As solutions become more complex, and detailed product knowledge and asset allocation support increase, Internal professionals will need to assimilate more sophisticated product knowledge. The source of this productive talent pool will also change. A smaller number of Externals “coming off the road” will be replaced by intentionally hired, trained and deployed internal salespeople that can build relationships in a virtual environment. A growing percentage of Internal professionals will have CIMA and other advanced certifications and compensation plans will change to reflect that.
In terms of connection, Internal Wholesalers will need to employ an intentional blend of interactions: email, phone, chat, text and video conferencing. Technology is already playing a greater role in advisors lives and this will continue as their clients become more savvy with what we call “social communication”.
With the growth of FaceTime and Skype we expect to see wholesalers (both internal and external) regularly communicating with advisors via video once security measures are tested and implemented.
Other best practices will include:
· Putting internal wholesalers in charge of evaluating and implementing value added programs for
advisors (internal and external sources).
· Refreshing/revalidating/installing a sales process with clear roles and inflection points for internals
and externals (driven by the voice of the financial professional).
· CRM investments to reduce time spent qualifying advisors.
· Talent management and assessment to ensure success in a proactive v. reactive role.
· Select opportunities for in-person meetings provided for internals.
· Internals given prominent roles at sales meetings; given special assignments and presentation
· Internals allowed to act as thought leaders.
If this community is provided with consultative selling skills, a validated sale process, and a value proposition that resonates with FAs, firms can expect great results from this dynamic and evolving part of their sales organization.