Reduce processing errors, increase time with clients

By Aaron Krause, Director – Training & Practice Development

Jim Dumbeck has been an advisor with Waddell & Reed for almost 20 years, and over time he and his team have experienced tremendous growth. But, with a growing practice often comes more complicated business processing. Jim soon found that an abundance of the business his team submitted was deemed “not in good order” or NIGO, requiring additional time and follow up from himself, his team and his clients. Sound familiar? 

As Jim’s long list of business processing frustrations grew, he knew he had to personally dig in and diagnose the issue. Quickly, he learned that the majority of the NIGOs his team encountered were due to simple paperwork errors, such as missing information, signatures and forms. To solve the issue, Jim sketched out on a piece of paper how he wanted every piece of paperwork to move through his team members starting with client meeting prep. Every step in the process had an “owner” and each owner was responsible for completing their portion of the process without error. Once the process was documented, Jim built it into his CRM, again assigning ownership of each step to himself or a team member.

The goal of building these holistic practice workflows was simple—to eliminate NIGOs.

Want to recreate this in your business?

  • Determine which member of your team is best suited to own the workflow buildout project. Likely the most sequential-linear thinker will excel at this type of work and find it rewarding. 
  • Document a step-by-step process flow for each type of meeting (new prospect, account review, ect.) and for each type of business (new account, account update, ect.). 
    • Note: Various Quick Reference Guides on WR University can be used as a basis for the business submission portion of the process. 
  • Assign ownership to each step of the process flow. An owner could be an advisor, associate, assistant or a sub-group within your team. 
  • Build these new workflows into your CRM with ownership assignments for each step of the way. 
  • Use your CRM to manage the flow of all paperwork and meeting prep activities. 

One year later, Jim’s practice is virtually NIGO free. Every piece of business that flows through his office and to home office is now tracked by an assigned individual. Everyone who touches the process is responsible for completing their task accurately. Taking the time to implement a simple practice workflow has freed Jim and his team to focus 50% more time on client interactions. Remarkably, the team’s TGR increased by more than 24% in the first year this process was in place.  Plus, the team has benefited from lower stress and less frustration. 

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