In striving to meet the needs of clients, the rapidly evolving mobile technology landscape provides wholesalers and advisers with an array of tools to more effectively manage their practices and support the sales cycle. One indicator of the pace of change is that the highest level of iPad activation among all industries in the third quarter of 2011 belonged to the financial services industry -- more than triple the amount of activations of any other industry -- according to Good Technology, a provider of multiplatform enterprise mobility.
At Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD), the wholesale distribution organization for Radnor, Pa.-based life and annuities provider Lincoln Financial Group ($245 million in Q1 2012 net income), our technology strategy is designed to provide each of the key constituents in the sales process -- wholesalers, advisers and policyholders -- with the customized tools and training they need to maximize efficiency and capitalize on all of the groundbreaking capabilities that mobile computing has to offer.
LFD has equipped wholesalers with Apple's iPad tablets and a suite of mobile-enabled tools that, for the first time, provides them with an opportunity to have all the critical data and collateral at their fingertips while in the field. Tools such as Salesforce.com are now available with the swipe of a finger, enabling wholesalers to manage their territories by tracking and optimizing their activities with key advisers. Wholesalers also have the capability -- five minutes before they meet with an adviser -- to pull up a full profile of that adviser, including past activities, open opportunities, follow-up tasks and year-to-date sales.
Bringing Insurance to Life
When wholesalers can leverage the interactivity of mobile computing at the point of sale, they can help bring to life and simplify for advisers and their clients seemingly complex financial products, such as annuities and life insurance, and clearly explain how they can help address retirement income needs. That clarity is essential to ensuring advisers feel comfortable with our products. Backing up all of this technology is an extensive training program that efficiently provides on-demand, one-on-one training and guidance on best practices.
Moreover, LFD is in the process of developing a complementary set of tools for advisers and policyholders that will be accessible through Lincoln's web portals. These tools, which will also be mobile-friendly, will enable advisers to effectively manage their Lincoln books of business and help advisers and policyholders better understand Lincoln's products.
Coupled with these technological advancements, LFD is working with the industry as a whole to create new best practices to ensure the best possible service to clients. Overall, of course, technology makes it easier to focus on the unchanging fundamentals of the business: investing, training, measuring. Those are components we work into every step of the process. When our wholesalers and partners at the adviser level succeed in helping their clients with their retirement needs, we succeed.
[New iPad's Speed Is the Biggest Boon to Insurers, says Lincoln Financial's Rob Pal.]