Enablement in Financial Services: Meeting the Needs of Next-Generation Buyers
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As younger generations become a primary client demographic in the financial services industry, the demand for digital evolution is increasing. In fact, according to Forrester, millennials and Generation Z make up 64% of business buyers. Importantly, they are significantly more likely to prefer self-serve transaction channels than their older counterparts.
Providing excellent client service is often the key to retaining and growing a thriving client base. With an increasingly digital-first client base, there is an opportunity for financial services organizations to drive efficiency and grow the client base by equipping reps with the tools needed to provide constant value and foster loyalty.
Below, learn how enablement can help reps improve client experiences and accelerate digital transformation in the financial services industry to meet the needs of the next generation of clients.
How Client Behaviors Evolve Alongside Digital Transformation
The accelerated shift to digital over the past few years has impacted potential client behaviors. In the State of Sales Enablement in Financial Services Report, 41% of respondents reported that competitive pressure was a top sales challenge for their reps. With a shift in appealing to a new and younger generation of clients, understanding their preferences around client communication and technology is paramount to creating a successful client experience.
A few of the top ways client expectations and behaviors are changing include:
- Expectation of Immediacy: A recent survey of financial services organizations found that 29% of respondents indicated that clients are more impatient than ever and often expect an immediate response. In an era where instant gratification is often treated as an accepted universal truth, reps need to communicate and share critical information that strengthens their relationships.
- Digital-First Engagement: Financial services organizations report that nearly 20% of teams need help cultivating a positive client experience, resulting in retention struggles. This can become an increasingly difficult challenge when most client relationships initiate digitally, as 38% said that buyers prefer a digital-first experience.
- Later Stage Interactions: The same survey also found that 49% of buyers conduct more research before engaging reps. With client relationships beginning later in the process, it is essential that reps can provide personalized value from the very beginning.
Enablement can act as a first line of defense in ensuring sellers are prepared and ready to prioritize digital-first methods while providing a consistent and valuable experience throughout the sales cycle. To do this, cultivating an effective enablement tech stack is essential. When teams leverage sales enablement tools, for example, client-facing teams can feel assured that the engagements they pursue with clients are valuable and tailored to every selling situation.
“If you aren’t solutions-focused with your approach, hoping to solve people’s problems, it’s going to be tough to get their attention,” said Gerald Alston, platform enablement manager at Varonis. “Beyond that, you need a tool that will help you reach out to these individuals across multiple channels and do so consistently without having leads fall through the cracks. You need to stay organized, and ultimately, you need something that will help you scale your activity daily to keep up with the demands of the landscape.”
How Enablement Can Help Drive a More Consistent Client Experience
Harnessing the power of enablement tools helps client-facing teams access the content, training, coaching, and data necessary to properly engage with this new, digital-first generation of buyers. In fact, financial services organizations that leverage sales enablement tools are eight times more likely to have highly engaged reps and four times more likely to provide insights into what works.
“Through our enablement software, we now have reporting at the bottom of the funnel, which comes back to customer-centricity,” said Steve Goas, sales enablement leader. “If I’m your salesperson, and I send an email to you, and I can see what you’ve opened, what your linger time is, or how much of a video you viewed, I know what’s valuable to you. This will help fuel future interactions and enhance my ability to bring value to the table.”
Enablement can help reps cut through the noise from competitors and provide a seamless digital experience through the tech stack in a few core ways:
- Provide a Consistent Experience With Content: When reps can find the right materials that provide accuracy and relevancy to their clients, it leads to a consistent and positive experience throughout the sales cycle. In fact, 31% of financial companies leverage sales content tools and find that win rates improve by 9 percentage points in supporting sales efforts.
- Accelerating Digitalization to Meet Client Needs: The shift to digital has impacted prospect behavior, and most firms are at various stages of their digital transformation. Enablement can equip reps to engage proficiently within the digital environment. In fact, when financial services companies do not leverage enablement tools, the likelihood of struggling with client experience and retention increases by 26%.
- Delivering Personalization to Build Meaningful Connections: With more clients now conducting a great deal of research before ever engaging with a rep, they’ll need to stand out and demonstrate value as quickly and efficiently as possible. One way to achieve this is through personalizing engagements with prospective clients. Sales plays, for example, can provide actionable guidance for reps on how to best engage with their prospects while also providing customizable messaging and frameworks that seek to take conversations further on a deeper and more meaningful level. In fact, when organizations use plays with their teams, they report 3-percentage-point higher win rates.
Through enablement, financial services companies can meet the needs of the next generation of buyers and become even more effective and equipped to handle the transformative way clients buy. By creating a client experience that is consistent, more digitally focused, and personalized, firms can deepen relationships with clients and help build future success for their organizations.