Analyzing Sales Data to Increase Assets

The following article titled, “10 ways to use sales data to increase revenue,  Tips on using data to identify better sales leads, optimize wholesaler productivity, and stay ahead of the news” recently appeared in the June 25, 2018 edition of Fund Action:

As an asset manager, if you are not proactively using sales data as actionable intelligence to increase revenue, you are missing sales opportunities.  Advances in technology allow you to access a growing amount of data, including distribution reports on mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and insurance products.  You can also use technology to analyze registered investment adviser and market intelligence reporting, and detailed customer relationship management data. But is your data accurate and timely? Does your system aggregate CRM information with sales reporting and data from third-party sources?  Is your system accessible in an easy to navigate dashboard?  Does it help your sales team — national and regional sales managers, internal, external and hybrid wholesalers, and key account people — know who to tar-get and engage?  Or is it set up to fail?

Whether you have an outside firm aggregate your sales data, or if you manage the process in-house, consider these 10 scenarios, and how these actionable tips may help you avoid potentially negative outcomes.

1. Somebody wrote a big ticket and you don’t know who it is

Advisers who place large orders may have a strong belief in your value proposition, and they may be prepared to recommend your products to other clients.  It’s critically important for your sales team to offer support to these advisers, and quickly.  Or to simply say thank you.

Actionable tip:  Can you produce a daily report listing the largest orders placed for the prior business day?  If the data is segregated by broker, office, and geographic region, your wholesalers can decide who they should call and/or email for follow up.  Is the report available by 8 a.m. the day after the trade, or is it available later the next day, or maybe sometime during the week?

2.   Your wholesalers are not being strategic in planning who to see and when

Let’s say that your sales team has planned and confirmed visits with advisers over the next three weeks. But who they are visiting, what state and city, and why is it more slipshod than strategic?  And they need to plan three months out, not three weeks.

Actionable tip:  Strategically using a sales aggregation program can help your sales team effectively slice sales data for an optimal travel wholesaler schedule — and optimal sales contact.  Are your salespeople, for example, spending face time with the most important and proximate adviser teams and individuals?   With the highest sales in your focus funds? Less critical advisers may be best served with calls by internal wholesalers, and/or by strategic email campaigns, and by portfolio manager and wholesaler podcasts and webinars.

3. You don’t know your sales by channel

You distribute  your  products  through  RIAs,  independent bank reps, trust companies, and regional brokerage firms.  Over the last six months, independent bank reps in the Midwest have sharply increased sales of your products, based on a recent story your public relations team produced on your asset management success.

Actionable tip:  Can your system identify this trend and communicate it to your wholesalers?  If your data can identify this trend immediately, a wholesaler can learn about an adviser’s motivation for using your product and use it to market to other advisers. Your data can help you uncover marketing and public relations approaches that are working.

4.   You don’t know you had a big redemption, or who made it

An adviser places an order for $1M mutual fund redemption.  It’s important for your firm to know why the redemption order was placed.  Collecting and analyzing the reasons behind large redemptions can provide intelligence to your sales force.

Actionable tip:  Is this information rapidly communicated to the appropriate wholesaler?  Did the client need to liquidate for financial reasons, or is the broker dissatisfied with the investment’s performance?  If a fund was sold based only on its performance, don’t be surprised if poor performance leads to redemptions.  Have you done an exit survey of redeemers?  Most firms don’t.  Financial advisers may be surprised that you took the time to find out, and they may stay with you because of it.

5.   You are launching a new fund

You are launching a new long-short equity fund, and your marketing department wants predictive selling information to communicate the benefits of the new fund to maximize attention and generate interest.

Actionable tip:  Can you easily access your data to identify advisers who sell your fund’s existing equity products?  For example, if you can identify the advisers who sell a large amount of your large-cap equity funds, those advisers may be interested in your long- short equity strategy as a diversification tool.

6. Your sales dashboard isn’t integrated

Assume, for instance, that a wholesaler has some meetings canceled and needs to book time with local advisers quickly, without making unnecessary calls to the office.

Actionable tip:  Is sales and other data for a particular adviser linked to the adviser’s contact information? Your wholesalers should be able to see all of the information on a single dashboard, using a PC or on a mobile device. Your dashboard should allow the wholesaler to search for large producing advisers by geographic area, and locate their contact information on the same screen.  This technology increases marketing productivity.

7.    One of your top advisers moves and you’ve lost her

Let’s say that one of your bigger advisers places an order for your top fund, but it comes from a broker-dealer previously not associated with the adviser.  The adviser’s move presents a marketing opportunity, because your sales team may now have access to advisers that did not have an interest in your product offerings.

Actionable tip:  Does your system flag the change and communicate it to the sales team?  An adviser with a large client base may have influence with co-workers at the new firm, and sales can leverage that relationship.

8.   Your competitor closes a fund

You’ve just learned that one of your toughest competitors will be closing their multi-billion-dollar small-cap equity fund to new investors.

Actionable tip:  Can you easily determine the largest producers for your small-cap fund, so you offer an alternative and potentially better solution? Providing this news keeps the adviser informed, offers their investors an alternative asset management strategy, and it may help solidify the relationship with the adviser.

9.     You need to be proactive on timely news

Let’s say you manage international equity funds, and Italy gets a credit downgrade.  An Italian corporation was a large holding in one of your funds at the end of the quarter, but your portfolio managers sharply reduced their ownership before the downgrade.  Your firm has written talking points to address the issue.

Actionable tip:  Can you swiftly identify the advisers who have sold the largest amount of the fund, divide the list by wholesaler territory, and get the information to them?  If you can provide accurate in- formation quickly, you can minimize the risk that an adviser recommends a redemption based on inaccurate information.

10.       You want to verify timely industry re- porting

An industry publication reports on the largest RIA producers over the past 12 months.  The publication is widely read, and your wholesalers need to know if the data is accurate.

Actionable tip:  How quickly can you use your data to confirm the information in the industry report? Your wholesalers need accurate information about large RIA producers, so that they can prioritize their tasks and work productively.

By David Halligan,
Director of Sales and Account Management, MARS SalesFocus Solutions