Ethical Financial Selling: The Role of Compliance Technology and Sales Enablement

Nigel Cannings, CTO at Intelligent Voice


Sales enablement strategy is crucial to effective, targeted customer service. Real-time data can equip sales teams with the necessary knowledge for successful sales, building an improved understanding of how customer service interactions generate different results. AI systems – particularly those backed by speech recognition technology – have the power to accurately inform sales enablement strategy and adapt to evolve with the fast-moving finance market. First, however, businesses need to understand the ethical side of AI implementation, particularly how AI can also improve customer protection.

Which systems inform sales enablement strategy?

AI is crucial for building a comprehensive, accurately informed sales enablement strategy. By removing the time-consuming (and often erroneous) influence of manpower from data analysis, AI can quickly provide insights into customer reactions, behaviours, and preferences.

Speech recognition technology provides the best systems for tackling audio and video data (previously considered more challenging to utilise). Natural Language Processing (NLP), for example, allows for creating a greater understanding between computers and human language. When combined with AI, such as machine learning, an automated system forms where speech AI can detect behavioural indicators, semantics, or language features to provide insight into customer interactions.

A sales enablement strategy requires a multifaceted approach, including employee training, guidance, and materials that reflect the broader company strategy. In addition, specific goals need additional tailored advice informing customer interactions and sales. Detecting behavioural indicators, semantics, and language features allow AI to build data-backed customer profiles, avoiding time-consuming manual analysis to provide the most up-to-date information. Factors such as demographics, location, and peak activity times can also be included to form more targeted sales strategies.

Semantics, however, is the most vital insight provided by speech AI. The ability to detect which tone, language and key phrases lead to successful sales are crucial when building a sales enablement strategy. AI runs this semantics analysis in the background of calls, allowing customer service agents to focus on sales without needing to focus themselves on collecting this data. Once compiled, the information can be presented to customer service agents in their training material.

Why is ethical sales enablement essential?

Customer service is becoming increasingly personalised, analysed, and improved. When selling services in the financial sector, customers expect to receive a high amount of attention and receive advice or deals that suit them the best. Therefore, sales enablement strategies should focus on providing this service to encourage the best potential sales.

Crucially, businesses must remember to carry out sales enablement strategies ethically and legally. The financial sector is both highly scrutinised and heavily regulated. Updated guidelines from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) dictate that good customer outcomes must always be at the centre of business. Their diverse needs must be assessed and addressed at every stage of customer interactions. Any accommodations to ensure customers fully comprehend and understand the service they are being sold must be taken.

Speech AI can also contribute to maintaining ethical selling practices. Semantic analysis can also identify customer vulnerability, such as an elderly person, individual in distress, or adult with severe mental health difficulties. Sales teams must never pressure a vulnerable individual into purchasing financial services products, especially if the purchase involves financial risk. With AI running in the background of calls, features such as hesitation, vagueness, reluctance, or confusion can be identified, and where necessary, the customer service agent is notified.

How do these features result in improved targeted selling?

AI-driven sales enablement and customer protection collaboratively facilitate robust, targeted selling techniques. Vulnerable customers can receive the additional information and support necessary to make financial decisions. Meanwhile, regular customers can receive a sales experience tailored to their specific needs. In an industry where customer interactions are increasingly taking place remotely, a personalised sales experience often generates more positive connections and exchanges.

Achieving the correct balance between personalisation and intrusive sales techniques is critical to maintaining success. Customer service agents and sales reps must receive guidance on interpreting AI-provided data to inform their sales technique rather than force discussion or reveal excessive information on what the business knows about the customer in question. These approaches can quickly alienate customers, generating negative interactions and discouraging sales.

AI and speech recognition are bringing the issues of compliance and sales enablement closer together, benefiting significantly from the same technology. Higher personalisation and more detailed customer profiling are an asset to sales strategy. However, they also require an increased awareness of corporate responsibility and customer protection. Utilised effectively, AI and speech recognition hold the key to maintaining positive customer experiences, especially as they become increasingly remote.

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