July 8, 2019
This article challenges you to think about the future and about your place in it – as an adviser – and as an advice business, in what Mentor Education’s Dr Mark Sinclair refers to as the fourth industrial revolution…
If you have decided to stick it out in this current regulatory environment, rapidly moving from de-regulation to over-regulation, then you have decided to tread your own path and separate from the disenfranchised herd stampeding to the exit. What you will need, not just to succeed, but to thrive, is endless resilience, a relentless client-focus and a commitment to transform into an Adviser 4.0.
To understand the mindset and skills you will require in the changing world of work and to remain competitive and relevant to a changing client base, we need to respond to the broader context of change which has been accelerating at a furious pace in the last five years.
To thrive in today’s Industry 4.0, you need to become an Adviser 4.0
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR/Industry 4.0) is in full-swing. There are now many emerging technology breakthroughs that we need to take a satellited view of to appreciate the full extent of the transformation in progress, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet of Things, digital ledger technology (blockchain), fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), additive manufacturing/3D printing and fully autonomous vehicles.
To thrive in today’s Industry 4.0, you need to become an Adviser 4.0. This will involve transforming into a digital advice practice, improving client centric processes, client experience and most importantly client outcomes by embracing new digital tools which are relatively accessible, easy to learn and cost effective.
The first step in your journey to becoming an Adviser 4.0 is to upgrade your customer relationship management (CRM) system. You will need to choose a best-of-breed CRM that will keep up with the accelerating rate-of-change that is before us. It will need to embody artificial intelligence, workflow management, machine learning, API integration to centralise all information and personalised (automatic) client interactions.
SalesForce should be a consideration, but it can be expensive and take a long time to setup. If you are a smaller practice, you might consider Practifi, an enterprising company based in Sydney that has set up a customised Adviser Practice specific instance of SalesForce that can be up and running relatively quickly at a fraction of the cost.
There are a number of applications that you will find beneficial and potentially provide a significant return on investment. For example, a 5% -10% improvement in lead conversion can be achieved by creating personalised email, SMS, mail and telephone journeys, recognising demographic profiling, referral and marketing source, and using the clients preferred communications channel, be it mobile phone, email, WeChat etc.
Life-long learning will also be the hallmark of an Adviser 4.0
Other workflows you might also consider using your CRM to improve are in the areas of policy renewal, client engagement, client retention, client testimonials and client referral.
In your personal transformation to an Adviser 4.0, you might also consider an application such as SuiteBox, which combines faster internet speeds, video conferencing and compliance applications to enable you to do real time signing of documents during online meetings.
Life-long learning will also be the hallmark of an Adviser 4.0, to recognise the opportunities presented by emerging technologies, implement and fully realise the potential benefits and build the culture within your practice so that everyone comes along with you on your transformational journey.
Let me conclude by citing McKinsey’s March 2019 Report – Digital Australia: Seizing the opportunity from the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which draws on the result of a research collaboration with the Australian Federal Department of Communications and the Arts, how Australia can benefit most (both economically and socially) from what the World Economic Forum has called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
McKinsey’s four main recommendations of significant relevance to Advisers 4.0, are:
- Set a strategic ambition and do not be held back by the ‘curse of incumbency’
- Underpin the digital journey with digital capabilities, while focussing on ROI
- Pay close attention to culture
- Build a digital organisation with digital leadership and talent
While 2019 commenced with a sigh of relief following the recommendations from the Banking Royal Commission, the Fourth Industrial Revolution marches on.
Embrace the life-long journey to become an Adviser 4.0.
Mentor Education, which has qualified over 20,000 advisers since 2003, has a strong focus on developing industry 4.0 skills, which it embeds into its traditional Financial Services qualifications, for Financial Planning, Paraplanning, Accounting, Mortgage Broking and Real Estate professionals. However, Mentor also offers Business, IT and Project Management qualifications as well as CPD to develop foundation knowledge for the Adviser 4.0.
As the only registered training organisation in Australia to deliver the Advanced Diploma in Applied Blockchain, Mentor is responding to emerging technologies and the need for future focussed business analysists. Financial Services automation is one of the biggest transformation opportunities of our time, and a number of entrepreneurs, including advisers, were in the 2019 semester-one intake to develop their business process modelling, business case development and technology skills.
Issued by Mentor Education RTO 21683: mentor.edu.au