Welcome to July, a new financial year and a new set of budgets. Where the sales & expense figures, EBIT and ROI goals have all been determined, often given many a chance to reset and re-evaluate. As part of this re-evaluation, it is now more vital then ever to reflect on your budgets, and paying particular attention to often overlooked items such as team education.
In most practices, usually there will be an allocated allowance in the budget for the attendance of conferences in a fancy holiday destination, promising CPD points for advisers and paraplanners. Along with this, is the allocated budget for those to do their DFP and ADFP.
But in all reality, not everyone wants to be an adviser or paraplanner, so what allocation of the education budget will these people get?
Taking a closer look at these individuals, they might just be best fitted to driving the most efficiency in your practice, and lowering the cost of advice through understanding the use of technology and the benefits that it brings. A good practice will recognize this, and embrace the need/want to learn and focus on their operational platform like XPLAN and encourage at least two or more people to learn more about it.
Along with this, we find in most practices all team members will get an annual performance review, and the concept of a training plan to be completed. This is more often than not a lot of random items that each team member thinks they want to learn throughout the year.
During that annual performance review, why not decide to build into the structure a training plan around the topic of XPLAN knowledge?
Not sure where to start? Let’s break it down for you.
Start off with the basics. Data entry and datafeed knowledge are your best starting points for solid foundations.
XPLAN is a CRM and all the efficiencies that can be created run on this data entry (see previous blog - Are You Sitting On An Unknown Goldmine?). Understanding where information goes in XPLAN should really be on of your first sub headings in your training plan. You can then progress to the admin tools such as diary and email syncing.
Following this, is understanding how powerful the XPLAN tools actually are, such as Portfolios and Wealthsolver that can transform your practice. Inside these topics there a number of sub categories which your team can focus on, and don’t forget about those quarterly XPLAN upgrades and understanding how they will affect your business.
So how do you achieve this training plan?
A discussion with a qualified XPLAN trainer will help build up your team’s training. It doesn’t need to include coding of documents or building of workflow threads, but certainly the understanding of how the system works and how to use the tools is important.
In-house training and webinar sessions are also important but these training sessions are simply not enough on there own. Team members need regular time in their diary to explore and practice what they have learnt.
This training time should be treated as importantly as a client appointments or the education put into to receive CPD points. Along with the efficiency benefits gained, employees also prefer employers who are interested in building their knowledge and building them as a person.
Enzumo works with practices to build agreed training plans for our clients. We understand XPLAN is a massive beast and different roles require different levels of knowledge. Our plans focus on getting the learner to a higher level of understanding of XPLAN, and focusing on the parts of the system they use, not everything else. We have built over 1,000 learning events on how to use XPLAN, which all link into a training plan.
If the budget is tight, then maybe it needs to be relooked at, or maybe a discussion with the fund manager needs to occur. FOFA legislation still allows for that old marketing budget allowance to be paid for in Software and Training expenses.
Efficiency and savings will occur in businesses that can harness the power of technology, so how much stronger will your balance sheet look like in June 2017 due to your focus on team education?
Garth Longhurst, Operations Manager.