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Category Archive: Modern Adviser

  1. You might lose your keys, but not your documents

    Lost Keys

    Unstructured data is notoriously difficult to organise, but a necessary part of the advice process.  Files, documents and emails should be collected, recorded and stored against each case in a structured manner that allows easy and secure access along with the option reorganise these in an efficient and logical manner.

    Of course, organisation and structure only come to fruition not during the exercise of recording and storage, but when you actually need it.  It’s not dissimilar to finding lost keys.  Do they have the magical ability to disappear or wander off, or are they exactly where you left them in the first place?  For the forgetful initiated, the bowl by the front door or key rack is your first defence, and in the CRM world, it’s the 360 Case Record.

    By default, the 360 Case Record provides a secure repository and structure based on what actions you’re performing at the time.  Documents related to opportunity are stored against the appropriate opportunity folder, likewise with Sale Events where snapshots of the FactFind, documents provided by the client and the Suitability Report are stored in the appropriate Sale Event folder.  This brings a natural clarity when dealing with documents during the advice process.

    Into the fulfilment process advisers, administrators and compliance staff can easily peruse and reorganise documents in a ‘File Explorer’ style environment with the ability to create folders, sub-folders, copy or move files, and view in different styles or organise by date, all within an interface that virtually most people are already familiar with.  Add the option to then search documents and we’ve gone beyond the key rack or bowl.

    If you would like to find out more information about the 360 CRM, or any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, please do not hesitate to sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please contact our friendly support team, who are happy to help with any product queries.

  2. Playing from the baseline: storage, security and a safe-place

    Client Portal - Doc security

    Storage and security go hand in hand. You wouldn’t choose a ‘safe-place’ to store your possessions if there was no key and lock provided; you wouldn’t announce a family holiday and not lock your front door; or you wouldn’t abandon your car with the keys still in the ignition. But how about the storage of data? The bread and butter of your business.

    The toing and froing of data, documents and communications whilst processing a mortgage becomes almost like a boring game of tennis. The requirement is served by the adviser, acknowledged by the client and driven back. But the retrieval, storage and processing of the personal data requires the guarantee of a secure delivery, each and every time.

    360’s Client Portal is a secure repository for advisers and clients to send and retrieve documentation, transmit actions and share messages. Required business processes can be fulfilled and clients can confidently upload and send their personal data such as proof of income, three-month’s utility bills and evidence of residency. The seamless and timely transaction of document sharing ensures security with documents being fully-audited and stored in the cloud and on 360 case records. The process saves numerous hours of time for both parties with the elimination of unnecessary meetings and enabling clients to fulfil actions in their own terms and in their own time.

    With the GDPR update requiring greater scrutiny of the security, integrity and the accessibility of client data, the Client Portal provides a mutual channel of contact between advisers and clients which draws processes together to engage clients, provide a platform for instant communications and a safe-place to send, receive and access personal data.  Put another way, the Client Portal can be your best foot forward without the bark of “fault”.

    If you would like to find out more information about the 360 Client Portal, or any of the features in 360 Lifecycle’s product suite, please do not hesitate to sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please contact our friendly support team, who are happy to help with any product queries.

  3. Relationships, applying the personal to the professional

    Campaign Manager

    What’s important in your relationship? Trust, loyalty, honesty? They’re all valued facets, but they’re not just established after the first encounter; it takes consistency, familiarity and regular communication to build a valued relationship. This isn’t just relevant in a romantic relationship, but in any partnership, whether it’s husband and wife, manager and employee or financial adviser and clients.

    Regular and timely communications bridge the gaps between one service and the next. The 360 Campaign Manager functionality provides advisers with the ability to segment, drip and target marketing communications across client bases to build and maintain relationships.

    Whether customising an SMS, letter or email template, clients can be filtered using the Campaign Manager query-builder tool. Distribution lists can be generated in seconds according to preference of “whose birthday is it today?”, “whose mortgage is three-months away from its policy end-date?”, or “which of my clients are not covered?”. This can fulfil specific client needs, which may not have been recognised yet, strengthen relationships and reduce the churn of clients by proactively capturing opportunities.

