By Kevin Mummau
Achieving meaningful revenue growth is the definition of success. In pursuit of program success, consider these six key steps in your program management plan.
- Incorporate premium technology. The right technology tools can increase efficiency, credibility, and ease of service delivery to your clients. Look for a web-based account management system that streamlines administration, communications, sales, order entry and review, and reporting functions, and that has the capability to add different tools that can each improve different segments of your program.
- Use efficient business processing. The investment business requires daily processing, but it doesn’t have to be tedious. Use your integrated technology systems to achieve full visibility. Paperless, web-based systems give managers a complete view of all activities so they can quickly address issues as needed. Also, ensure your broker-dealer can customize forms to automatically populate for your specific processing requirements to keep the system efficient.
- Go beyond simple branch referrals. Make sure your reps are trained to work their book of business and provide a deeper consultative approach for their clients. Ask your broker-dealer if they offer advisor training on how to institute finely tuned awareness campaigns to build their business. It is also important to provide ready-to-use marketing resources such as webinars, workshops, and web-based educational materials that your advisors can customize and use quickly.
- Use development tools meant for financial institutions. A financial institution should work with partners that fully understand and are completely focused on the goals and pain points unique to the financial institution channel, without channel conflicts. Look for robust development tools at the program level – best practices, tips, training, marketing materials, etc. – that are designed to help programs achieve their goals.
- Hire experienced managers and provide the resources they need. When it comes to your investment program, the program manager is the captain of the ship. A manager with professional experience running an investment program is the fastest way to reach success. But it is equally important to enact a business plan that ensures they have ample resources and time to dedicate to the advisors and program. A “managed program” structure, wherein your broker dealer employs and manages your program manager and investment advisors, may be the most economical choice for your program.
- Build a profitable model for everyone. To be truly successful, an investment program must be profitable for five key constituents: the credit union, the program manager, the advisor, the broker-dealer, and the client. It must be balanced and competitive for all players. Check for transparency in the cost for sales assistants – who picks up the costs and when? Transparency empowers your team and helps everyone be more profitable.
These six steps provide just a brief overview of the key elements necessary to achieve revenue growth. Work with your broker-dealer to formulate a customized plan for your credit union’s unique situation.
Kevin Mummau is EVP, Program Development, with CUSO Financial Services, LP. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.