LPL Financial needed an appointment scheduling solution that was easy to deploy and would integrate with Salesforce.
LPL Financial built the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer organization by helping entrepreneurial financial advisors establish successful businesses through personalized financial guidance. With more than 16,000 independent financial advisors who manage more than $706 billion in advisory and brokerage assets, the organization is experiencing explosive growth.
Challenges: Appointment Scheduling Became A Roadblock For Growth
“As LPL grew, the sales organization needed a streamlined way to schedule appointments between recruiters and new advisors to join the LPL team,” explains Cynthia Santana, assistant vice president, business systems, LPL Financial. “They came to IT looking for a solution to save administrative time and reach advisors more effectively.”
The problem? The sales organization would often spend several days going back and forth with each advisor via email asking, “what time works for you?” The constant back and forth of meeting time negotiation can require several calls and emails just to choose a time to have a conversation. Given that advisors were tied up with clients, LPL recruiters often needed to send several follow-up emails before confirming an appointment. The back and forth required to schedule appointments was slowing down the pace of meetings and investment opportunities.
Additionally, Human Resources realized it was struggling to scale up, finding it challenging to schedule meetings between welcoming new advisors to the LPL team and formal interviews to build the growing junior advisor team.
A Solution For The Entire Organization
A small team within the sales department tested a pilot of Engageware and began including a “schedule an appointment” button in their email signatures. Soon, employees from other departments started showing interest when they saw the capability in internal emails. “Very quickly, everyone from independent advisors to HR started asking IT if they could be added as Engageware users,” says Santana.
Santana’s team then worked with the business owners to determine a checklist for a scheduling solution that would meet the needs of a wider group of users. One of the most important deciding factors was integration with Salesforce. The other was having a solution that went beyond simply showing calendar availability and offered users the ability to instantly book an appointment with the right person. They also wanted a solution that would streamline the information flow between both parties (so recruiters had the information needed to provide personalized guidance to potential advisors even before the first meeting), and automatically send out invitations and reminders.
After evaluating other scheduling solutions, including the possibility of building a solution in-house, LPL chose to partner with Engageware because of the robust capabilities and configurability of the Engageware Scheduler Platform.
Fast Deployment And Salesforce Integration
LPL Financial wanted to be sure that any new technologies implemented would not cause a conflict in their technology stack, so they chose to implement Engageware for a small group of users and expand from there.
Santana notes, “For advisors, there is a lot of logic and Salesforce is heavily customized. Engageware needed to integrate with Salesforce to ensure the meetings were being created properly, that it was able to capture the logic in the code, and simultaneously update and populate related fields. We have a rather complex integration, but we didn’t have any issues implementing Engageware, even within that environment.”
Success: Increased Appointments With Existing Clients And Prospects
After Engageware was expanded to the wider sales team, scheduled appointments increased more than 3X within just a few months. User adoption was not a problem since the time-saving benefits were so recognizable. LPL Financial is now averaging more than 500 appointments every month between advisors, clients, and recruiters.
According to Santana, “The feedback from users since deploying Engageware has been super positive, and everyone notes the ease of use.”
A further analysis of the initial data shows that the recruiting team is spending significantly less time dealing with the administrative issues involved in scheduling meetings. That’s largely attributed to Engageware’s instant schedule feature which lets end users instantly schedule an appointment directly from the website (or in some cases an outreach email), and then routes the information about the candidate to the appropriate person in business development.
Future Growth With Engageware
As advisors and business development employees continue to rave about how Engageware reduces scheduling time while helping them achieve business objectives, other departments are on tap to roll out Intelligent Online Appointment Scheduling.