Lenders, banks and financial services organizations seem to be in a perpetual state of either implementing ortrying to get the most out of their technology solutions. Making sure you fully realize the value of your technology – quickly – is critical to growing sales and powering your organization.
How can you get the most of out of your technology stack – in record time?
Start With “Why”
Simon Sinek has it right: Start with why.
Today, it is increasingly difficult for loan officers to stay front and center with their clients. According to digital marketing experts cited in Forbes, the average consumer is exposed to 10,000 marketing messages per day. Cutting through the noise is hard. Building a meaningful relationship with your customers to the point where they come back to you years later for their next home purchase is even harder.
Create Your Project Team
From the very start of the project, ensure you have the right stakeholders involved. Oftentimes, projects get too far down the line before realizing that critical voices are missing from the conversation, inevitably delaying the project, creating frustration or re-work and costing money. When it comes to marketing and sales technology, there are the usual suspects, including Sales, Marketing, Compliance and Technology, but think outside these boxes too.
It’s also critical to identify project champions or super users who can promote the initiative within your organization to their peers. It’s much more effective to implement technology from the trenches using champions within the organization, instead of forcing adoption from the top down.
Set Your Sights on an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Start small and aim to deliver an MVP, and then adjust, tweak and reiterate from there.
Everyone wants the coolest capabilities and functionalities right out of the gate, but it’s important to have a plan in place for how you’ll get there – and make sure everyone is aligned to this roadmap. And, understand that some of these really cool feature functionalities likely won’t be in version one.
As you roll out the technology solution to your organization, focus on attaining early and ongoing adoption, which will only grow as new capabilities are made available.
Leverage Your Implementation Team
Every technology solution you implement will have some sort of implementation resource to help you through your onboarding. Make full use of this person or team to understand how to best implement their technology, as well as any resources or training available to you to educate your team and encourage adoption.
While you aren’t in the business of implementing technology solutions, your technology partners are, particularly their technology solution. Leverage their knowledge and best practices of how you can make the most of their technology solution at all levels of your organization. This will help you avoid the most common pitfalls, overcome specific challenges and get you on the fastest path to success.
Don’t Inadvertently Handcuff Your Future Integration Capabilities
With the pace of innovation, we can’t predict what the best-of-breed tools will be in six months or three years. Look for partners with an open API so as not to inadvertently put handcuffs around what you can and can’t do in the future with your technology stack.
Don’t Forget Internal Communications…
Once you’ve defined your why, make sure everyone – from the C-Suite to your end users – buys into your why. It’s critical everyone in the organization understands the financial why, the cultural why and the brand why – and what’s in it for them, in particular. Be sure to think about and define the value proposition for each affected group of people and clearly communicate this in order to get buy-in and adoption.
Review Your Results
Review your project results on an ongoing basis through the lens of your why. Is the data saying you are accomplishing the goal you set out to meet, or not? Continue to revisit your goals and ROI over the life of your engagement with this technology partner.
Just like “digital transformation,” technology implementation is not one and done. Be sure to continually revisit your why to ensure your technology stack is meeting your ever-evolving needs as an organization.