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The rise and rise of customer experience in financial services – could RevOps unlock a new door?

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Dean Carroll, general manager of Xpedition takes a look at the benefits.

Garter predicts that by 2025, 75% of the world’s highest growth companies will be adopting a Revenue Operations framework, or ‘RevOps’ for short, financial services firms among them. RevOps is the strategic integration of sales, marketing, and customer success to drive more scalable and sustainable growth, deliver value, and supply a more accurate end-to-end view of the revenue pipeline.

In future, successful organisations will be the ones that understand customer experience is a primary driver of growth and make the necessary investments in technology, people, and processes to meet these expectations. By breaking down departmental silos and aligning data, departments, and solutions, RevOps will provide organisations with more accurate intelligence on what is happening across the entire customer journey, so together, they can respond as one commercial team to ensure the experience is personalised and frictionless and personalised.

However, it’s easier said than done; skills, technology, data, people, and strategy all need to be perfectly merged. This article will look at how FS firms are managing the challenge, in particular integrating legacy systems and data, and adopting modern technologies such as business intelligence and AI (Artificial Intelligence), to not just grow but thrive.

The rise and rise of customer experience in financial services – could RevOps unlock a new door? 

Gartner has predicted that by 2025, 75% of the world’s highest growth companies, including financial services firms, will be adopting RevOps. A blend of the words ‘revenue and operations,’ RevOps is heralded as a strategic framework to align sales, marketing, and customer service so they work as one commercial, revenue orientated team.

In a RevOps world, the, marketing, sales and customer relations teams work together to identify the market opportunity and the role they should play in attracting leads, moving prospects from enquiry to sale, creating loyal customers and reducing customer churn.

These teams no longer work in isolation or act on data that is exclusive to their function. When RevOps is employed, everyone is pulling in the same direction. The same data sets and information dashboards are used. People are aligned to the same metrics, and everyone is responsible for customer success.

Dean Carroll

Why now?

There’s growing evidence to suggest that people will pay more for a product or service, and even perceive it to be good value, if they also receive great service. Apple is a renowned example, and with its recent move into financial services, it has capitalised on the trust people place in the brand’s values.

It’s also an indicator of the move towards managing the ‘lifetime value’ of a customer. Companies are more readily asking what constitutes excellent value and creates loyal customers? But also, how can they compete on customer experience as well as price?

A complex, but necessary, undertaking

New market disruptors are answering these questions with digitalisation, exerting even more pressure on incumbents to review their business processes and go digital.

Over the last few years, and accelerated by the pandemic, the move to the cloud, the adoption of business intelligence platforms and digital applications has become the strategic imperative. Modernise through digital transformation or die is the implication.

In our experience, visionary business leaders understand the value that business and digital transformation can deliver– from faster, streamlined, and personalised online experiences for customers, through improved speed to market for new products and services, to higher quality data from which to make decisions.

However, it’s not a simple undertaking. Transformation projects can be complex, especially when legacy systems and multiple datasets are involved. It takes bold leadership to break the status quo.

Plus, technology is only a part of the digital transformation story. Culture too can be an inhibitor to success if not aligned to a clear business vision. It takes skill to successfully bring everyone onboard a shared change journey.

To get buy-in, companies must consult stakeholders about their concerns, as well as understand the technology and processes needed to achieve strategic goals.

Where revenue hasn’t grown as quickly as expected or leads weren’t converted at the predicted rate, the root cause isn’t always the technology or employee expertise; it’s the way the company is organised. If teams fall back into the old ways of working and revert to working in silos, there can be significant impact on customer experience.

The need for virtual teams

However, as companies that implement a RevOps framework can testify, when you change how people collaborate across the firm, the investment in digital transformation is realised more quickly.

In effect, creating virtual commercial teams bring together different skill sets from marketing, sales, customer success, so that their respective goals and strategies are interconnected. Clearly defining steps and stages will ensure and seamless interactions between teams internally and a positive experience for the customer. Since customers only care about the experience, they don’t care which team or department they are dealing with. If customers aren’t thinking in silos, your organisation shouldn’t be either.

It also gives everyone full oversight of what is happening, why and when and, most importantly, the autonomy to make a change quickly so sales aren’t lost. What’s more, once a sale has been made, a dedicated and personalised plan to nurture customers can be activated based on business intelligence gathered during the sales process. This might lead to programmes that encourage further loyalty and the cross-selling of new products.

Crucially, customer experience can be enhanced when the team are able to access key insights. If everyone in the commercial team has access to the same customer relationship management (CRM) system that provides a single source of the truth, they can act on insights together, connecting the various dots across the entire customer experience.

