Business Guides

Applying The Sales Effectiveness Model To Your Firm

Applying The Sales Effectiveness Model To Your Firm

September 21, 2015

by Beverly Flaxington

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Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

The following is excerpted from The Pocket Guide to Sales for Financial Advisors by Beverly D. Flaxington (ATA Press, 2014), which is available from Amazon via the link on this page.

Over the years I have had the chance to work with countless financial advisory firms to help them increase their growth. While most do not want to “sell,” they would like additional assets coming in the door! This week’s column gives a peek into the assessment process I use, which is outlined my Pocket Guide.

Review this list to see where you should focus your energy for the best ROI.

The 8-Factor Sales Effectiveness Model

Factor 1. Define Market & Product Offerings

  • Are you clear about who your “best” prospects and clients are? Can you define a clear profile of the best fit for your firm?
  • Do you know which clients haven’t been a fit and why? Are there trends you can identify?
  • Do you know where the right target prospects are and how to reach them?
  • Do you know the scope of your market? How many target prospects do you have?
  • Are you clear on your competitors? Can you articulate the differences between your offerings and those of the competition?
  • Have you defined the products and services you offer and the problems of the target market they solve?
  • Do you have a compelling and differentiating story about your firm, your services and yourself?

Factor 2: Sales Channels

  • Have you identified and are you using other channels to access your target market?
  • Do you know the most effective sales approach for your financial products and services?
  • Are your clients your primary referral sources?
  • Do you have other reliable and successful referral sources in place?
  • Do you know what the referral sources “need” from you?
  • Have you explored whether there are other avenues of distribution?
  • Do you have an infrastructure of support for the different distribution channels?
  • Do you know the primary differences between client referrals, COI referrals and other channels? Do you know their different requirements?

Factor 3: Sales Talent

  • Do you know the profile of a “top performing” business developer for your firm?
  • Can you articulate the cultural fit of a sales person, including what they should value and how they should work with others to fit in your firm?
  • Have you outlined, clearly and in writing, your specific expectations for people in a sales capacity?
  • Do you know the kind of background someone needs to be successful in your firm? Have you put it in writing?
  • Are you able to describe a person in your firm now, or in the past, who was never able to generate much business? (Take a moment to record what happened and what you would do differently.)
  • Have you established and communicated the role of sales vis-à-vis other areas of the firm and how they can work together?
  • Have you established how long you would be willing to let one of your advisors deliver below expected revenues in new business, and what the consequences would be if they didn’t improve?
  • Do you know the “trigger” issues that would force you to remove someone and find another replacement?

Factor 4: Sales Support

  • Can you specify the sales process for your wealth management or advisory services and/or investment products or other services?
  • Do you have the materials that need to be used at each stage of the sales process?
  • Do you know what you expect the materials to “do” at the different points?
  • Is there a clearly defined and effective interaction between sales and marketing?
  • Is new business information passed readily and easily between the different areas in your practice?
  • Are your advisors trained to sell?
  • Do you know for each of them, including yourself, what has worked and what hasn’t?
  • Do your service and administrative staff understand that non-sales people are also performing a sales role?

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Applying The Sales Effectiveness Model To Your Firm