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We recently interviewed our client, Robin, CEO and Wealth Strategist at Wealth Progression Group.

Here’s what Robin had to say about her company’s challenge, the CTC solution, and the results:

Challenge:

I felt I was working in the day-to-day of the business too much, and I wanted to elevate myself out of that role. Being the CEO, I felt too much of my time was being taken up with double-checking others’ work and putting out fires.

In search of some support, I hired a few new team members to address this issue, but I found that, as a whole, we were even more inefficient than we were before. Our team lacked the clear processes and tools to manage our work and onboard new team members properly.

The phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” comes to mind in this situation. The more people you have involved in a process, the more things tend to fall through the cracks, and that’s exactly what was happening to us. With a lack of clear processes and the proper tools, our productivity only continued to get worse.

Solution:

I decided to reach out to CTC Productivity for help.

I had heard about Jan’s coaching programs and also knew that CTC Productivity’s team are experts in Microsoft 365 (a tool that had been approved by our Broker Dealer, meaning we were free to use it.)

We had previously invested in Microsoft 365 and were hoping it might be something we could explore to improve the way we work. However, we had no idea where to begin as we had never been trained on how to leverage the software to improve our productivity. We needed to bring in an expert.

I started working with Jan in a coaching capacity so she could help me with my personal productivity and help me elevate myself out of the day-to-day work. Like with every coaching assignment, our work together gave Jan the opportunity to clearly see where I was spending my time. It also helped Jan see clearly where there was time waste within our organization.

Jan found many areas of improvement for us, but one of the biggest areas of concern was the amount of time I was spending double-checking my team’s work.

Jan helped us identify the fact that we didn’t have a good system in place for tracking the status of our customers’ activities. Our CRM, Redtail, did not have sufficient reporting to help provide quick status updates.

Tracking alternative investments, in particular, has always been a nightmare for us because, like many customer activities, they require multiple steps (i.e. get the trade, start the paperwork, send it to the client, get it back from the client, get it to the broker, etc.) These items are constantly in motion with multiple people needing to see their status in order to ensure everything is completed in a timely and accurate manner.

This is a huge area of exposure for us, so it needs to be closely managed. I, alone, would spend roughly 10 hours each week just asking for updates from my team and triple-checking to make sure things had been done correctly. We needed a better way of tracking everything in real-time.

Our CRM, Redtail, is the best in the financial services industry, but like many tools, it has some major limitations. Here were the main challenges we faced with it:

  • Limited transparency
    • Redtail did not provide any way of seeing a birds-eye view of all of our statuses. We had to click into each workflow and read the details to see each status. It was a huge waste of time.
    • After due dates passed, the activity would disappear from view, which was very problematic.
    • There was no clarity on how long projects had been stuck.
    • It was not easy to spot issues.
  • Redtail, like most CRM’s, has workflows. This helps because workflows populate all future steps. The problem is, there are also many challenges with workflows:
    • They are difficult to set-up.
    • It is overly complicated to make simple changes to existing clients. For example, changing an address.
    • Workflow reports are not easy to pull and read.
    • While you can filter by client status, Redtail doesn’t tell you if there are open workflows.

We tried to use a spreadsheet to track everything, but it was not sufficient for our needs. Jan recommended that we instead leverage SharePoint to build out a solution to supplement our CRM.

We learned that SharePoint is a powerful tool that can be used to fill in the gaps where other software (like Redtail) has limitations. Jan proposed that we build out a new tool that would give us much more transparency into our

customer activities. She also said our team could be trained on that tool so we would not be dependent on CTC for ongoing maintenance.

In addition, Jan suggested that we start leveraging the Microsoft Teams communication platform (Chat and Channels.) This would help to improve our internal communication and collaboration because our team communication was getting lost in our inboxes.

Results:

New SharePoint Solution

Our new SharePoint solution has been an absolute game changer! We now have the perfect tool to answer our questions quickly, rather than facing a constant struggle with our technology.

I’m now confident enough in my team to step out of the day-to-day business. I trust my team to execute tasks efficiently because I know they have the right tools to stay on top of their work.

I also no longer need to ask my team members for the status of a client’s workflow because I can quickly look at the system to get answers. It is always current–24×7.

The team also added historical data to the new platform and we now can sort by client and see exactly what trades the client has done that year.

Here are some of the other amazing benefits we’ve seen from our new system:

  • We have better vision and clarity on the many moving pieces we need to track each day.
  • Team members can now group things and batch their work. For example, they can see which clients have transactions on hold as they wait for compliance approval and can now make one call to discuss all outstanding work in that one area. A much more efficient use of their time!
  • Everyone can filter the data however it best works for them depending on their needs.
  • We can now sort by product, amount, or any other key field with just one click.
  • Our notes move with the status which makes things easier to reference.
  • Our accuracy has drastically improved.
  • The system is flexible and can be used for all different types of transactions, like insurance and annuities as well as administrative updates like beneficiary or address changes.
  • Happiness has also been a big benefit from this switch. We now have peace of mind knowing where everything stands without having to double-check it. It’s a much easier process to manage now. Before the change, it was all very random and frustrating.

We are incredibly happy with this transition. Redtail doesn’t do what SharePoint can do. SharePoint is lightyears ahead of that workflow and we are thrilled with it.

Leveraging Teams for Communication

Using Teams Chat and Channels has been much more efficient for our internal collaboration. Before the switch, quick interoffice discussions were getting buried in our email inboxes.

Jan and the CTC team educated us on how and when to use Channels versus Chat, and that made a big difference for us. They also helped us learn how to keep things out of our email inboxes so they wouldn’t get lost in the mix.

In addition to keeping internal communication out of our inboxes, we have also noted these benefits from the switch to Teams:

  • We learned how to do simple things like share our calendars. This was a game changer for us. We had no idea that this feature was available to us, and apparently could have done it many years ago!
  • We moved all of our files into the Teams environment, meaning we can now access them inside Teams as well as outside that environment.
  • With all of our tools now within the Microsoft 365 platform, we can easily check on everything even when we are out of the office because Microsoft 365 can be accessed on any device at any time.
  • It’s a huge win to now have all of our data on one specific platform–one place where the team can go to see a status, find forms, and attach those documents to that file so it is all together.
  • We can now see our commissions all in one place. We were able to create a tab in our Team environment that says Commissions (this is so helpful because we have a lot of products.)

Another key benefit of working with the CTC team was realizing how flexible and adaptable CTC was to our needs. CTC listened to our industry constraints and was able to adapt the approach–they didn’t try to push a square peg into a round hole, they worked with us to find a solution that worked for us.

CTC also made sure our team was properly trained and had the skills to support the system long term so we would not be dependent on them going forward. Our team is now able to continue to modify the system as our needs change.

Getting our team set up and using Teams properly was such a small investment for such a huge perk!

ROI:

Total Investment (Executive Coaching, SharePoint Solution, & Microsoft Teams configuration and training): $10,325

Ongoing Cost: $0

Calculated ROI: Robin and her two team members are saving approximately 10 hours/week each which equates to saving .75 of an FTE (Full Time Equivalent) annually.

 

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