The financial services industry is crowded and competitive. There are many fantastic small firms with interesting niche specialties highly valued by their clients going unnoticed. Slingshot Financial brings the same business development strategies and methods used by the big firms and applies them in a customized way suited for smaller companies and their objectives.
Typically, a large asset management company divides marketing and sales functions across five separate departments of varying size depending on the firm.
- A product management group which focuses on product strategy including development and competitive positioning. Product teams conduct ongoing market analysis, identifying opportunities for competitive product positioning by peer group, pricing, buying trends, client preferences and behaviors. A product manager will often coordinate with portfolio managers in creating institutional collateral such as pitchbooks, annual reports, RFP’s, etc.
- A marketing team which works closely with the product manager in creation of consistent branding and messaging for target audiences across various mediums. For example, an investment strategy’s fact sheet may look slightly different and include slightly different information if it is designed to be delivered to a financial planning office versus a pension plan consultant. Although the same strategy is being discussed, the audience may be interested in different details. Marketing teams produce timely content and ensure that communications are tailored to the intended audience while maintaining high-level consistencies.
- Key Accounts, also called National Accounts maintain relationships and seek new distribution channels at the highest platform levels. These teams have a deep understanding of the products and services they represent, as well as higher-level business operations. For multi office broker/dealers and RIA’s with centralized home office decision making, sales functions start with selling agreements and platform additions at the Key Account level.
- A sales team which proactively engages with prospective clients to generate new revenue. Good sales teams will identify the best opportunities across different distribution channels and organize their outreach according to a projected sales cycle, ensuring consistent high-quality contact. Well-planned, detailed sales campaigns result in steady revenue growth which is more predictable.
- A service team is the client’s go-to resource for day-to-day support.
The largest asset managers employ hundreds (or thousands) of people across these departments, often with numerous specialized teams within each department to cover “all things to all people.” Obviously, specialty firms do not require that headcount, as their offerings and target markets are naturally more focused. However, understanding how to delineate the job functions within business development and integrate distinct workflows in a coordinated schedule is tremendously helpful for efficiently allocating capital and driving ROI. No need to call in the cavalry if you can effectively hit your marks with a Slingshot!