environment, it’s almost a sure thing that any business process that threatens to diminish their sales velocity will be skirted. So, they often create or customize materials on their own, outside the purview of corporate marketing.
But this same scrappy, do-it-yourself mentality can lead to fragmented and inconsistent messages. For instance, one financial services institution we’ve spoken with has a highly dispersed sales team and reports having more than 400 different pitches in use at the same time. Over time, the resulting lack of consistency can erode and undermine an organization’s brand.
“Presentation proliferation” and message inconsistency happen quite easily. For example, investment services firms conduct numerous first client meetings and customer portfolio reviews. Traditional processes for creating these presentations might involve emailing research and data among teams, copying and pasting data from different repositories and different presentations, and storing files everywhere—on local drives, thumb drives, and network drives. Sound familiar?
Organizations should take advantage of mobile enterprise apps to transform these processes. The newest technologies can enable firms to take advantage of enhanced and automated workflow and connection to live, backend data stores. This gives sales teams and advisors instant access, from anywhere, to cloud-based data and marketing materials on the latest tools: tablet PCs and iPads.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the customer’s situation: The last thing a customer or potential customer wants is to feel like just another customer. “Convince me,” they demand. Only when a bank’s financial advisors do their research and demonstrate knowledge of the customer’s investment history, asset allocation, risk tolerance, and more—do they stand a chance at making a true connection.
With the right tools, incorporating this valuable research into customer presentations can be done very easily. Sales reps can quickly tailor standardized presentations to be more customer-focused—and thereby more convincing.
3. Ensure that data is up-to-date and compliant: The copy-and-paste method for capturing data into presentations is a liability because it can easily result in outdated or inconsistent reporting data.
Connection to live data reduces the number of errors that are introduced when “dead” data is brought into presentations. Live financial reporting data also helps organizations ensure that all presentations are in sync, that reports are drawn from the same time period, are using the right formulas, and are otherwise compliant with mandates and standards. Avoiding a single yet hefty penalty can result in instant ROI on the mobile enterprise devices and apps that help forge these connections.
Connection to real-time data such as assets, investment histories and preferences, and debt structures, and more also allows for better internal decision-making—and can result in significant gains. In one situation, an investment advisor shared with us that a $1 million rollover that had been sitting undiscovered in a customer account. The funds were revealed through the real-time reporting of an enterprise mobile app. These tools can make it much easier to track your clients’ assets.
Finally, access to live data also allows banks and financial institutions to demonstrate the full value of their product to customers, with a simple gesture or touch on mobile devices.
4. Save time and money. Oft-repeated business processes such as generating proposals, presentations, and contracts can result in a huge hit on employee time, and on resources and budgets. Updating and ensuring that data is correct and compliant is highly time consuming. In fact, one firm we spoke with reports spending 20 to 30 percent of working hours developing presentations.
Mobile apps that draw on live data, use pre-approved templates and content, and integrate with third-party investment tools and services can help organizations reduce this time significantly. For instance, sales teams can use mobile apps to output key data in different formats and tailor presentations to each customer’s unique situation—with a single-click.
Mobile enterprise apps also help banks and financial institutions get the most from their technology investments. Many organizations are investing in fleets of iPads to support their sales teams. It’s the business apps that run on the iPads that will help their users get the most out of these devices—and result in the biggest ROI.
Doug Winter is CEO of Seismic, the creators of an enterprise mobile app platform for content management.