Retail Brokers: Call Centers vs. Automated CRM

An in-depth look into if, when, and how a sophisticated CRM system can reduce costs and drive up performance.

This series examines the best practices for retention and acquisition in the retail FX space. It is sponsored by All Sherpa, a data intelligence & behavioral science company serving dozens of retail brokerages worldwide. Today we’ll address heads on the  subtle topic of CRM, and its ability to improve your bottom line. 

The two cost drivers in a brokerage are marketing and sales. Unlike lead generation efforts which are tracked aggressively per channel, per campaign and more, sales centers are measured more ‘generally’ and new technologies have failed to deliver significant improvements in Life-Time Value (LTV).

Previously, on broker games:

Ramp up redeposits in FX

Drive better traffic with ‘lookalike’ features

But, don’t blame sales teams. It’s simply not possible for sales teams -no matter how gifted and technologically enabled- to close the LTV gap.

Why Call Centers Fall Short

Over 50% of your clients are not reachable by phone and more than 50% of clients do not want to speak to their broker. Despite improvements in number validation and incentive schemes, most brokers find that half their book are simply not contactable. Often times, clients are trading privately – in situations they can’t or won’t speak, or feel that the broker’s calls are not helpful, or come at the wrong time. Let’s discuss both groups – reachable and not reachable.

‘Reachables’: find them  60% Are Better Served in Different Channels

Ok, you reached your client. Already this is a success! Now, it’s your time to shine. You’ve done your best to get them to redeposit.  The question is how are you going to build out that success? While you are looking for more, the client may have doubts, and even remorse.

Many sales teams get ‘alerts’ to contact their clients if they’ve hit a string of significant trading losses

Today, many sales teams get ‘alerts’ to contact their clients if they’ve hit a string of significant trading losses. While these ‘reassuring’ calls are positioned as ‘support’ calls, most go unanswered, and those that are answered are angry and mistrusting.

The ensuing call pushes on vulnerability and hopefulness – but brokers are now wary not to cross these lines and that there are more compliant, effective and profitable ways to help clients. These efforts are directed to provide clients with platform messages, support, highlighting opportunities and mistakes in real time.

By discussing the possibility of losses, its causes, the psychology of trading, brokers can build credibility for other messaging.


We’ve seen that providing trading guidance, or a ‘crisis’ center that provides trade-based guidance, is proven to retain 30% more accounts than those clients account managers reached. Note that during losing streaks, traders are not always receptive.By raising awareness of the win/loss cycles, clients become more loyal and equipped to manage their own losing streaks. This gives them a sense of ownership and emboldens belief in trading.

By raising awareness of the win/loss cycles, clients become more loyal and equipped to manage their own losing streaks. This gives them a sense of ownership and emboldens belief in trading.

And, conversely, help your clients with positive experience of “I’m able” and “Almost!”, and it is proven to be better than any sales call on the market bringing 30% more redeposit rates.

The Un-reachables: Help Them Continue to Self Serve

Lets not forget… your clients are capable of self-conversion. They found your brokerage. They signed up for your offering, and in many cases, already deposited. Somehow, they were motivated enough to make all this effort. It is obvious, that these same motivations can be applied to help clients succeed and continue their trading.

Trading itself offers plenty of excitement, opportunity and motivation to help clients redeposit

Brokers can create product experiences that help clients maintain or build excitement with their offering. Trading itself offers plenty of excitement, opportunity, and motivation to help clients redeposit – without heavy-handed sales efforts.

As a stark contrast, imagine if you had an “Amazon shopping consultant” call you after you made a purchase. There would be times they brought a special deal to your attention, but you’d stop answer the phone and it would be far from cost effective.

So efficient brokers move to automated reenactment of their effect agent calls. They do it by impacting customer experiences. In ways that create much of the same value, but with no cost or regulatory constraints.

The Bigger Picture: Can Automation Replace Personal Sales?

No. Effective sales organizations can effectively probe the “nature of motivation”, customer’s temperament, ability to invest, goals and more and then tailor an effective investment plan for the clients.

But, data intelligence and automation can amplify sales efforts to areas agents cannot get to. (Can your agent call a client while he trades in bed besid his sleeping wife?). Well timed, adapted trading experiences can help sales teams be more effective and replace ineffective sales agent efforts.

The Lesson: Data intelligence augments sales efforts without the expense

Data intelligence can make sales teams more effective. The bigger opportunity is to deliver the sales effort without the sales agents – where they cannot reach clients.

Through smart profiling of customers using both 1st and 3rd party data sources, it is possible to create a similar client profile as phone calls. Data intelligence identifies proven motivation (not just ‘stated’ as in a call) client’s demonstrated temperament, highlights some of their goals, and provides information about their past financial experience, all even before client deposits.

latency, equinix

By using data intelligence, brokers can be more selective about where and when to apply their sales agent energy, and how to create much more effective, scalable and cost-effective communication through other channels.

The Insights: Sherpa Data Intelligence Examples

  • Knowing that a client has high wealth parameters and experience (high-end salary, experience in trading and investing, own house and Luxury class car) helps brokers identify potential VIPs.
  • Understanding that beginner traders have little financial knowledge, and low income, can guide to different educational offers, demo experiences and micro-deposit account.
  • Seeing someone’s propensity to ‘game’ and take risks, can lead brokers to create time-pressured, competitive tournaments,
  • Knowing someone is a news junkie based on their habits – reading every payroll news, every economic news- can be turned into simple, daily prompts needs to be translated as a daily prompts.
  • If client are analytical, don’t send them to tournaments! Offer trading tools, selected signals or trading strategies.

Broker Case Study: Data Intelligence Uncovers 6x VIP opportunity

A European broker approached Sherpa to understand their opportunities. There was internal disagreement between the marketing team and the sales team about the quality of the leads and the LTV.

Brokers can be more selective about where and when to apply their sales agent energy

To highlight the issue, their VIP clients were only 4% of their clients and represented 18% of their revenue. They relied on affiliates and argued that the clients were poor. When we performed a data analysis and benchmarking, we understood that the broker’s sales team were highly effective, but simply reaching the wrong people.

Using fuller profiling including third party data, the broker realized that their book had 24% gold – not 4%.

Simply identifying those prospects and focusing agent efforts towards them, has helped them double their VIP sales.

How effective is your broker sales operation?

Anna Becker, CEO, AllSherpa

Brokers are encouraged to perform a basic self-diagnosis.

  • What % of customers, leads are contactable and are willing to speak? Are you below 60%?
  • What % of your customers that are not contactable, self retain? Are you below 50%
  • What % of your call connects result in reactivation or redeposits? Are you below 30%?
  • Have you changed your operations because of cost structure and regulation?

If your brokerage has answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you are sure to be leaving significant LTV on the table that can be captured using smarter, automated brokerage experience.

This article is written by Anna Becker, CEO of All Sherpa. Learn more about how data intelligence and behavioral science can drive redeposits.

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