    The segmented lists of clients can be exported externally from 360, enabling the possibility to deliver communications through external marketing systems and record those actions against each client for compliance and auditing purposes.

    Consistency, familiarity and regular communications can be fulfilled within the 360 Campaign Manager functionality, enabling advisers to generate great client relationships, customer loyalty and thus, retention. If you would like to find out more information about 360’s Campaign Manager functionality, or any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, please do not hesitate to sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please contact our friendly support team who are happy to help with any product queries.

  4. Robots Automating Reviews

    We often hear or make the nervous joke about robots taking over the world, but if technology can automate processes, securely store huge repositories of data impossible for the human brain to remember and free up time and effort, then why not embrace it?

    Imagine trying to remember every single review date, case or client in your pipeline, let alone all upcoming meetings, events and arrangements. 360’s automated reviews will recognise a mortgage due for renewal in 3 months, a life policy due to expire, or a client with no Buildings and Contents insurance and drop this opportunity into the 360 Hotbox to ensure that hard-earnt business is not lost or fulfilled elsewhere.

    Utilising technology to help assist with processes is often overlooked. “It’s just easier to write all of my opportunities down with the pen and paper sat in front of me.” Sure, but what if this were to get lost, damaged, violate the GDPR ‘clear desk’ policy?

    360’s automated reviews functionality proactively generates and displays opportunities, ready to be reviewed around advisers’ busy work schedule to not only ensure business growth but establish client-loyalty, deliver great client outcomes and provoke word-of-mouth feedback. Should an earlier appointment be required, servicing arrangements for individual or bulk cases can be applied, ensuring that valuable clients are serviced on the specified date and the opportunity is displayed in the 360 Hotbox to be fulfilled.

    Robots extract intelligence from human input working with us to help achieve great outcomes. If you would like to find out more information about 360 Lifecycle’s automatic reviews, or any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, please do not hesitate to sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please contact our friendly support team who are happy to help with any product queries.

  5. One Suitability Letter to rule them all

    same but different

    Everyone is different and we’re all unique.

    But in many respects, we aren’t. We are the same and pretty much follow the same patterns, requirements or needs.  The difference is the nuance and detail; outwardly things are the same but scratch the surface and the differences become more pronounced.

    Take for instance the Suitability Report in 360 Lifecycle, when closing off the advice process, each client will receive one regardless of the service offered and products that have been advised upon. The Suitability Report doesn’t just provide details of one product but may comprise of several different products and types with the written content customised to the business and any unique compliance requirements.  By recognising the commonality and the generalisation of the document, we can re-use predefined content with data collected during the advice process to create a Suitability Report.

    The report’s defined content and formatting is editable within 360’s suitability template editor, including branding, headers and footers, and can be configured to display mandatory and optional sections dependant on the criteria set by the business.  When merged with FactFind and product data, the report is editable online or through Word, where the adviser can review and adjust the final report before delivering the completed Suitability Report to the client (with the option of sending it through the secure Client Portal).

    Everyone is different, but the 360 Suitability Report breaks down the generation of complex content into a series of definable and common chunks to create a unique document that is specific to the individual.  It removes unnecessary rekeying of data, increases the quality of the report and ensures the report output is consistency delivered.  If you would like to find out more information about the 360 Lifecycle practice management solution, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, online demonstration of the 360 Lifecycle product suite; alternatively, sign up for one of our free FactFind training webinars.

  6. There is no failure – only feedback

    Woman Listening TCF image

    Listening to feedback can be hard, nevertheless, it provides a valuable mechanism for businesses to measure and review customer experience.  It provides an insightful resource for businesses to recognise strengths and weaknesses and, where applicable, constructively adapt processes and routines where necessary.  In an environment where regulation and compliance can dominate the act of supplying advice, feedback can identify potential issues as well as highlighting good practice and professionalism.

