Use Financial Services Account Plans to Grow Client Revenues and AUM

Highlights

  • Strategic Account Management is a systemic approach to increase revenues and AUM for key clients.
  • Strategic account plans are the blueprints for client expansion and future sales.
  • The CRM system has the data to feed Strategic Account Management. It can make highly relevant and personalized recommendations for up-sell and cross-sale, and methodically increase customer relationships and customer share.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

For most financial advisors, a small number of key clients deliver most of their revenues and profits. These clients are the financial advisors strategic accounts. However, even these clients offer plenty of upside growth.

Research from Tower Group shares that on average, financial services clients maintain more than 2.5 brokerage relationships and place less than 65 percent of their investable assets with their primary broker (Source: Top 10 Business Drivers, Strategic Responses, and IT Initiatives for Brokerage and Wealth Management.) That means there is a significant financial opportunity for financial advisors to grow customer share and AUM.

Strategic account management, sometimes called key account management, is a systemic approach to increase customer share and AUM for key clients. It also contributes to deeper customer relationships and increased customer retention.

"You don't close a sale; you open a relationship and an opportunity to create mutual value." – Author unknown

However, to be effective, it's not an annual or infrequent exercise. It's a dynamic plan that may get updated with every customer interaction. These updates may come from casual conversations, formal review meetings or AI-driven Next Best Offer or Next Best Action recommendations.

AI algorithms are particularly effective for identifying less popular or more specialized financial products or cross departmental sale opportunities that expand the customer relationship across corporate boundaries.

The most effective account plans are also designed from an outside-in perspective. That means starting with the client's objectives, understanding their challenges, surfacing hidden opportunities and never losing sight of what's most important to them.

The Strategic Account Plan

Strategic account management results in a strategic account plan.

The Account Plan is a living forecast that aligns financial products or services with client goals. The account plan identifies potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities over an extended horizon that help clients achieve their evolving priorities.

It's like a long-term sale opportunity map. And each pro forma opportunity includes supporting actions, such as the client pain to resolve, the product or solution, an offering, metrics to show progress, resource assignments and next actions.

Financial Services Strategic Account Planning

CRM Software for Strategic Account Management

Strategic Account Management is a proactive selling approach based on a repeatable sales process and technology.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the financial advisors' customer system of record. The best CRM for financial advisors offers several tools to aid and automate Strategic Account Management. Things like account plans integrated with client householding, whitespace analysis, competitor intelligence and target setting.

Client growth plans embedded in CRM software shift revenue generation from reactive or ad hoc to proactive and predicted. And unlike initial sales plans to acquire new clients, strategic account plans designed to upsell, cross-sale and grow customer share are based on data and knowledge that accumulated over the course of the relationship. That gives the financial advisor customer insights to tailor presentations and recommendations to client needs. It also increases receptivity and sales conversion rates.

Customer Insights Integration to CRM

Many CRM systems offer strategic account management functions. Unfortunately, almost all of them are designed for B2B selling. They include complex org charts and relationship mapping functions that are not relevant for B2C sellers. Financial advisors need a slimmed down and easy to use solution.

CRM software for financial services account planning includes capabilities, such as:

  • Pulling data from Account, Contact and Opportunity records into the Account Plan
  • Applying structured client data such as the Financial Services FORM technique
  • Account Plan integration with CRM activity management
  • Integration to dashboards for account plan scheduling, alerts and escalations
  • Integration with Playbooks to display Sales and Account Management Best Practices
  • Integration with AI for Next Best Offer (NBO) and Next Best Action (NBA) recommendations

Account plans are also useful to identify white space sale opportunities. This is another area of differentiation for CRM software designed for financial services.

White space is a metaphor that describes an upside growth opportunity. It's a place where a financial services firm may find unmet needs or market gaps, or underserved target audiences. It's a place where a company might find limited competition.

White space is most often driven by customer intelligence, market analysis and product innovation. For many financial advisors, the revenue is in the whitespace.

See how Bankers, Wealth Managers and Financial Services Advisors use CRM software and Strategic Account Management to grow client revenues and AUM.

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The Point is This

Strategic account plans set goals for future periods. Seasoned financial advisors know that client goals shift and when advisor services shift in parallel the advisor becomes essential to their clients.

CRM software is the system that records new client interests, adjustments to the client household, changes to life stages or life events, minutes from client discussions and reviews, and much more. CRM software is the source and central repository for customer intelligence. It tracks evolving client needs, goals and priorities in near real-time so the financial advisor can recommend the right financial products at the right time. CRM provides the information to help advisors stay relevant and grow AUM.