The recent Department of Labor Final Fiduciary rule is causing plenty of heartburn among Financial Services sales leaders and salespeople. It states that salespeople in financial services must tell retirees whether they are making commissions on products. Everyone is trying to figure how full commission disclosure will impact revenues, penalties, and litigation. We see it as a fork in the road – you can either view it as a threat or an opportunity. The big questions being asked right now:
- How will this disclosure be executed in the field?
- How will transparency be enforced afterward?
- How will disputes be resolved?
Most people in Financial Services see the new rule as a serious problem.
We see the new DOL regulation as an opportunity to differentiate – while improving sales productivity.
Never waste a good crisis. Let’s break it down.
Buyers want to know that they are dealing with salespeople who are consultative, can be trusted, and who are forthright in their communication. Sales leaders want the same – to ensure sellers exhibit these traits on a daily basis. But, with no good way to review actual sales conversations, no one really knows what happens on a sales call.
Field Sales Mangers simply cannot monitor every call.
As a result, we suspect that the fiduciary rule will be maddeningly confusing to enforce when disagreements arise. Without actual sales conversation data, salespeople become extremely vulnerable to customer disputes. Under the new fiduciary rule, most disputes will work in the buyer’s favor.
Thankfully, there is a practical solution that works to the advantage of all parties – customers, sales professionals, and organizations.
Forward-thinking salespeople and organizations today are giving prospects and customers the option to audio-record sales interactions – both in the field and on the phone. Buyers can access the conversation through a simple link sent by the seller. That type of transparency is a strong differentiator for the sales organization who wants to make a powerful statement to their customers.
As for sales productivity, sales conversation data is a powerful way to improve ramp-time, win-rate, and deal size.
Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops are perfect conversation capture mechanisms that protect salespeople and customers. And, with the proper Commercial Conversation Management platform, organizations gain a singular way to share, coach, and analyze rich Voice of Customer data.
As the world continues to go digital, the DOL Fiduciary rule is speeding the transparency dynamic along for sales organizations. Are you ready? Smart leaders would be wise to get ahead of the curve and turn what appears to be an onerous ruling into a positive opportunity. Transparency, when applied properly, has the ability to not only mitigate risk, but improve customer relationships, win rate, and ramp-up time of new sellers.
What is the new Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule to you – a threat or an opportunity?
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