Practice management is a spongy concept, and trying to teach it at a distance is a bit like trying to teach someone how to ride a bike over the phone: “First get on the bike, then put your feet on the peddles. Finally, push down.” It’s accurate, but not particularly helpful.
But Raymond James is aiming for a quantifiable approach based not on platitudes, but on the collective experiences of the top advisors at the firm. The firm’s Practice Intelligence tool is basically a library of all of Raymond James’ materials across every facet of running a practice and constantly evolving based on from-the-field feedback.
Over the last year, approximately 4,500 advisors used the service, including many of the firm’s more successful advisors said David Lee, Raymond James’ director of practice intelligence. More than 4,000 support associates from the branches visited as well.
“The Practice Intelligence model really covers all we do at the firm level to support our advisors and it’s been great to see the inter-departmental collaboration sharing great ideas and best practices throughout the firm,” Lee says.
The site includes a benchmarking tool to help advisors discover their own pain points and direct them to the relevant material on the platform. Lee says Raymond James now has over 6,800 assessments in the database, along with traffic reports so the firm itself can see where they need to devote resources to developing solutions.
Users are most interested in topics such as business planning, marketing, branding and value proposition, referral generation and gathering client feedback. For most of these areas, the firm has created modules that provide step-by-step instructions, recommended tools and video guidance, sometimes live, from successful peers, consultants and other industry experts.
Raymond James plans to incorporate additional enhancements to the main navigation page and update the “Action Plan Generator.” There also may be an upgrade to the site’s Practice Networking Center, a collaboration area with blogs and forums for advisors to share tips.
“The future of Practice Intelligence revolves around increasing our ability to attract user attention, informing them, inspiring action steps and engaging them with the right resources, programs and personnel to help them attain their goals,” Lee says.