    With 360’s integrated TCF questionnaire, businesses can digitally send business-branded surveys to clients and retrieve the responses back into case records, all at the touch of a button. 360’s reporting capabilities provides managers with the ability to monitor individual or business-wide responses, aggregating scores for easy evaluation.  By measuring client experience and reflecting all areas of the sales process, organisations can react to risks regarding customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance and business reputation.

    The FCA’s “Treating Customers Fairly” initiative places a responsibility on intermediaries to measure and react to feedback from customers. Completion of questionnaires not only provides an insight into overall service and sales process of a business, it can also generate business retention with the scope for clients to outline additional areas of product interest. Opportunities identified from the questionnaire are traced into the servicing adviser’s 360 Hotbox for further opportunities to be reviewed.

    Sending a TCF questionnaire after the consultation process creates a valuable feedback loop for customers to highlight, celebrate or improve the overall sales process – along with identifying areas of product interest for up-selling capabilities. If you would like to find out more information on 360’s TCF questionnaire, or any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Support Team who are happy to help with any product queries.

  7. 360 Accounts: Making the complex manageable

    Young Accountant

    Businesses interested in 360 Lifecycle tend to focus around the system’s ability to generate new sales and retain existing clients, which of course are worthy and attainable goals. However, as businesses grow and become more complex, the Accounting function of an intermediary highlights the larger strategic need to ensure that payments are correctly reconciled to the business and its staff. With providers and networks providing different statements in a variety of formats, the processing of these large worksheets is often to relegated to an expensive and error-prone manual process.

    360′s Accounts package recognises the very complex and dynamic nature that intermediaries handle its finances and income across advisers, business units and various promotion schemes. It provides flexibility to apply varying payment schemes from the simple to the complex either across the business or down to the individual adviser and product type. Commission statements and fees, often provided under specified rates or percentages, can be determined using a range of criteria, and similarly, any bonus schemes can be implemented and rewarded, tailored to match the specific payment requirements applicable to your business.

    360 Accounts provides an intelligent income reconciliation function that can import vast amounts of payment data from providers and networks, and effectively match and record this against the sales made in an organisation’s client bank. Commission can also be manually entered, matching the receipt to specific case records, and remembering this selection for future payments, which saves significant time in processing and assigning trail payments.

    The 360 Accounts package translates a difficult and expensive function into one that works for an organisation’s Accounts department, regardless of the size of the business.  If you would like to find out more information on 360 Accounts, or any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite,  sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Support Team who are happy to help with any product queries.

  8. Six tips to make your client data more secure


    Few people would leave their valuables vulnerable or exposed to danger, but why does it seem that so many neglect the security of their data and that of their clients’? Business worth, value and reputation is dependent on the security of your client bank making it imperative to reduce, and where feasible, eliminate the risk of security breaches. The prevalence of recent security cases involving the NHS has been thought-provoking; is there perhaps a little more we could all do to ensure that our data is more secure?

    360 Dot Net employs a number of security features and processes to ensure that we securely protect data on your behalf, following industry best practice and the guidelines from the Information Commissioners Office. This duty of protection includes regular Penetration Testing, permissive hacking of our systems for vulnerabilities and regular security and data protection sessions. However, are you securing your systems from malicious access and employing best practice security processes? Here are six tips to consider:

    1. Does your machine have up to date anti-virus protection? An anti-virus programme not only protects your data from viruses but prevents intrusion from many forms of malicious software which can gain access to your files, track activity and duplicate sensitive information. With some anti-virus software being free or preinstalled, integrating protection really is a minor investment when considering the devastating effect it can have on your data and reputation.

    2. Are you using a supported operating system and running regular updates? We only need to acknowledge the recent security threats with the NHS to realise that utilising an outdated and unsupported software, such as Windows XP, makes your computer systems vulnerable and prone to malware infection. Regularly running updates on your operating system is also just as important to help patch vulnerabilities as they are found.

