The cure for shrinking margins:
Cut staff and budget.
When the wind is at your back, increase staff and budget.
When does Play It Again Sam catch up to firms?
Now. When your sales approach and metrics aren’t working so well (or just ok). When the investment world is experiencing a cliffhanger inflection point.
You’ve invested (heavily) in data, you’re working the digital thing, but who’s working the people thing? That human component you need to reduce your volatility, give you upside opportunity and downside protection???
Check your inventory and see if you a running low on:
- Stuff that works for shops with an all active line-up (passive and low cost is not a short-term shift).
- Stuff that works for shops that have both active and passive, but all that is selling is (cheap) passive.
- Stuff that works for shops in the alternative market when ‘back to the home office model’ is trending.
I listen to sales calls and observe wholesalers in action. Without stellar product, too many firms are woefully unprepared for what happens next.
The question you need to answer:
Have you defined what essential sales talents your team must have to succeed between now and 2020? Do you have a way to measure where each person stands???
Is this a sales pitch? Sorta.But you don’t need to buy from me (unless you want to, and yeah there is some good stuff).
My ask is that you please help these guys take their game up more than a notch. Good internals, hybrids and externals are chomping at the bit to crush it. Just like their prospects and clients, they need new ideas and approaches that work better than the old ones. Especially when the wholesaler is the tiebreaker in a mature industry.
No matter how you do it, invest in your people. Make it easier for them to succeed (and stay). And look for ideas that go beyond the traditional training. You might need to take poetic license with your training expense line because if often drifts into the ‘nice to have’ bucket. Go ahead and cut it. Just make sure you add a new line item. Maybe something like: Investing in our future. Or even more dramatic: Survival expense.