By Andy Baillie, Vice President, Seismic
Financial services have been utilising artificial intelligence (AI) for a range of services for some time now. But more recently, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for their investment in AI technology.
Adoption of AI in financial services was already high before the pandemic. A McKinsey survey showed that 28% of the financial services firms intend to further increase investment in AI, despite the pandemic’s challenges. Financial advisors who are tasked with increasingly high-value and complex sales cycles can especially benefit from leveraging AI. The ability to combine human intelligence with machine learning can provide precise data-guided pathways for clients at each stage of the sales cycle and improve the buying experience.
It is clear that AI is already playing a critical role in finance and its adoption is forecasted to rise further. But how can AI-guided technologies enhance go-to-market (GTM) activities for financial institutions? And what sort of impact will it have on meaningful, long-term business success?
Supporting digital GTM activities
Private banking and wealth management sales teams have been adapting virtual selling quicker than ever before during the pandemic, and change is continuing at a rapid pace. As the sales motion shifted to remote interactions, it became heavily focused on establishing strong relationships with clients in a virtual environment, but this has brought complexities of its own.
Since almost every financial advisor will have followed this shift over the past 12 months, the competition across digital channels has increased. Due to this, potential clients are constantly being bombarded with content from financial services, so it’s vital that these communications are differentiated from the rest in order to stand out from the crowd.
Clients are also beginning to take greater control of their buying journey. With a wealth of online content to compare and inform their decision-making, they can already formulate a judgement – and expect to have the content to formulate their judgement on the company and/or service – before they even interact with a business representative.
On the flipside, those who manage their business’s sales function are required to hit targets, and to do so by optimising their GTM activities. Despite all the disruption, more than half of businesses across all industries have increased their sales targets for 2021 and over 8 in 10 see business growth as a top priority. Data indicates that these trends will continue into the future, with sellers under immense pressure and customers driving a digital-first marketplace.
Ultimately, financial services have to adapt. They must deeply understand their clients’ needs and pain points. In today’s highly competitive market, having a library of effective marketing content that is up-to-date and directly addresses their clients’ concerns is now essential for success.
Fortunately, AI-guided selling has come of age to act as a compass throughout the digital sales cycle and reach even the most ambitious targets. Financial advisors, along with their AI-powered sidekick, will be better equipped to create meaningful customer relationships and simplify high-value GTM and sales activities.
Marrying AI with sales success
The key to success in virtual selling is data. Every engagement with clients provides more data in terms of how they are interacting with specific pieces of content. And with these insights, financial advisors can better optimise future interactions. By collecting and analysing contextual data at scale, they can diagnose their clients’ patterns and behaviours to inform their next move.
AI-guided selling solutions enable financial advisors to work smarter. AI technology supplies them with intelligent content insights and recommended actions to advance client conversations. By empowering them with information and data to make their client interactions relevant and worthwhile, they can unlock more effective personalisation.
For example, GTM teams can capitalise on real-time data on content and channel performance to speed up tedious tasks such as writing, tailoring, or converting content, or to determine which content to use for their client meetings. This level of insight ensures resources are better allocated, freeing up time for higher value activities and enhancing the quality of engagements with current and prospective clients.
Financial services have been at the forefront of digital transformation. Therefore, as interactions continue to shift online, AI systems allow financial advisors to customise each piece of content to differentiate themselves from the competition, deliver a more engaging investor experience, and do so at scale.
AI-guided selling is helping financial advisors navigate a competitive digital market by eliminating the vast majority of the guesswork and helping to build stronger relationships that set the financial industry up for success.