Technology can make running your advisory business easier but it’s important to know which ones are worth the investment. The best financial advisor tech tools are ones that can help you save both time and money while making it easier to scale and sustain your business. There are some key categories of tech tools that can prove most useful to advisors when it comes to managing essential tasks.
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Must-Have Financial Advisor Tech Tools
When thinking about where tech belongs in your advisory business, it helps to think in terms of which problems it might be able to help you solve. Identifying your biggest pain points can be a good starting point for determining which technologies might fit into your overall operations. With that in mind, here are six of the smartest tech tools you might consider using:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Customer relationship management software programs are designed to make it easier to keep track of client data in one place. You can set up a single dashboard within your CRM to manage all of your clients, which can streamline record keeping and make information more easily accessible to all relevant parties in your firm. You can also use your CRM to set up client dashboards to allow the investors you work with to track their portfolios online.
A good CRM should allow you to:
- Set up automated workflows
- Track client communications
- Protect client data securely
- Navigate compliance requirements
- Manage risk
CRM programs can also have other uses as well. For example, you could use it to track client birthdays or anniversaries so that you can send well wishes via email or a mailed card. That’s a relatively small thing, but it could go a long way toward building client loyalty.
Financial Planning Software
Financial planning software can be essential to your role as an advisor if you need to create forecasts or generate goal-centered plans for clients. The types of features that are available can depend on the software you’re using. They may include:
- Risk management tools
- Estate planning tools
- Net worth statements
- Customizable reports
- Analytics tools
- Tax management tools
- Retirement planning tools
It’s also possible to find financial planning software that includes tools to help ensure your business remains compliant with regulatory guidelines. That’s important as falling into noncompliance can potentially have significant consequences.
Video Conferencing Software
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people seek out financial advice. While plenty of advisors have returned to meeting with clients in person, they’re also connecting via video chats. If that’s something you’d like to do more of in your practice, video conferencing software tools or solutions can help to facilitate that transition.
As you compare video conferencing tools, it helps to look at the features offered. For example, you might want software that offers all of the following options:
- One-on-one and group conferencing
- Screen sharing and recording
- File sharing
- Public or private chats
- Private messaging
You may be interested in other capabilities as well, such as the option to accept payments or schedule video appointments. Comparing different options can help you find the right one for your business’s needs.
Email Marketing Software
Email can be a powerful marketing tool as it allows you to connect with clients directly. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on sending emails each week, it could make sense to utilize a tech tool that allows you to automate the process. You can also use email marketing software to create sales funnels or email sequences to help you nurture your audience.
When considering email marketing tools for your business, it’s important to look at the features and functionality, as well as integrations and cost. If a platform charges you based on the number of newsletter subscribers you have, for instance, then the fee you pay should be justified by the range of features you can access.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
Along with email, social media may be central to your marketing plan. Creating social media content can be an effective way to connect with your target audience while establishing your credibility and expertise. Similar to email marketing, however, it can quickly become time-consuming.
Automation tech tools allow you to schedule content for different social media platforms with the click of a button. You can decide how often to post, and which platform content should be shared to so that you can focus on other tasks, rather than having to be chronically online.
Scheduling software can make it easier to schedule meetings with clients at times that are most convenient for them. You can set your available hours through the software so that clients can choose open slots. You can also set up specific rules for booking appointments as well as canceling them.
A scheduling program can save you time and eliminate the need for unnecessary back-and-forth communications. Depending on which program you choose, you might also be able to share pricing information with customers or accept payments and send automatic reminders when an appointment is upcoming.
Considerations for Choosing Advisor Tech Tools
There are lots of different software programs and tools you could use to streamline your business, but it’s important to take your time and research the options. What the tools can do for you certainly matters but there are other considerations as well, including security and ease of use.
Any product that you’re using should be equipped to keep your client data safe and protected. Data breaches can be extremely detrimental not only to your clients but to your business, so it’s important to understand what type of security measures a software program or tool includes.
Aside from that, your tech stack needs to be reliable, meaning that you can count on it to function as it should at all times. When a program or tool is down, that can hold up the course of business and keep you from performing important tasks. While no software is immune from issues, some are better than others when it comes to minimizing downtime and providing support when you need it.
Any client-facing software or tool you use should offer a good user experience. For example, if you’re using a CRM that provides client dashboards, they should be easy to navigate. Tools that are clunky or confusing can be off-putting and in a worst-case scenario, they may leave your clients looking elsewhere for advice.
Tech tools can make running your business easier so that you can spend more time focusing on serving your clients and connecting with new ones. Finding the right solutions starts with knowing what needs you have to fill and estimating how much of your budget you’d like to invest in tech.
Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business
- Developing an online presence is more important than ever as investors increasingly turn to online searches to find professional advisors. If you don’t have a lot of time to spare for digital marketing, you might consider using an online lead generation tool instead. SmartAdvisor, for instance, can help bring leads to you while freeing up valuable time in your daily schedule.
- Artificial intelligence is another tech innovation that’s reshaping the way advisors, financial planners and wealth managers work. While AI adoption in wealth management is not yet widespread, it’s helpful to understand the potential applications for this technology and where it might fit into your business strategy. For example, ChatGPT could be a useful tool for drafting social media content or email marketing content in less time.
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