    3. How secure are your passwords? Is your password written on a Post-it note, stuck to your computer screen and in plain sight of others? Would you lock up your house or apartment, but Sellotape the key to the door? Password security is a fundamental requirement to any computer system and the control and security of this information will define the safety of your systems.

    4. Do you regularly update your passwords? Regularly updating passwords and not using easily guessed passwords is often overlooked. Guidelines typically advise that passwords should be regularly updated and contain a minimum of 12-14 characters with a mix of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and symbols. In addition, it is prudent to avoid passwords that include “researchable” information such as pet names, child names, specific birthday dates, etc.

    5. Is your hard drive encrypted?  Local hard drive encryption can prevent access into your computer and personal data files.  While all data stored in 360 Lifecycle is encrypted in the Cloud, how secure is your local email storage and files?

    6. Are you up to date with data protection training? Do you and your staff / colleagues know your obligations regarding the Data Protection Act and client data? With the introduction of the General Data Protection Reform (GDPR) in May 2018, how prepared is your business to meet some of these new challenges? The 360 Lifecycle products are currently being reviewed to reflect new changes to consent, data portability and the right to forget – but this functionality only reflects process, it is equally important you and your staff are adequately trained.

    For more information about the security features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, please contact our friendly Support Team who are happy to help with any product queries.

  9. Feel the heartbeat of your business


    A business can be characterised as an organism, a living breathing creature that survives, thrives and evolves over time.  The challenge for business principals and management is to feel the heartbeat of their organisation in terms of sales and potential cash flow with the ability to react and adapt to changing circumstances.

    360’s Performance Explorer provides intermediaries with up-to-the-minute live data, helping with the identification of goals and providing the capability to set targets and benchmarks at an individual, group or business level. With access to wide-spread subsets of data, areas of business performance can be drilled-down to display a clear and accessible archive of information. The rhythm and flow of your business can be analysed using a RAG based ranking system reflecting performance against predefined targets and allowing a quick, visualised indication of your goals.

    The oxygen to any thriving intermediary is the incoming leads and potential opportunities within an organisation’s client bank; Performance Explorer provides access into written and completed business, existing leads and any forthcoming review dates. The ability to evaluate opportunities provides the capability to project and forecast current and future pipelines,

    Gaining insightful analysis of your business allows you to evaluate your performance, define your targets and sense the very heartbeat of your business. If you would like to find out more information on 360 Lifecycle’s Performance Explorer, or any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, please do not hesitate to sign up to one of our free training webinars, or alternatively, please contact our friendly Support Team who are happy to help with any product queries.

  10. Is your CRM choice more the better the devil you know?


    Why change when what you’ve grown so accustomed to fulfils its intended purpose and works just fine, or even just OK? Why change when it can be painful and can quite often cause disruption.  Why change when it is resisted by many, requires effort, expenditure, new ways of working and is simply feared for what it is, something different. But what if overcoming those differences could add value? What if we challenge the inertia and recognise the new opportunities and enhancements change can deliver?  What if what you’re changing will make a significant difference to you and your clients?

    Apprehension when considering change is inevitable if dealing with something as valuable as your data. The transition onto 360 Lifecycle has been structured to help to eliminate any initial fear which may be encountered in the process. Our migration process is developed to the guaranteed security of your data and ensure that the process fulfils your high standards, including the integration of any bespoke feature requirements and ample opportunity for feedback. Once the data import is complete, automated product reviews and lead generation capabilities will automatically expand your future pipeline and exploit the full features of the 360 Lifecycle CRM.

    Why settle with the ‘devil you know’ when greater opportunities can be established elsewhere? If you would like to find out more information regarding the migration onto the 360 Lifecycle practice management solution, please read our document outlining the process. If you require further details about any of the features in the 360 Lifecycle product suite, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free demonstration of the system.