I have almost completed Hubpot Academy’s Inbound Certification (free, valuable, immediately actionable education….thanks, Hubspot!!) and was thinking about the “Convert” part of the process this morning. I read a FinanceFeeds.net article written by a guest editor about automating the conversion process that had for so long been used in traditional financial services.
Old-school conversion in financial services was cold-calling. But who even takes cold calls, let alone gets sold? Am I a complete outlyer in that I have never taken a cold call? I am polite about it and allow the caller to introduce themselves. But knowing cold call patterns, I wait for their first question/opening and politely tell them I am not interested and I wish them best of luck in the future with other prospects. I then ask to be taken off whatever list I am on. (**There have been occasions when the first few seconds of the pitch is either so good or so bad that I ask the caller about their sales training, but have never listened to the pitch or been closed.**)
However the process described in the FinanceFeeds.net article sounds a lot more like what conversion should be:
“Imagine if 14 hours ago, when Mr X was sitting at his computer, truly interested and engaged, the automated trading platform would have guided him through the onboarding process and converted him. Imagine if a few hours later, the system sent him an automated e-mail or an SMS offering him to download the trading app into his phone so he can trade anytime, anywhere.
Imagine if now that he is registered and has the app, just as he is about to walk into the meeting, the system sends him a push notification advising him of the drop in the price of Gold and directing him directly to the action of the trade in a simple, not-intrusive manner. Is this not a much more effective, less disruptive way of converting and retaining clients?”
Working in a global B2C industry, I have spent time organizing call centers, and I have spent time creating automated sales processes. The automated processes take a lot more mental horsepower, and set up time. But once implemented, they are massively scale-able. Yet most brokerage firms in the retail FX/CFD/Futures industry (Margin Trading Products, or “MTP”) are still spending effort creating and managing call centers. Call centers are simpler to set up but require constant, ongoing efforts and do not scale easily. The constant churn of hiring low-level employees or contractors, training on new products, monitoring calls for compliance issues, etc.
Additionally, the intellectual property created by building and implementing automated sales processes (high multiple income) is far more valuable to shareholders than the income generated by cold-calling (low multiple income).
So out with the old and in with the new. The tools to create an automated conversion process are available. It is up to management of each company to champion a move from yesterday to today (and tomorrow) for the conversion process.