When advisers invest in new technology, what's often overlooked or minimized is training.
We've all been guilty of “winging it” on occasion (a lack of time is usually the culprit,) but the potential consequences (low firmwide adoption, confusion on the “right'' way to use a new system) can be impactful long after you're up and running.
Whether it's financial planning or document management software, a portfolio re-balancing tool, or a CRM, technology training falls into one of two categories. There's the “how-to” side of training, which can require a minimal or moderate time commitment if the program is intuitive in design. Then there's the consultative training that focuses on process, or “why” you're using your technology to accomplish a certain goal. This is where you get tremendous leverage and return on investment. You should allocate considerable time for you and your staff to understand how best to apply a new program to your business.
4 Benefits of Technology Training:
1. Promotes adoption
Change can be a four-letter word in our industry, and at times, switching technology can trigger panic, frustration and apathy. With a training program in place, team members become part of the process and have the ability to voice their concerns along the way. The result is minimized resistance (and objection) to adoption.
2. Produces results
What's more powerful than everyone in your firm learning how to execute a key process the same way every time? The boost in your efficiency levels. The consistency of your client service. With training, you move the needle forward across the entire firm.
3. Guidance begets confidences
Good training and an understanding of the firm's big-picture goals can work wonders for your team's confidence. The more clarity training provides (“aha” moments), the more momentum there is for employees to learn more and go farther.
4. Get your money's worth
One downside to skipping tech training is overlooking more advanced features offered by a system. If you've taken the step to invest in new technology, make sure you make the most of it.
Advisers need to shift their thinking on tech training from being optional or unnecessary to being an integral part of their overall investment in a new or existing program. Yes, time is one of our most precious (and scarce) commodities, but you'll find that the more effort you put into learning and adopting a technology in the beginning, the more it will pay off dividends in the long run.
What do you think? How can you ensure that your team is getting enough training with technology tools? Have you ever been a victim of not enough training? Tell your story and join the conversation
Gregory H. Friedman is the co-founder and president of Junxure Inc. and founder and president of Private Ocean, a Bay Area wealth management firm.