Financial services organisation Foresters has doubled its new-business volumes in the past 18 months, after developing customer needs analysis software linked to its point of sale system.
And Foresters is projecting £42m of new business for 2006, compared with £13m in 2004.
It decided in late 2004 to move from offering a full advice service to a basic advice model before the introduction of government-backed stakeholder pension products in April 2005.
With stakeholder margins so tight, improving efficiency was the key to making the new business model work, and the bespoke workflow software rolled out by systems integration specialist CGI to hit the 6 April 2005 deadline has now started to deliver dramatic benefits.
Foresters managing director Euan Allison said financial advisers using the mobile workflow system were seeing what was generally a three-call process trimmed to two customer visits, or in some cases a single visit. This has helped to boost the proportion of effective sales calls.
“The combination of selling easy-to-understand stakeholder products and getting only the most relevant information from the customer at the outset has made it much easier for advisers to offer the right product quickly and effectively,” said Allison.
The browser-based system, which was developed using Microsoft .net technology, allows advisers running Windows on HP laptops to complete customer data collection far more quickly than previously, and it can upload the information to the mutual society’s core customer database, running SQL Server 2000, several times a day.
“The CGI-developed platform also links to our core life administration and health systems at head office,” said Allison.
“Now that the system is proven, next year we are looking at rolling it out to mortgage brokers to enable them to cross-sell life and health products during a single customer visit.”
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