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Big data analytics are transforming the financial services industry. Firms that use them are discovering their importance in a variety of applications. For sales performance managers, analytics and data about existing clients provide important, actionable insights. You can use these insights in a variety of ways to improve sales and revenue throughout your firm. If you aren’t yet using data to inform your relationships with clients and prospects, try these approaches to get started.
Analytics tell you who your best customers are – and how to find more of them. Analyze data about your current customers to learn what characteristics they share, and use this information to build a detailed profile of your ideal customers. Then, use that to identify new prospects with similar characteristics to your current best clients.
For example, you probably already know the age range, income level, and credit level of your average client. But a closer look at the data might reveal patterns you aren’t aware of. Analyzing your current customers might show you that many of them live in specific neighborhoods or have careers in a few specific industries. Information like this will help you target your marketing and prospecting efforts toward prospects who are highly similar to the clients you already have.
In addition to helping you build a detailed customer profile, analytics can also help you identify purchase triggers. What happened in your customer’s lives or finances that first caused them to seek you out and purchase financial services? This data will give you a profile of the timing of your ideal customers. It tells you what needs to happen before your ideal customer is ready to buy, and this information will help you reach you ideal prospects at the exact moment when they’re interested in your services.
To analyze this, you’ll need to look at your current client data in terms of changes over time. For example, you may discover that many of your best clients changed jobs or had a child start college within a year of their first purchase with you. Information like this will enable you to target prospects by life events that could trigger them to buy new financial services.
If a customer buys one product, how likely are they to buy a second product? If so, which product are they most likely want? You can identify which products you should offer for upsells using data from existing clients. For example, you may find that 60% of clients who bought a particular portfolio investment also bought additional financial counseling services. This indicates you could offer additional counseling as an upsell to every client who buys that investment.
In addition to identifying opportunities for upsells, analytics can also tell you the optimal time to offer an upsell. In the above example, a deeper dive into the data will show you not just which two products clients often buy together, but also when. Which product did the customer purchase first? Was one purchase a trigger for the other? Or was there significant between purchases? Information like this will tell you when you should offer upsells, in addition to whom you should offer them to. The best time for an upsell could be immediately after a client purchases the first product, or it could be a year later. By analyzing data over time, you can determine the best moment for offering new products to existing clients.
Finally, analytics can help you forestall clients who are considering closing accounts. Analyze data about clients who recently reduced or ended their services to identify indicators that a client might be thinking about leaving. These could be indicators in the client’s life, such as a life event or financial change, or they could be gaps or events in your marketing process. Data can show you patterns that happen before a customer leaves. Once you have that information, you can use it to close the gaps, improve the customer experience at key moments, and retain more clients.
Selling financial services is built on relationships, but relationships can be empowered and improved by big data. Detailed analytics about your customers can help you provide better service, offer the products your clients truly want, and ultimately improve your relationship with both clients and prospects.