Have you ever needed some advice when it comes to managing your money? If so, you’ve probably called a bank, credit card company, or loan provider at some point for help. The person you spoke to? That’s a financial services sales agent, a type of call center agent whose job it is to help customers make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing financial services.
Financial services encompass a range of different types of financial businesses that people use every day. Many people now use technology to conduct financial transactions, either via the phone or using a mobile app.
There are limits to what these apps can do, however. When a customer needs further assistance, a financial services sales agent has to be available to receive their call.
We’re going to take a deeper look at the role of a financial services sales agent and how maintaining an efficient and organized contact center can help you better assist your customers, leading to improved sales performance and higher customer satisfaction.
What Does a Financial Services Sales Agent Do?
The types of duties that a financial services call center agent does depends on the type of financial industry they work in – for example, in a bank, finance company, insurance company, lending institution, or investment firm. Financial sales reps sometimes get paid an hourly rate. Depending on their role, it’s also common for financial services sales reps to get paid on a commission basis.
Financial services sales agents have different functions, depending on the type of financial institution they work with. For example:
- Banking sales reps work with new customers to set up new bank accounts, set up investment vehicles, and manage loan applications for cars, homes, and personal use.
- Insurance sales reps serve customers by selling insurance products to help protect them against unforeseen risks, such as home, auto, life, and health insurance.
- Investment sales reps sell financial products, such as securities, stocks, bonds, and commodities, and they also manage investment trading. Part of their job is to offer wealth management advice to help people grow their wealth, prepare for retirement, or set up their estate for inheritance. Investment sales reps may also advise companies that are looking for investors, analyze a company’s finances, and make recommendations for public offerings or mergers and acquisitions.
Some other tasks which are common to financial sales reps from various types of institutions include monitoring financial markets, engaging with prospective clients to offer services, and evaluating the costs and revenues of financial accounts.
The Biggest Challenges for Call Agents in Financial Services Call Centers
Financial service institutions typically can serve customers better and more conveniently by setting up a financial services call center, since people don’t usually visit a branch in person to purchase things like insurance or investment services.
A financial services call center has distinct advantages for financial service companies:
- It allows them to hire people for the call center that are licensed in all 50 states.
- Some financial transactions are also time-sensitive, and having a well-staffed call center, complete with all the best sales software, ensures that you can get to customers quicker and resolve issues at any time of the day.
- Call center software is valuable for recording calls and creating a call history to give greater context to calls, letting agents serve customers better and share valuable customer data with marketing and sales teams.
- An inbound call center is highly efficient for offering customer support, while an outbound call center is an efficient way to grow sales.
However, financial services sales agents working in contact centers have certain challenges which they need to overcome. Their jobs require a fairly high level of expertise in the financial services sector, and are also limited by the tools and types of support available to them.
The most common challenges experienced by financial services call center agents include:
- Not having the caller’s history. Without it, they could miss important details that could lead to losing a sale, or frustrating a customer by asking them to repeat themselves. Especially in the financial services industry, consumer trust is critical, so having the right tools in place to empower agents to be able to hold informed, confident conversations with customers is a must.
- Having to take lots of calls from customers they’re not trained or qualified to help. Financial service companies offer a wide range of services and call centers need skilled reps to meet the wide variety of customer needs and requests.
- Being able to serve customers for many hours while remaining upbeat and happy on the job. Financial services sales agents are on the phone nearly all day and it can be emotionally taxing. Not having the right tools and processes to help customers only adds to their frustration.
- Many sales reps want or need to work at home, at least some of the time. A remote financial services sales agent job may be just what they need to continue on the job long term, so having technology which enables remote call center operations is also important.
How Is Technology Used by Financial Services Sales Agents?
Call center software for financial services is cloud-based technology. It consists of a cloud-based phone system and sales software integrations that work together to form a single source of data. Financial services sales agents can work at one of your facilities or anywhere they have access to an internet connection. Examples of sales software for financial services sales agents include Avoma, Callingly, and Freshsales.
