The financial advisor technology landscape has been rapidly expanding for the past ten years. What was once a handful of financial planning and portfolio management tools, hosted primarily through an advisor’s Broker Dealer or accessible to large RIAs via a TAMP, is now a vast and growing universe of more than 300 independent technology solutions largely accessible to firms of any size and composition.
Historically, “sophisticated” advisor tech stacks were comprised of little more than financial planning and portfolio management solutions. Fast-forward to now, where industry voice Michael Kitces identifies more than 30 types of advisor technology categories, including CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Advice Engagement.
And while a Financial-Planning.com study highlighted that more than two-thirds of advisors agree technology is key to running their business, finding the time to research, test, and implement complementary solutions has also become one of the biggest challenges – and opportunities – facing advisors today. In fact, a recent study by Cerulli Associates found that 30% of advisors cite managing technology as their firm’s biggest challenge.
Navigating a multi-solution technology stack and solving integration, information, and adoption gaps on a regular basis drains time that could be spent meeting with clients and growing the business. As the tech landscape becomes increasingly complex, this issue can sneak up on firms, draining profit margins and reducing face-to-face time with clients and prospects. Today’s leading advisory firms recognize that delivering an exceptional client experience and better advice is key to growing and retaining clients.
If orchestrating a cohesive tech stack is a priority for your firm, where should you focus your energy? Evaluating existing and complementary solutions is a great starting point. CRMs are increasingly becoming the central “hub” upon which client-centric advisors build their practices and tech stacks. Thus starting there, and focusing on the tight integration of any “bolt-on” technology into the CRM may make sense. The reality is the better your technology solutions work together, the better your business runs overall, and that frees up more time to spend with clients, prospects, and COIs.
Even more appealing, CRM market leaders like Wealthbox, Redtail, and Practifi present new opportunities for advisors to streamline client communications, identify advice gaps, and deepen connections with clients via their open API connection to enhanced client advice and engagement solutions such as Bento Engine. Bento Engine was designed so you don’t have to “add” to your tech stack to improve client engagement with proactive advice. Instead, it seamlessly integrates into our existing technology foundation to create compelling conversation points and deliver exceptional value for clients.
Bento Engine is a powerful advice engine that connects directly to your CRM, utilizing a proprietary and customizable content library to deliver timely, expert advice via you, the advisor in charge. Bento fills gaps in the traditional advice model and provides opportunities for advisors to proactively address upcoming planning needs.
Bento integrates with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Redtail, Wealthbox, Practifi, and XLR8 as well as client email systems. When the EZRA Group announced their WealthTech Integration ScoresTM this year, after analyzing almost 300 WealthTech applications for their breadth, depth, and other miscellaneous criteria contributing to a solution’s overall “integration friendliness,” Bento Engine was awarded a score of “Excellent.”
Learn more about Bento Engine’s capabilities and integration partners via our on-demand webinar library.