Not all technology is created equal.
The benefits technology landscape is crowded and each solution is different from the next. With so many options on the market, it is essential for employers to cut through the noise and choose the right solutions for their organization—with expert guidance from their benefits consultant.
So how do you find the right fit? Here are three steps you can take to walk your clients and prospects through the process of finding the right benefits technology solution for their organization.
Step 1: Create a wishlist of what the ideal benefits technology would solve for
Before you recommend a solution to your client or prospect, spend some time talking with them about their needs and goals, and discover challenges they may be experiencing managing benefits.
You can start the conversation by asking employers these questions to guide your discussion:
- Define your current challenges. What pain points are you experiencing today?
- Identify your core goals. What do you ultimately hope to accomplish?
- Develop your criteria. What features and functionality are you looking for in a system?
- Assign a priority and weight to each item. What are your must-haves? Which features are just nice to have?
Help employers get to a place where they can clearly communicate each item on this list. They should have a firm understanding of what’s a deal-breaker and where they can compromise. Doing so will help them quickly eliminate solutions that cannot perform and avoid major technology regret.
Note: If the employer plans on using an RFP, make sure it’s customized to include the details above. A generic RFP won’t help!
Remember, a new benefits technology solution shouldn’t just meet a company’s immediate needs but also be able to scale for its future. Take into consideration where the client or prospect is today, where they might be in 18–36 months, and how implementing this solution might affect other technology solutions or business practices they already have in place or plan to adopt.
Step 2: Dive deeper
There are many systems out there that will have the features your clients want but lack the functionality they’re expecting. Taking a deeper dive is always a must, and as the benefits consultant, you can help them discern the difference.
For example, the right solution shouldn’t just include what the employer wants from a system, but also how they intend to use it. Don’t let your clients get fixated on certain features that sound amazing but aren’t needed or may never be used.
When performing a deep dive on the top contenders for benefits technology solutions, keep in mind the key difference between features and functionality:
|Features||A (sometimes) distinctive attribute or aspect of something. Most benefits technology systems will list many of the same features as other platforms.|
|Functionality||The quality of being suited to serve a purpose well; its ability to perform the job. Most systems are differentiated by functionality.|
Does the system your client is evaluating have the functionality they need, and if so, to what extent?
Step 3: Choose a benefits technology solution
Once you’ve helped the employer narrow down the finalists, it’s time to make a decision. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Beware of the hidden costs of “free”
It’s always attractive when something is offered to us for free, but caution your clients against falling into this trap. When an HR or benefits technology is available for free, there’s usually a tradeoff that will leave employers paying much more than they bargained for. They’re likely compromising on service or functionality, or are merely receiving a watered-down version of the software solution.
Gain a clear understanding of everything included
At first glance, many systems will appear to provide you with the same offering. When comparing the costs of different solutions, make sure you and the employer know what’s included—and what’s not. Don’t advise your client to buy anything until they have a clear understanding of the service model, which features and functionality they’ll be able to access, and all one-time and ongoing fees.
Focus on the big picture
Throughout this process, and especially at the end, don’t let your client lose sight of potential ROI. Yes, there is a cost associated with implementing a new technology solution, but most importantly that cost is an investment in future time savings (and as we all know, time is money). Remind clients when they get nervous about cost just how much they’ll save in staff time, administrative headaches, and the potential financial impact of compliance issues.
Finding the right fit
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all benefits technology solution. With ebm, you aren’t tied to a single platform, allowing you to deliver solutions based on your clients’ specific needs.
When you partner with ebm, you gain access to all of our benefits technology platforms using our unique “no license” method while removing burdensome buy-in fees from the equation. You can feel confident that you’re recommending the right solution to your clients and that they’ll receive the technology support they deserve.