Have your marketing efforts hit a wall? SunStar Strategic's Marilyn Dale and Sondhelm Partners' Dan Sondhelm recently contributed to a webinar hosted by Foreside Distributors to address challenges marketers are facing. This is the final installment of our report from the webinar, Taking Action for Marketing Success. Take advantage of the tips and actionable items that were discussed.
Managing Sales - It's A Process
It takes a deliberate sales effort to drive revenue.
Firms that support their salespeople are likely to be more successful.
Whether your firm has an army of wholesalers or your execs wear the sales hats, without a concerted, top-down sales distribution strategy in place, revenue goals are not going to be met.
Firms that support their salespeople are likely to be more successful. Rather than operate from a proverbial marketing ivory tower, marketers can provide meaningful campaigns and materials if they have first-hand experience on sales calls. A regular program that allows marketing staff to accompany wholesalers or portfolio managers on sales calls will improve the production and use of collateral.
It is not uncommon in smaller asset management firms for the wholesalers to report directly to the CEO, who may also be the CIO and portfolio manager. Many of these senior executives don’t have practical experience managing and motivating salespeople, or setting sales targets, or holding them accountable for results. As result, the senior executives may become frustrated at paying out a lot of compensation and travel expenses for poor results.
For any firm expecting to get to the next level, it is important to consider adding a layer of sales management or coaching that can bring order, accountability and strategy to the process.
The Power of Platforms
Growing firms may need to focus more of their sales efforts at the platform level. Many firms take a bottom-up approach – adding on advisor at a time. For firms trying to get to the next level, it is not efficient. A part of the growth strategy should include cultivating relationships with the research groups and the people who put together model portfolios on platforms such as Schwab, Raymond James and TD Ameritrade. Research groups influence what investments thousands of advisors are going to select for their clients. It’s a process that may take significant time, but, for many firms, it is the surest way to ensure survival.
If the firm has a limited budget for attending conferences, it can help to focus on the smaller regional meetings instead of national conferences. The same firms attending national conferences come to these regional meeting, albeit there will be fewer advisors. In a smaller setting, there are better opportunities to build stronger and longer lasting relationships. These smaller venues can also offer more opportunities to present, which increases visibility.
The full report is available for download here.