A cloud phone system has a wider variety of voice calling features than a traditional phone system. Some of the features it offers include:
- Call recording
- Call routing
- Interactive voice response
Why Cloud-Based Phone Systems
A good cloud-based phone system also offers various features to automatically route calls to the proper extension or department.
In addition to a modern phone system’s features, financial services call center software gives financial sales agents greater capabilities specific to their industry, such as:
- Connects the phone system with the CRM and other sales software programs, eliminating the need to continually log in and out of different programs.
- Allows them to speak with a client on the phone while chatting, emailing, or messaging them at the same time for a true omnichannel experience.
- Gives sales reps pop-up windows that display customer contact information, call history, and other details to help them deliver a good customer experience every time.
- Provides all the tools needed to operate a remote sales call center. With remotely-accessible sales software, financial sales agents may have the ability to work at home to help them achieve a better work-life balance, while freeing up seat space within physical contact centers.
- Helps financial sales agents increase their skills as they get greater familiarity and experience handling similar types of calls – whether they’re making inbound calls, outbound calls, or both.
- Streamlines sales processes to create efficiency, which alleviates frustration for the sales reps and the customers alike and, ultimately, increases sales volumes and revenues.
- Automates processes for tracking sales performance for both individuals and teams, and creates automated leaderboards and competitions to drive more sales.
How to Train Your Financial Services Call Agents
To run an efficient financial services call center, training for your sales call agents is a must. By investing in training, you will reap significant ROI in terms of customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and sales figures.
Incorporate these practices into your sales call agent training program to improve performance:
- Reciting scripts in a natural, conversational way.
- Creating efficiency using click-to-dial and power dialing features.
- Transfering calls (and who to transfer them to) so customers don’t get bounced around.
- Use call recording to review common calls, complex calls, or problem calls.
- Leveraging call monitoring to listen in on calls and give feedback on calls.
- Utilizing call whispering to coach sales reps while on calls, without being heard by customers.
- Making use of insight cards and add details to them to keep customer information updated.
- Using information on the system to keep customers actively engaged and satisfied.
- Gathering data to develop a detailed customer profile that can be used to meet or exceed customer expectations and improve the customer experience.
- Sending out surveys automatically to gauge customer satisfaction.
Best Practices to Improve Financial Services Sales
Skilled sales representatives know how to easily establish a rapport with strangers, guide conversations toward a final sale, and win customers over from the competition.
By using best practices you can improve your sales team’s performance. Especially in helping them develop soft skills. By doing so, you’ll also help them improve sales and provide the best possible customer service.
Here are 8 best practices to help you improve your financial services sales performance:
- Ask for referrals on every call.
- Lead every call by offering value. A great way to do this is to offer to evaluate your customer’s financial portfolio and make suggestions.
- Share scenarios of how you’ve helped other customers to help earn their trust.
- Discover their pain points early in the conversation and determine how to solve them.
- Don’t just talk to them once. By reaching out a few times you can create better engagement.
- Keep them apprised of any new products and services that would benefit them.
- Gather data about clients so you can tap into that information to make additional sales.
- Clearly describe the ways you can help them reduce financial risks through your processes, products, and services.
How to Scale Your Financial Services Call Agent Team
If you want to scale your financial services call agent team to handle higher call volumes, you don’t only have to upskill your sales reps – you also have to provide them with the right data and tools to maximize performance.
The task is much easier with Aircall’s dashboard analytics, which give you a detailed look at how your call center is performing.
Call volume is generally fairly predictable. However, patterns can change at any time, especially if you’ve just launched a new product or service. When the call volume increases (or decreases), you need to be ready to adapt.
You can stay prepared by tracking things like:
- Call volume
- Average length of call
- Average answer speeds
- Number of abandoned calls
- Average handling time
- First call resolution rate
- Customer satisfaction
You can also review the call volume during past promotions and product launches. This will give you an idea of what call volume has historically been during these high-traffic periods. Depending on seasonal call volume, you may need to add sales agents with tech skills or other specific skills at certain times of the year.
In summary, while there’s been relatively little change in the types of financial products and services that are available, the role of financial service sales agents have still evolved quite a lot in recent years. That’s because what has changed is the way in which financial services sales agents work and the tools they use to serve customers better.