Financial Horizons Group is the leading, national, Canadian-owned and operated Managing General Agency (MGA) that offers a comprehensive selection of life/health insurance, employee benefits, pensions, investments, structured settlements, and risk management products and services to advisors throughout Canada.
As an MGA, Financial Horizons Group is appointed by 24 insurance companies to distribute their products and services, through independent financial advisors to Canadian consumers. Financial Horizons Group partners with financial advisors for support in growing advisors’ businesses. This commitment translates into providing advisors with the ideal mix of resources, products and services that they, in turn, can offer to their clients.
After a series of significant mergers and acquisitions, Financial Horizons Group (FHG) needed to scale its capabilities for educating an expanded channel reseller network selling a wide range of products and services from more than 20 insurance companies. Its channel network of financial advisors wanted 24×7 online and mobile access to topic-specific, compelling product information without having to log-in and navigate multiple online portals. The channel also needed easy access to timely information for target marketing, lead generation, and cross-selling and up-selling activities.
To improve the effectiveness of its channel partners, FHG also needed tools to engage its broader insurance industry ecosystem. Repetitive emails and phones calls were inefficient and no longer effective. Digital engagement channels, which advisors could access on any device at any time, would help FHG remain top-of-mind without requiring conference calls and in-person meetings. FHG also needed to understand which products and services advisors preferred so the company could refine its own marketing and business development investments.
FHG selected Smart Room by Journey Sales for its marketing, business development and sales teams to collaborate both internally and externally with greater insights and all within the Salesforce® CRM system. The solution provided targeted insights and the necessary engagement analytics that track online behavior of channel partners, allowing sales teams to better understand customer behavior for more accurate sales pipelines and forecasts.
FHG customized Smart Rooms for each of its insurance carriers and rolled out the solution to more than 3,000 of the company’s top advisors in just the first two months. The FHG marketing and sales team populated the rooms with content on specific topics, products, and value messaging to meet the unique needs and interests of each channel partner.
FHG now collaborates more effectively with its network through all phases of the recruiting, onboarding, and ongoing sales processes, all within the Salesforce CRM system. Marketers and sales people can create their own rooms, loading and modifying content. “Using Smart Rooms, our business development managers know which digital content advisors consume and when content is accessed,” explains David Stewart, executive vice president of sales at FHG. “That helps us tailor the advisor’s experience, providing more relevant content while giving us a logical reason to initiate the next contact with an advisor.”
The solution also offers real-time, objective engagement analytics that track the online behavior of channel partners, allowing sales teams to better understand user preferences. “This single, digital source of information provides an essential window into what our channel partners and customers need,” says Stewart. “We can measure the return on investment in our marketing initiatives, provide valuable analytics to our entire partner ecosystem, and determine where to focus our finite business development resources. With Smart Rooms, we are capitalizing on our investment in Salesforce CRM.”
Within the first three months of installing the solution, FHG enrolled more than 40 percent of its channel partners who have logged more than 12,000 digital interactions within Smart Rooms. First phase participating companies increased year-over-year Q1 sales by an average of 51%. Over the same period, however, companies who chose not to participate in the first phase of FHG’s Smart Rooms had year-over-year Q1 sales increase only by 1.3%.
FHG also used Smart Rooms to support new product launches for major carriers. FHG could better understand advisor interests and use real-time data to identify new cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Unlike previous product launches supported by volumes of emails and traditional newsletters, Smart Rooms provided real-time analytics for prioritizing sales and marketing investments and strategies. “Smart Rooms have helped us take the relationship with our carriers to a new level,” says Stewart. “With Smart Room analytics, carriers not only gain better insight into products and service demand, but also can benchmark themselves against competitors. This ability to provide this value to our carriers is exciting new territory.”
FHG views the Smart Rooms as a pathway to continued growth. With more than 9,000 advisors in its channel who serve 1 million customers, the company has no shortage of sales opportunities. Lower administration costs and increased advisor productivity should also enhance the company’s financial profitability. “None of our competitors offers anything like Smart Rooms,” says Stewart. “By providing this concierge-like service to customers, we’re growing and differentiating FHG in a highly competitive market.”