2018 FA Smart Book

Market Success

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

The Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™ outlines the Revenue Architecture Methodology that financial advisors can use to add structure and predictability to 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 essential 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.

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gears automation

Financial advisors are an amazingly difficult prospect to engage. They are incredibly busy and already have a wealth of resources available to them; in fact, it may be fair to ask if they even need to engage with wholesalers? That’s why we say the best way to convert financial advisors to customers is to build your marketing automation program around them.

Lead generation starts with effective segmentation

Before focusing on key strategies, Sales and Marketing must have defined a set of engagement personas and customer segments. Marketing has worked with personas for at least a decade, but only since the advent of marketing automation software have engagement personas become empowered and brought to life.

Defining financial advisor segments for lead generation

Creating clarity with Sales is a two-step process:
  1. Lead scoring – a measure of how active a financial advisor is on your digital properties
  2. Lead grading – a measure of how profitable the financial advisor is likely to be

Advisor Marketing Focus

While it may take several iterations to get lead scoring and grading optimized, the process should be fruitful for Sales and Marketing. It crystallizes Marketing and Sales perspectives around which advisors are most profitable and which digital behaviors are believed to be most relevant to a sale. Some marketing automation vendors have one score that represents profitability and interest. However, being able to separate advisor behaviors from profitability factors simplifies discussions by clarifying customer segments by profitability as seen in the above graphic. As an example, Pardot applies a numerical value for an advisor’s lead score and a letter grade (A-F) for an advisor’s expected profitability.

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Professional Selling

Professional Selling

A go-to-market model is based on your business model and your target audience of personas. It helps you envision the best ways to access your ideal clients. Yet, in addition to understanding how you might best access your particular target client segment, you should consider what is best for you and your firm. For example, what volumes do you need? How comfortable are you with outbound prospecting? To what degree are you comfortable using social media or digital marketing?

Begin by determining how to access your ideal clients.

A. Determine your territories or market focus as a team – who will focus on which prospects or segments.

B. Identify referral partners (asset management relationships, custodians, referral networks, COIs, etc.)

C. Identify marketplaces or communities that may be relevant (e.g., FeeOnlyNetwork, Investopedia, NAPFA, FPA Planner, Zoe Financial, SmartAsset, and others)

D. Identify touch points should might based on the audience, e.g. inbound and outbound marketing, PR/media outreach, advertising, re-marketing, high-value content, and thought leadership, webinars.

E. Identify social and other media channels you might use to reach prospective clients (Google or Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn Sponsored posts, etc., radio, print), media/PR, content/thought leadership publishing/syndication, speaking, charitable activity, e-mail, apps such as a retirement readiness quiz, webinars).

F. Consider what capabilities you will need to support your go-to-market strategy, including web channels, collateral, technologies, processes, skills, and measurement/monitoring.

G. Align your team around the go-to-market model and high-level campaign strategies, ensuring buy-in and supporting execution commitment.

Target selectively:

  • Be selective about which clients to target. That is, which clients have the potential to be profitable, and the willingness to form long-term relationships.
  • Manage the others – losing unwanted customers efficiently without loss of focus.
  • An A-B-C Client Model is a handy tool to segment your client base and manage your portfolio.
  • Long-term success will rely on a go-to-market strategy and plan that reaches your target clients and positions your firm with a competitive advantage.

Explore all 9 strategies for growth by downloading the Financial Advisor SMART BOOK™.