By adopting RevOps, firms gain a strategic advantage. With the right blend of technology and a clear transformation vision, it’s possible and to exceed customer expectations, and compete and win in this competitive market.

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Times International and SaaScada partner to deliver innovative trade and commerce financial solutions

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Global trade is forecast to increase between 30% and 70% by 2030, with 80% relying on trade finance. With traditional merchant banks struggling to meet the challenges of digitisation needed to deliver faster trade flows, Times International will focus on bridging the current supply chain funding gaps, offering market leading digital finance and FOREX services to SMEs in addition to insurance and logistics.

Times International will initially launch as a wholesale funded lender in the first quarter of 2023 and apply in parallel for approval to become a fully regulated Bank.

SaaScada’s flexible and scalable technology has been selected to deliver the core banking solution and the team will work closely with Times International to build a cohesive eco-system of financial technology suppliers.

This will deliver greater transparency and an elevated customer experience for all users across the full trade cycle which will deliver international trade finance to SMEs in the UK, continental Europe, and APAC.

Times International chose SaaScada’s core banking technology due to both the excellence of its platform and alignment of sustainability goals.  With an increased expectation for ESG accreditation driving behaviours, the need to simplify the supply chain through directly contracted trade has created a growing need for finance options for SMEs.

SaaScada’s data architecture is designed to enable fast and efficient reporting of financial data as well as consumption of external data, making it possible for Times International to interrogate data sourced from traditional market sources such as Bill of Lading & Customs Data in conjunction with their customer data. SaaScada’s data approach combined with open APIs, will enable one-click SME access to reporting across the Times International portal and minimise rekeying of data for faster and efficient customer verification, processing and approvals.

Importantly, the easy access to real-time data will facilitate both self-assessed and 3rd party assessment of ESG performance to ensure that transactions meet the criteria of green deposits.

Steve Round – ‘SaaScada are very excited to be part of this venture which will power finance to facilitate shorter supply chains and support SMEs to deliver more sustainable global commerce. We are very much looking forward to working closely with Times International to develop their offering and deliver real change in international trade.

Steve Rose – ‘Our partnership with SaaScada will enable us to offer finance solutions not traditionally available to SMEs in this space.  SaaScada’s unique data architecture and extremely flexible product configuration will enable us to support our customer base and respond quickly to their changing needs, which is especially important in the current global economic climate.  Culturally, their shared sense of purpose for sustainability and collaborative approach has made us a natural fit. 

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3S Money partners with Crown Agents Bank to boost international trade

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3S Money, the UK Fintech scaleup, has partnered with Crown Agents Bank to offer 33 new currencies to its corporate clients for the first time, to support their international growth.

The partnership will enable 3S Money’s clients to make payments in a total of 65 currencies, now including Brazilian Real, Ghanian Cedi, and West African Franc, and have access to 45 new local payment rails. This will help 3S Money’s client base scale faster into new markets, save time and increase their revenue. The partnership will also allow 3S Money’s clients to efficiently enter the African market for the first time.

Founded in 2018, 3S Money has chosen to work with Crown Agents Bank to offer these new currencies and payment rails because of Crown Agents’ secure global infrastructure and coverage. With nearly 200 years of experience, Crown Agents Bank is a UK-regulated provider of wholesale foreign exchange (FX) and cross-border payment services, connected across hard-to-reach markets.

Hard-to-reach (emerging) markets are home to 85% of the global population, and nearly 90% of people under 30. However, in 2022, payments to and from these markets are still challenging, expansive and unreliable. A McKinsey survey suggests that, with banks and non-bank players innovating to reduce friction in domestic and cross-border payments, Africa’s e-payments market is expected to reach about $40 billion by 2025, compared with about $200 billion in Latin America.

Aligned by their mission to promote global financial inclusivity, both 3S Money and Crown Agents Bank are dedicated to connecting emerging markets to the rest of the world, through FX and payments innovation.

Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO at 3S Money comments, “3S Money is a cross-border payments ecosystem for international businesses. Our purpose is to provide businesses with the guidance and financial services required to scale new markets and expand their footprint.”

“We believe that by eliminating passport discrimination in the financial services sector, the growth opportunities for global businesses will be limitless. Crown Agents Bank are the perfect partner to help us offer sustainable, affordable, and accessible FX and currency services in emerging markets that have a wealth of opportunity.”

Gary Willis, Relationship Banker at Crown Agents Bank said, “this partnership makes perfect sense in our mission to connect hard-to-reach markets to the global economy”.

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