Annuities used to be a tough sell. The paperwork is complex and error-prone. Advisors did not want to go through the sales process and spend nearly an hour collecting data and filling out paperwork, only to submit it and find out that they did it wrong. It created a bad experience for both the advisor and the client. It eroded trust. How would you feel about investing your life savings with an advisor who couldn’t even fill out the paperwork properly?
Historically, only the largest broker-dealers could afford to implement complex sales systems to assist with selling annuities. Times have changed. If you have been hesitant to sell annuities for these reasons in the past, it’s time to give them another look. Thanks to modern sales platforms, streamlined annuity sales systems are now available and cost effective for even the smallest agencies.
The Right Connections
The key to streamlining annuity sales is connectivity. You need an end-to-end digital process. The best modern solutions connect all your sales activities. The entire process is a cohesive, unified experience. No longer do you need to jump from a quoting system to an illustration solution to an application solution and a separate e-signature solution. All sales activities are in one simplified system.
Flattening the Speedbumps
Digital sales platforms speed up the sales process and offer advisors and firms many benefits.
Paper applications are simply too easy to mess up. Not-in-good-order (NIGO) applications are one of the biggest barriers to a fast, streamlined sales experience, and erode client trust. Leading sales platforms use wizard workflows and business rules to simplify data collection and prevent errors, which reduces NIGOs and ensures every sales activity is completed correctly the first time. You can complete applications in just a few minutes. And because it’s error-free, you look like a rockstar to your client.
Modern solutions can even integrate with a ceding carrier database such as 1035 YellowPages to combat replacement errors. The platform may also perform can-sell checks, giving you added confidence the application will proceed in good order.
Some solutions include a concierge desk referral process. These connect financial professionals with a licensed specialist, all within a workflow that lives inside the platform. This means you always have an expert to assist, and the application is never stalled.
Compliant By Nature
Annuities often require additional oversight. A paper process makes it difficult to guarantee compliance. A digital solution tracks the entire sales process, ensures compliance with all defined rules and regulations, and even creates an audit trail that can be reviewed if necessary. Modern digital sales systems help protect both advisors and clients.
It is long past time to reconsider a commitment to annuity sales. Modern platforms make it easy to sell correctly and efficiently. It also allows you to get paid commissions faster. And most importantly, you can confidently offer an insured investment product that—frankly—many of your clients need.
Article by Doug Massey, EVP of Sales, Hexure
This article was first published in Aspire Magazine.