2018 FA Smart Book

2018 FA Smart Book

Envision the best ways to access your particular market segments and ideal clients.

We recently published the 2020 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™.  This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

 

[Strategy 3 of 9] Go to Market – Define a Go-to-Market Model Tailored For Your Firm.

The go-to-market model is based on your business model and target personas and helps you envision the best ways to access your particular market segments and ideal clients.

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Marketing and Sales

Marketing and Sales

Written with contributions from Ed Funaro

As growth focused companies realize the critical synergies required across the marketing, sales and customer success functions, they are increasingly recruiting a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to lead the way. Yet many CROs fail without a properly defined role and an adequate onboarding process. It is vital to ensure CRO success.

A Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is responsible for a company’s revenue streams. He/she has the ultimate accountability for driving revenue growth. The role is clearly cross functional. The CRO oversees and aligns revenue-generating departments: Marketing, Sales and Customer Success. It is a challenging role. The average tenure of a Chief Revenue officer working at the same company is incredibly brief – only about 18 months, according to an annual survey from CSO Insights.

The first 90 days are critical – Whether a company makes money rests with the CRO. Expectations are that the CRO will have about one quarter or 90 days to prove they can meet management’s expectations. As Michael Watkins points out in his top selling book The First 90 Days.

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This post is updated. The original post was published in 2017.

Personas represent the needs and behaviors of your ideal clients and are helpful in shaping your positioning and messaging.

We recently published the 2020 Edition of the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™.  This resource is a comprehensive guide to help independent financial advisors build an ‘independent difference,’ that is, a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase Conversion Rates
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

[Strategy 2 of 9] Valued Offering ~ Craft Market-Ready Service Offerings and Segment Messaging

You will be surprised how effective it is when you communicate offerings based on specific personas that represent the needs (or pain points) and behaviors of your best clients.

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Do you have a focused SALES business recovery plan?  Does it allow for current year goal achievement post-crisis? 

Most businesses have a business continuity and resiliency plan that allows for continued operation in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, but most businesses do not have a revenue recovery plan!  The pandemic crisis has forced new ways of working and impaired business performance, but companies must anticipate coming out of the crisis and being  prepared for the new environment. This is the time to take advantage of the crisis by examining and addressing ineffective and unproductive elements of your revenue architecture including systems and talent.

An informal survey of CXO’s conducted by Revenue Architects over the last 6 weeks indicates that sales and marketing organizations are functioning differently through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The results confirmed that 90% have been materially impacted. 

  • 60% of participants stated that they have or plan to layoff/furlough part or all of their sales and marketing teams
  • 50% stated they do not have a formal recovery plan to return to Pre Covid-19 performance.
  • 100% stated that working remotely had a positive impact on their productivity while also representing new management challenges
  • 80% indicated that it was harder to bring some staff given the reverse incentives of government programs.

Conducting business under current constraints with social distancing, remote working and the reduction of capital expenditures is a new challenge. It can be harder to sell if you are not in front of the client. Yet even before the pandemic the skills and profile of sales superstars were changing. And the B2B buyer, already digital savvy, was becoming more educated and self-sufficient using online resources to self-sell. 

“If you give me a techno-savvy, Internet-friendly, google ranked, instant responding, collaborating, differentiated, social media savvy, value-driven, a value-based messaging, salesperson who uses the voice of the customer testimonials and is interested in how the customer profits…then, I will give you sales results”.  

 

But how do we infuse these talents and skills along with sales best practices into our selling team and drive sales, take market share, and position for the upcoming market expansion?

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2018 FA Smart Book

Market Success

This post is updated. It was originally published in 2017.

 

Independent Advisors need a strategy-led, systematic growth program.

We recently published the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™, 2020 Edition.  This latest edition has been updated and outlines the Revenue Architecture Methodology that financial advisors can use to add greater structure and predictability in their revenue engine. We introduce nine steps and advisor-specific marketing and sales strategies that are helping advisors capture client value.

The comprehensive guide helps independent financial advisors build a strategy-led, systematic growth program with 9 proven strategies. The goal is to help advisors:

  • Increase Volume: Generate More Visits & Inquiries
  • Increase Client Value: Get Better Qualified Inquiries
  • Increase Velocity: Increase your Conversion Rate
  • Increase AUM and Revenue: Optimize Engagement for AUM growth and Revenue Impact.

Having a vision and game plan for growth is important for financial advisors to thrive in a challenging marketplace. The Smart Book™ outlines how you can achieve more predictable and sustainable revenue growth by establishing a Revenue Architecture that fits your firm. The key is to commit to a systematic sales and marketing process by following the 9 proven strategies to guide your approach.

[Strategy 1 of 9] Markets & Buyers – Define Ideal Clients and Market Segments 

This may seem obvious, but we are surprised how many advisors we work with have not done a marketplace assessment, defined segments, and personas.

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Chief Revenue Officer

The CRO is Responsible for Predictable and Sustainable Revenue Growth

This post is updated. It was originally published in July 2016

Today, companies recognize the need for a company-wide revenue focus and a more integrated approach across marketing and sales. The CRO oversees the traditional responsibilities of the VP of Sales and the Chief Marketing Officer and is a member of the senior team overseeing go-to-market strategy and execution. The CRO is  responsible for aligning company resources, defining differentiated go-to-market strategies and delivering on the company’s revenue performance goals.

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Professional Selling

Professional selling is senior selling. It may be a seller-doer model, as in consulting, or an expert-driven sales model for high value products and services. Professional selling is not about directing a junior team of salespeople, it is about senior people doing the selling – establishing their personal brand, actively building a network and engaging both existing relationships and new prospects with thought leadership and insights.

Clearly, LinkedIn is an established resource for professional sales. It helps senior professionals find and engage with specific prospective clients or buyers with personal 1:1 interaction, establish professional credibility and share content and resources to nurture and develop prospects. It also offers paid options to build awareness and encourage lead conversions.

So how can senior professionals take advantage of LinkedIn? You can simplify it with three steps (and a few sub-steps). 1. Develop a strategy, 2. Establish the systems you need, 3. Execute your program(s).

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SCQA

Persuasive Communications

Persuasive Communications Enhances Sales and Marketing 

Persuasive Communications helps you deliver your message and deliver it in a logical and persuasive way. It is a buyer-centric approach to communicating. I use what I believe is a very useful framework  for communicating and persuasive arguments.

At Revenue Architects, we often ask each other, “What is your S-C-Q-A? ”.

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Structured or Unstructured Process?

Some businesses need a highly structured sales process that dictates specific activities sales reps need to execute.  These might include things like a discover call, a demo, a pricing meeting, proposal, signature meeting, etc. Often a structured process is needed for more junior sales reps and where the volume of sales activity is high and the dollar value of the sale is low.

For complex sales cycles and when selling professional services, sales teams do not need a highly structured process. For these teams, a stage-based marketing and sales process works better.  In each stage, there are a range of activities, strategies and tactics teams will use to engage the buyer and DMU (decision making unit) across the buyer’s lifecycle.

Buyers Don’t Care if it is Marketing or Sales

The buyer wants a simple and clean buying process. They don’t care if they are engaging with your marketing a sales team. They are simply following their buying process – often in an unstructured and unpredictable way.  The typical stages of the buyer process are:

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