In equity sales, better tools usually mean more profitable clients

Whether you’re buying the latest electronic gadget or checking out a new car, it’s always helpful when the sales person is well informed and able to proffer appropriate advice. Needless to say, savvy retailers see the value in ensuring their staff have the support they need to handle increasingly knowledgeable – and fickle – customers. The onus is on a satisfied customer and a higher propensity for repeat business.

Differentiating to serve fickle investors

And the same is true in financial markets. Under pressure to add more value in the face of an increasingly competitive market landscape, brokerages are struggling to deal with increasingly well informed and, yes, fickle investors.

Nowhere is this more true than in the institutional and high-end retail equities markets. Here,brokers are striving to differentiate the service levels they offer their customers for precisely the same reasons: to ensure a positive customer experience that cements the client relationship and drives repeat business.

In parallel with their retail colleagues, brokers are approaching this challenge by coming up with trading ideas, discussing investment options and helping them to make decisions on their portfolios. And increasingly, brokerages are investing in the tools they need to engage in helpful and informative investment conversations with their clients.

Sounds good in theory, but how does this work in the real world?

Say, for example, you’re a broker on a call with a client who’s asking what to do with his investment in Royal Dutch/Shell. He wants to know whether to buy, sell or hold. And he’s looking to you to give him the insight to make the right decision.

With the right tools at your disposal, you can help him do just that.

Company analytics can allow you to drill down into the performance of a stock, compare it with its peers in its industry segment. You can get updates on earnings multiples and get a view onconsensus earnings: where is this stock headed? If the client is looking for alternative, take a broader look at the oil and gas sector. What are the sector momentum indicators saying? What’s the latest news?

Access to a consolidated real-time feed can give you a true view of prices and liquidity, not only on the stock’s home exchange but across all venues it trades on, including the multitude of dark pools and other alternative trading systems now in existence. This can be important. As much as 40% of trades in a liquid stock like Royal Dutch may be executed away from its home exchange.

Keep the conversation flowing

Pulling all this information together in a logical way and sharing it with customers can represent a major value-add for brokers. And this is putting greater emphasis on the data terminal and, more specifically, the flexibility and usability of the user interface.

Brokers need a quick and easy way to screen for stocks that match the client’s appetite for risk, find a quote and perform some comparative analysis and what-if scenarios. They need to be able to share information, by messaging over PDFs of proprietary factsheets on individual companies or by sharing screen shots of custom charts and other analytics.

Speed is integral. On a phone call with customers, brokers need one- or two-click access to company fundamentals, charts, earnings estimates, news and analysis in order to keep the conversation flowing, the ideas coming, the customer feeling well informed.

The value of sharing the wealth

At Infront, we understand the value of accessibility. That’s why we’ve designed our UI to be completely different from legacy terminal services, which often require hard-to-memorize codes or trolling through pages and pages of irrelevant material before you find the insight you need.

We’ve organised our services so that they can be searched and linked in a way that makes it easy to follow a train of thought, develop an idea and share the underlying insight with the client. And by sharing the wealth, so the speak, we think you’ll have happier and more loyal customers.

But don't take our word for it; experience Infront for yourself.

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