Giving advisors more control has been a long-term trend in illustrations. And for good reason.
Annuities have become more complex to serve the modern client. Experienced annuity sellers appreciate having so many levers to pull. They can provide clients a made-to-order configuration. They can help clients reach their goals, no matter their situation’s complexity.
Technology continues to improve to support this trend. Today’s illustration solutions handle the most complex annuity products and configurations.
Yet more recently, there has been a countertrend. Carriers are not moving away from their robust illustration solutions for experienced advisors. But many are adding something new to expand into new markets:
Simplified illustration workflows.
New in Town
Traditionally, advisors who specialize in the annuity market have completed annuity sales. Annuities continue to grow in versatility with new product features. And the wider market has begun to realize it. Annuities are becoming accepted as part of a traditional financial plan.
The financial services industry offers carriers significant growth opportunities. The challenge, though, is finding ways to make illustrations accessible and attractive to advisors with less annuity experience and their own workflow expectations.
Less is Sometimes More
A traditional annuity illustration workflow may have a litany of options. An experienced advisor might want this level of control.
But many advisors in the financial services industry are not experienced with annuities. Inexperienced advisors benefit from fewer options. This is where simplified illustrations can change the game. Many carriers are using illustration solutions that offer powerful wizard-based workflows. This provides a streamlined advisor experience.
A wizard-based workflow acts as guard rails. It ensures the output is optimized for the majority of clients. Inside some solutions, carriers can even preconfigure riders by product type. This ensures the typical advisor is presenting products in their best light.
Most annuity sales do not require more than a few options. In most cases, advisors want to answer the same question. If the client contributes a certain amount, how much will they have by age 65—or some similar variant. Custom wizards can eliminate questions or options that are only needed for rare or complex cases.
In other words, carriers can design their illustration experience for a targeted user input. Questions are in a prescribed order. The process guides users from end to end. This ensures a foolproof experience for both advisor and client. Advisors sacrifice some control. But they gain a simplified process that works for their most common cases.
Going With the Flow
Insurance advisors are used to leaving their e-application solution to run illustrations on the carrier’s website. Financial advisors, on the other hand, may find that experience disruptive. Carriers can do their part to give financial advisors a cohesive sales process by making products available in their favored sales platform environment. Some platforms allow the distributor to embed the illustration process into their existing workflows via APIs.
This new convenience makes a big difference. A financial advisor does not have to leave the software they work in every day to run an illustration. They can instead include that illustration experience seamlessly inside their normal workflow.
As an example, a client may walk into a bank to buy a home. As they talk, the advisor discovers the client is also interested in an annuity. With embedded APIs, the bank can include a tailored illustration and e-application solution inside the mortgage system the advisor is already working in. They can illustrate the annuity without having their workflow disrupted.
By enabling their use of embedded APIs, carriers give financial advisors a convenient, hassle-free process. Many advisors are considering adding annuities to their toolkit. Carriers can break down the barriers to entry by having these features on offer.
Simplifying the illustration experience is key if one of your goals is to grow into new markets. Modern illustration technology makes the process more convenient and less intimidating for advisors inexperienced with annuities. These solutions can help you grow revenue and serve new markets that are ready to bring the value of annuities to your clients.