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3 ways to boost associate productivity


Turbulence and uncertainty across the financial sector are continuing, and that means competition for deals won’t be slowing down any time soon. Firms are under pressure to make the most of their resources, and to increase efficiency and performance across departments. 

There are three key areas of an associate’s day-to-day activities where I see the potential for big time savings: creating and sending teasers, putting together client updates and making buyers lists. Each of these is absolutely essential, but often plagued by manual, repetitive processes.

A more strategic, data-driven approach to these activities can save days of time. And because these are things that need to be done frequently, the time savings over a month or a year are potentially huge – I’d conservatively estimate that these techniques could save up to 30% of associates time. Here’s how to do it.

1. Streamline teasers

Teasers can be an essential part of securing new business, but the process of creating and sending them is too often repetitive and extremely time consuming. Many I’ve spoken to have said that teasers can take up days of focused work.

But the right tools and techniques can dramatically reduce the time it takes to put teasers together, from a matter of days to a matter of hours, or even minutes. Using templates to create your messages, mail merge to quickly send them out, often in bulk, and automating steps of the whole process wherever possible represents a real opportunity to save time. 

And that’s before you get to using enhanced tracking tools to record your results and gain insights that will help the process go more smoothly, and be even more effective, next time. 

2. Optimise client updates

When it comes to client updates, many of the same tools and techniques that can support sending teasers also come into play here, but the process (and the problems) start even earlier. 

Most of the information you need to share with your clients is already tracked internally. But there is still often a lot of manual work involved. And for weekly updates, that’s a lot of repetition, and a lot of wasted time. 

What does an optimised client update process look like? I’d break it down into three steps:

  • First, ensure that all the relevant data is stored centrally and consistently, and that your processes for capturing this data use formats that make it easy to extract. This step is about breaking through silos, getting everything in one place, and making sure you can access it
  • Second, look at ways to simplify creating the document you’ll actually send out to customers. This might include creating standard templates so each week’s update can simply be slotted in. Over time, and with the right technology to support you, more templates can be added so you can quickly tailor messages to particular groups of clients. Bespoke-feel communications + saved time means everyone wins
  • Finally, plan a way to join up these two steps that is supported by automation. Can you automatically incorporate the data you’ve gathered into your templates? That way, all that needs doing each week is a quick manual check of each report to tidy up and add any final details. And that’s much simpler and quicker than creating everything from scratch every time

3. Create data-driven buyers lists

All too often, creating buyers lists is a manual, repetitive process, and frequently it’s something people start from scratch each time. It doesn’t have to be that way.

A good first step towards saving time spent compiling buyers lists is to start leveraging previous lists to create news ones, so you can build on work you’ve already done. This has the potential to significantly reduce effort. However, even with the support of past lists, you may still have to manually comb through to identify previous buyers.

To make the process even more streamlined, firms can adopt a data-driven approach to speed up the deal process. Once you have a database built with tagging according to interest and relevance, you can categorise both sponsors and strategics according to their interests and needs. 

This will require a sufficiently granular taxonomy of interest and relevance to help you see the types of deal each sponsor and strategic will be interested in. With this in place, AI-backed tools can search through your database and use these tags to pull together a list.

To save even more time, the final step is to seamlessly embed these data-backed lists into your outreach workflows. Finally, with all these tools and techniques working together, you can create and start working through your buyers lists in a fraction of the time. 

Embrace efficiency

Digital transformation is gaining speed among financial institutions, and firms who take the plunge stand to gain a competitive edge, as well as help ensure their resilience and longevity. Given the tools that exist today, there’s no need for associates to spend significant time on repetitive, manual tasks to the detriment of more valuable and fulfilling work. Putting the right systems in place will not only make your business more successful, but it might just make your people happier too.

If you’re ready to see how you could achieve the time savings we’ve discussed here, get in touch to see how Singletrack’s suite of data-driven, AI-backed tools can help.



Published: 18/04/2023