Updated: Nov 10
Establishing and growing your merchant cash advance deal flow from ISOs and other sales partners is not easy in the competitive market of today.
It takes a lot of time, relationship building, and consistent execution of your funding operations as a whole to accomplish this.
From our many years of experience in ISO Relations departments for funders, with a pulse on current ISO department growth plans, we are going to share with you some detailed processes, strategies, and ideas that can be implemented into your ISO Relations department immediately.
Regardless of how long a mca direct funder has been in business they are always looking to find ways to grow and improve the ISO generated submissions part of the business. There are older funders who have done away with the ISO channel completely, then others who have reduced it, but most will have a majority of their business from ISOs.
Lets first discuss a few differences between new direct MCA funding companies and the mature funders, which may have already tried much of what we will share however things can always improve with slight adjustments.
If your direct mca funding company is new, and isn't just a white label or do most of your business as a broker, most of the time you want to get as many ISOs on board as possible to send as many submissions as possible. That won't last long as you will find many submissions don't fit your box which leads to many ISOs who stop sending after a few of declines even though they didn't take the time to learn your box.
Costs will also add up, pipeline gets clogged and time to reach decisions on files will negatively affect your best performing ISOs.
Funders who have been in operation for several years have likely learned from the time wasters, double funders, money wasted at trade shows, etc, and are carrying out new strategies. Some things will always be a part of an ISO department like building relationships, constant contact with brokers, speedy service and more.
The following are in no particular order some ideas, actions, or strategies for increasing submission volume and ultimately funding more deals:
1. Set company goals for volume for month and year. Reveal this to your entire company and let them know monthly numbers. Some companies like to keep this secret but those are missing out on the opportunity for greater buy-in and productivity from their employees.
2. No secret that probably biggest keys are speed and communication. So you can't think whatever you are doing now is good enough, it can always be better! And competition is only getting tougher with new entrants and company acquisitions. Evaluate the time it takes from submission to offer and improve on that by either advances in technology or solutions to bottlenecks.
3. Work any existing relationship to find new ISOs. Meaning anyone in the industry you know or even closely connected to it. You should have your ISO Manager always searching for new referral partners, cause even someone brand new that starts out as 1 person with only a couple submissions a month can turn into a big mca broker shop.
4. Set KPIs for measuring performance like conversion ratio to hold ISOs accountable. Let ISO owners know where they stand. Set up calls to specifically discuss this topic. If they don't meet standards then terminate them after a period of time. Refer to our blog post on KPIs for more info.
5. Make sure ISO reps get clear understanding of your underwriting. Its vital that ISO rep be very knowledgeable when negotiating offers and describing why offer is what it is and why the brokers request can or cannot be met. It will save everyone time and money if an ISO manager or rep can be an extension of underwriting even though they don't make the ultimate decisions.
6. Get feedback from current ISOs on their experience working with your company. It is always better to keep this in an organized or documented way, not just verbal feedback that people soon forget. Even encouraging them to leave feedback on your website or sites like ours.
7. Make field visits to most brokers in the regional area and when it makes financial sense nationally. Keep the visits consistent.
8. Set budget for visits to ISOs for everything from buying lunches every so often to sending holiday gifts.
9. Create email campaign with content that will benefit brokers, not just ask for more deals. Should run consistently, at minimum 1x/month.
10. Use the various industry forums and social media groups to connect with brokers directly.
11. Make sure you know maximum daily/weekly submissions can handle that doesn't clog pipeline. Then review submission numbers with brokers.
12. Track offers won and lost after negotiating. Can use reporting features in salesforce or any other software. Once have results, train ISO relations staff to improve ratios.
13. Do video conference calls every so often including onboarding. This makes it a little more personal and great for those you can't visit in person.
14. Offer promotions to ISOs, i.e. bonus points for total monthly funded. This is not unique, seems everyone has a bonus every month. But you do have to come up with creative bonuses or prizes like sports tickets or a vacation. Goal is to create loyalty.
15. Social media - So many platforms but lets talk about Youtube first.
Not many Funders have a large following or engaged audience so there's opportunity there. Create a YouTube channel with informative videos geared towards brokers and other sales partners. Video connects differently with your audience. If brokers think of you as an expert they will visit your channel for more info or otherwise stay in contact with you. Brokers and potential brokers are on youtube learning about the industry by video moreso than other social media platforms although Facebook is right there.
That is not to say don't post or share on others like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They are all important. Lets discuss Linkedin.
Linkedin - Sharing your videos from Youtube to LinkedIn is a must, make it unique content that will show what your company is all about. Brokers want to be able to trust you, so allow them to see inside of your business, let your ISO reps make videos showing their personality, be repetitive with key underwriting minimums, category of paper you fund and always stay consistent.
Consistency is priority, across all platforms. Don't post one day, then 2 weeks then 2 months later. Since Linkedin is the place for business specifically don't be afraid to get into the weeds on your product and service.
Make content brokers others want to share. Its very important that in order to get engagement you must comment, like or share on other posts! This is why most don't succeed in any substantial way. If you look at most funders and ISOs accounts on Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram they have minimal following and engagement.
Taking action on some if not all of these points will increase your submissions if nothing else but everyone wants more than that. Its up to you and your ISO relations team to perform and execute to create long lasting partnerships and many funded deals.
Are you ready to take action? Start with some of the above steps.