Financial services is an increasingly tech-driven industry, and it is taking place on multiple levels.
Advisors recognize the importance of engaging their client base through email, social media, online account management, and other digital channels. But their clients are also expecting advisors to leverage innovative wealth management tools that improve their ability to analyze risk, plan for various retirement scenarios, and optimize tax impact to minimize their burden over time.
As a financial advisor, technology is your foundation for reaching new clients and retaining your existing ones. Here are some of the most essential tools that can benefit your firm and deliver value to your client base.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Managing your list of clients can be complicated. Not only do you need to keep track of your existing client base, but you also have to manage and track new leads for your firm―and do so while being mindful of the patience, of lack thereof, that your existing and prospective clients are willing to give you.
A CRM is your most important tool in managing customer relationships. With this software, you can quickly view and manage clients on an individual account level, organize tasks, streamline communications, and manage other activities for each of your clients. At the same time, a CRM helps you organize and track your new client leads, including the referral source, the time they contacted you, their contact information, and your engagement history with that prospect.
Your CRM is one of your core technologies because it intersects with so many aspects of your operations: not just the actual task of wealth management, but also your marketing and sales efforts. A CRM pays for itself by improving your efficiency and organization, which ultimately supports customer retention and new client growth.
Marketing/Email Automation Tools
Communication and engagement is crucial for both current and potential clients. Email automation is a great way to keep in contact with your current clients through newsletters, updates on wealth management trends, news from your office, educational resources, and other valuable information. Email offers a high return on investment because of its ease in reaching your current customer base, so it should be a core strategy used by any financial advising firm.
Marketing tools are also important to maintain visibility among your target audience. Through display ads, website analytics, search engine optimization, and other paid and organic channels, marketing is an investment in the growth of your business. Seek out marketing platforms, tools, and resources that automate some of these processes and amplify your impact, or seek the help of a marketing agency that can handle this work for you.
Online Scheduler for Current and New Clients
If you haven’t already, create an online calendar so that prospects and clients can book meetings directly from your website. Link to the calendar as a call to action in your marketing efforts to increase the number of appointments you set. Online scheduling is a convenient way for new clients to get in the front door with your company. You can explore options from HubSpot, Calendly, and Doodle.
Social Media Management Tools
A social media presence is a valuable asset for any financing advising firm. Through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other channels, you can demonstrate your expertise through thoughtful posts, link to informative blog posts on your website, promote upcoming webinars, and engage directly with your current and prospective clients.
Simple social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer make it easy to schedule posts, manage multiple accounts at once, and streamline your social media engagement with other users. The value of these basic tools far exceeds the cost of licensing the software and managing the account on a daily basis.
Retirement Planning Tools
Utilizing financial planning software offers a major upgrade over manual approaches. These tools improve your ability to analyze, strategize, and make informed, data-driven planning decisions that account for a range of variables affecting each client’s financial outlook.
Tools like Social Security Timing can be used to help advisors optimize their clients' Social Security claiming strategies and increase their retirement value by up to $100,000. Other tools, such as Covisum’s Income InSight, make it easy to build comprehensive retirement strategies that are stress-tested against a down market, long-term health care events and early death, while incorporating valuable tools and calculators that show the value of Roth conversions, insurance and other wealth management strategies.
Today’s financial advisors need tools that allow them to quickly share digital files and other information with their clients through a secure channel. Dropbox is one of the most commonly known technologies for file sharing. It is important for advisors to be mindful of the security of the platforms they’re using to share private information.
File management and storage solutions need to be compliant with whatever regulations are covering registered investment advisors (RIAs). For advisors looking for a file-sharing solution more secure than Dropbox, ShareFile is a well-regarded alternative.
Software for Tax Strategy in Retirement
The tax implications of any wealth management strategy have a huge impact on wealth preservation and, ultimately, the amount of money available to fund your retirement. Tax Clarity is a software solution that can help clients and advisors understand tax-saving opportunities that limit their tax burden in retirement.
The same way your financial planning software can account for multiple scenarios your clients may face, tax strategy software can help you offer recommendations based on different tax and income scenarios that may develop in the future.
Integrated financial planning software can help advisors balance the challenges of both short-term and long-term planning. Tax strategy software should also integrate with other tools, such as income-planning software, to enhance the quality of your data and your planning capabilities. Advisors and their clients care about reaching immediate financial goals, as well as the lifetime impact of financial decisions. You can use Tax Clarity with Income InSight because these tools are deeply integrated and built on the same platform. Start with Tax Clarity to work through the best strategy for this year, then seamlessly move from the annual Tax Map to discussing long-term projections in Income InSight.
Other Strategy Development Tools
The more your financial advising firm leans on technology to serve its clients, the better you’ll be able to deliver data-driven recommendations and insights that strengthen your services while also streamlining the actual wealth management process.
Tools like SmartRisk, for example, can improve your clients’ understanding of dramatic market changes while assisting in important decisions regarding portfolio management. Risk assessment tools can be a valuable tool to steer clients away from making costly, short-sighted decisions that weaken their portfolio, and instead embrace long-term thinking that offers greater rewards.
Additionally, who use financial planning software as educational tools can help clients expand their understanding of the financial planning strategies being used to manage their account. When the output from these tools double as educational resources, advisors can easily show the value they provide to their clients while guiding strategic decision-making conversations that are bolstered by improved financial literacy on the side of the account holder.
The Right Tools Make All the Difference
The right tools enable your financial advisory firm to streamline wealth management services, improve customer outreach and engagement, and improve the efficiency of both your communications and your planning processes. To serve today’s wealth management clients, a software-enabled approach is key to keeping pace with the evolving industry landscape while also setting yourself apart from your competition.
Looking for tips to grow your client base? Download our Financial Advisor’s Guide to Lead Generation.