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5 ways for asset managers to improve client engagement

Asset managers face competition every day, and strengthening your firm’s relationships with advisors takes consistent effort. Because you operate with limited resources, you need to leverage your sales and marketing efforts using a business-intelligence platform.

A comprehensive sales-report system can help prioritize marketing efforts, and communicate information quickly and clearly to advisors. Wholesalers need a dashboard that is easy to navigate on an office PC, laptop or mobile device.

Here are five ways that a sales report system can help asset managers build stronger relationships with your current advisors:

Boost Relationships. A sales-reporting system can help you quickly analyze data so you can find those advisors who need the most engagement from your firm.

Assume, for example, that a wholesaler’s territory includes 500 advisors who have done business with you in the past. How do you determine the best prospects?

Using the dashboard on your sales-report software, you determine that the vast majority of the total business generated comes from 120 of the 500 advisors. In order to use your time efficiently and get a bigger share of wallet from existing advisors, you need to focus your efforts on the 120 advisors identified by your sales-report software.

Effectively Use Time on the Road. An effective sales report system, particularly software that works well on a mobile device, can help firms maximize sales efforts while out of the office.

For example, assume your wholesaler are calling on top advisors. He has an appointment cancel unexpectedly and needs to fill the time with a new appointment. How can he respond to this situation efficiently?

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Report software can allow firms to generate contact information that lists existing advisors, phone numbers and addresses within a 25- to 50-mile radius of your location. Once a wholesaler creates the initial list of top producer names, they can prioritize the list based on each advisor’s assets invested in a particular product line, distance from current location or some other critical category. They can now set appointments with advisors in the area who are the most valuable.

Responding Quickly and Clearly. Time can be a critical factor when marketing to advisors, and a well-designed sales report dashboard can help firms communicate quickly and effectively.

In this example, assume that you are the national sales manager for a large-cap equity fund. Breaking news regarding a foreign country that impacts your fund’s portfolio has just been announced, and you need to quickly communicate your analyst’s opinion to advisors who use your fund in client portfolios.

Your sales team can choose to email, call or visit advisors who recommend your fund to clients. How do you effectively communicate information and reinforce your firm’s story?

A sales-report dashboard should allow everyone in the organization to quickly generate a list of advisors, based on total client assets invested in your fund. You may decide to set wholesaler appointments for your top advisors, while advisors who are further down the list get a phone call. Finally, the remaining advisors on your list receive an email.

Conduct an Exit Interview. What happens, for example, when a top producer moves $2 million — or any other substantial sum — out of one of your funds?

Conduct an exit interview. Was the fund redemption due to a life situation (death, retirement, estate planning), or was it due to fund performance? The reason may also be the loss of a client, a move to a competitor’s fund or a decision to use a passive approach.

This form of timely engagement helps firms determine the reason for the fund redemption and maintain the relationship with the advisor. In addition, wholesalers can create questionnaires as a template that a mobile user can access to debrief advisors on why they exited out of or trimmed a substantial portion of a fund holding.

Manage Key Relationships. An effective sales-reporting system may also help manage key advisor relationships.

Here’s another scenario: A wholesaler covers a four-state area, and her top producers are located primarily in five cities. How does she work efficiently by maximizing time spent in front of top producers?

An effective sale data dashboard can help plan her time by considering each top producer’s location. Assume a particular top producer agrees to see her on the third Wednesday of each month. She can post that information into your sales data and plan other meetings nearby on the same date each month.

Firms can review top reps and largest tickets on a daily basis. Companies can access sales totals for any time period and build important relationships.

The funds gained an average of 13.3% a year over the past decade, which began before the financial crisis.
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A sales-reporting system should also be a useful tool to quickly address any potential confusion regarding a fund’s performance. Assume, for example, that negative news comes out about a company that was a top-10 holding in your domestic equity fund at the end of the second quarter. The fund manager, however, sharply reduced the position before the negative news came out.

Many advisors may read the negative news and not know the large holding was already sold. Sales teams can use the tools explained above to identify the advisors who use your fund and sort the list by total assets. The sales force system should allow you to easily contact all of your wholesalers, provide the list of advisors and communicate a response.

Finally, get input from internal and external wholesalers and the entire marketing and sales group to determine how a sales-report dashboard should present information. This type of research can help create a system that meets the diverse needs of staff.

Making the investment to create a sales-report system allows everyone in the organization to work smarter. Wholesalers can leverage their time to grow the most important advisor relationships. These efforts will help firms get the attention and gain the trust of more advisors over time.

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