The ever-changing world of intermediary sales
Change and agility
Headhunters, business coaches, and management consultants talk about agility a lot and what does this mean? Well I think this video from Columbia Business School captures the concept well. Agile leaders in my view process information quickly, map out the future landscape, and mobilise their team to adapt at speed. As mentioned though, whether a firm is selling DFM, retail funds, or tax efficient products to the intermediary channel, they’ve already seen a great deal of change.
I first started recruiting for intermediary sales roles in 2007, just before the financial crisis, and it was very much a people business. It still is in many ways, a BDM’s network and knowledge will always be invaluable, as will their ability to articulate an investment proposition, but the days of late nights drinking with clients seem to have largely disappeared. The industry has had to adapt. Since the financial crisis, firms have had to cope with margin compression, consolidation, and a centralisation of buying decisions.
At the same time wealth creation in the UK has been weak and so BDMs have had to make more noise and to be more sophisticated in how they sell to an ever concentrated audience. Their audience is also increasingly dealing with more complex issues. Fram’s Wealth Management Practice recruits for financial advisers and we’ve seen first-hand the qualification arms race and professionalisation of the adviser industry (both very good things for the industry). However, this has resulted in more advisers advising on a wider range of issues – all of which the BDM needs to understand. Nowadays, providers try to put on informative and strategic events - helping advisers to understand their products and to develop their practice. There’s very much a focus on value add rather than just product push.
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Lessons from marketing
Field- or office-based?
Perhaps it makes more sense to have some very experienced BDMs in the office, who can carry out more fact find meetings from the desk before introducing the most appropriate colleague? Either way, video conferencing should increase amount of events, client contact, and learning opportunities for advisers.
Without a doubt the world of intermediary sales will evolve again, and the role of the BDM (both field and internal) is about to undergo significant change.
About Fram Search’s Sales & Marketing Practice
Fram Search is a specialist financial services recruitment firm, which works with clients across the UK. Our experience includes DFM, retail funds, and tax efficient sales recruitment for both internal and field based positions. Fram charges on a contingent or retained basis, depending on the client’s requirements. In addition to contingent recruitment and executive search, where required we can screen candidates using personality profiling and all of our consultants have undertaken “unconscious bias” training to ensure we shortlist the best possible candidates.
Please call us on 01525 864 372 or visit our sales & marketing practice to learn more.
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