B2B User Research

To identify opportunities to streamline our sales process regionally, we conducted a six week research project that highlighted different expectations and preferences across the Asia region. Through modern and traditional user research techniques we defined and created a roadmap for a future digital service platform.

Head of Digital


Research direction, User Research, Goal Setting, Stakeholder Management, Vendor Management


Fidelity International

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

As the Head of Digital for all of Asia, I was faced with several unique challenges.The prevailing one, however, was how to efficiently run an entire region with a small, centralized team. For our company, the Asian region included: MainlandChina, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Japan. That’s seven unique markets with seven unique expectations, in four different languages (English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese), each with varying degrees and definitions of digital maturity and their own digital ecosystems (e.g. WeChat, Line, WhatsApp, Email, Web).

Identifying and cataloguing what makes each market different was the easy part. To become more efficient, we had to focus on what was the same. One thing that was the same is that in each one of these markets we had a wholesale, B2B business - where we would use third party intermediaries to sell Fidelity products.  In fact, the wholesale business was the primary engine for driving profit in the Asia region. In was highly profitable, but the process to sell our products into these intermediaries was woefully outdated and idiosyncratic between the different markets. We set out to research if there was a way to align our sales process and content distribution across the regions.

To do this, we conducted customer-led research to evaluate our wholesale sales experience with the aim to provide a measurable increase in user experience and generate business value by improving and aligning the wholesale sales process across the region.

Card sorting

The project spanned over six weeks and involved various research methods like content auditing, card sorting, face to face interviews, surveying and moderated testing. The process began with a kick-off meeting and discovery phase, followed by two experience mapping phases.

We started by identifying the different roles

The first step was to identify and map out the current goals, roles and methods that were in use for Fidelity’s sales partners across the Wholesale market as well as benchmarking the current interactions to create a baseline for improvement and innovation.

Content audit across our core markets

We did a thorough audit of each of the regions process - cataloging client interactions and content artefacts at each stage. We focused in on both Singapore and Hong Kong, as they were our largest and most mature markets.

In addition to streamlining our internal process regionally, we also wanted to understand how we were positioned (and perceived) amongst our competitive set.

Content audit across our competitors
Website audit

During this time, the team conducted local market and competitor reviews, as well as face-to-face interviews with customers and sales partners. The current 'As-Is' experience was documented and local personas were developed for these markets.

The next phase was all about finding opportunities for alignment. This involved conducting more interviews with internal business stakeholders, our wholesale and distribution partners, and end customers across the region.  

The end customers, even though Fidelity had no direct interactions with them, were an important part of our research. We wanted to understand the expectations of the end customer to better equip the. intermediary front-line sales teams with the information & details most useful to them.

The findings from these interviews were analyzed, and three region-level personas were created for the various levels that Fidelity needed to navigate to place our funds in the hands of end investors.

Persona One Pager

These personas captured the common types of information, communication channel and language preferences among the region, along with key needs and pain points.

In this stage we looked for overlapping problems and opportunities from our largest markets and those from the remaining markets in the region, narrowing in on what the areas that would have the broadest impact. We created a detailed insight and recommendation report that was validated with the local markets, but applicable at a regional level.

Customer Journey Map

The report included a complete end-to-end "To-Be" customer journey map that highlighted the regional opportunities for improved efficiency and customer satisfaction at each stage of our sales process.

Key Findings

Key findings from the research included the desire for a self-service digital platform, including features such as cross fund house fund comparison, easy-to-consume videos/webcasts, customizable factsheets, and a simple login process.

The research also highlighted the pain points, including spending time on poor market performance without revenue gains, unresponsiveness of fund house representatives, and difficulty in gaining a holistic view of the market due to information overload.

Shared themes across regions

Further, we adapted our content artefacts to increase ability to quickly scan information and identify relevant parts. We found that clients require constant connection and access to market and fund information. Mobile-enabled email and WhatsApp were important tools for updates, while face-to-face interactions were used for clarification and formalization.

There was also openness to new technologies, with potential use cases for AI in reducing workload and automating tasks.

Overall, the research provided valuable insights into the wholesale sales engagement experience, highlighting key findings and business opportunities for improving the user experience and meeting the needs of investment consultants and other stakeholders. The recommendations in the report went on to define the regional digital client experience roadmap, resulting in greater efficiency and value from our centralized team.

Armed with this new understanding of regional client appetites and expectations, we were then able to define a vision and requirements for a holistic digital platform that was able to support our sales process regionally.

Special thanks to the Asia Digital Solutions team, including:Jenna Cramond, Yannick Bowe, Christina Chan, as well as our local sales and marketing colleagues.