Part 2: Territory Management Moving Forward? Backward? Standing still (aka backward)

In part 1 or this series, we addressed five trends in sales management that present peril if ignored.  If you catch yourself humming to the refrain ‘if it ain’t broken’… Here’s three trends in sales territory management that may suggest you’re a wee bit too comfortable with♫ The Way We Were ♫.

  • Prospecting is no longer all about acquiring new advisors. The real skill is to determine who to disqualify based on profiling questions that align with the $ potential AND ease of sale for prospects. Many firms ignore setting criteria for ease of sale that results in too much time spent on:

    • Advisors not in the buying cycle

    • Dollars that aren’t sticky

    • Low end advisors that should be courted by digital efforts

Question: Does your profiling strategy provide clear direction for when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em?

  • New partnering guidelines are evolving. Heard on the street: skilled internals and hybrids can / should cover a targeted group of advisors on their own. This strategy is highly successful at a number of progressive firms, and a big flop at others. Not because of the strategy, but because of change. Partnering plans (distinct from business plans) are essential for this strategy to be successful.

Question: How are you setting boundaries for internals, externals and hybrids to increase your reach?

  • The math doesn’t make sense for classic wholesaler rotations (calls and appointments) ‘Stay in front of me’ exclaims the advisor! –and many firms deliver with religious fervor– especially in the wires. It works some of the time. But gaining access to advisors (even those who say they want attention) can be an expensive time drain. Call me crazy but I’m not sure ‘stay in front of me’ is a solid buying signal. For internals, standard drip rotations have a boring stalking quality.

Some firms have begun using a creatively planned series of strategic, customized touch points – Portfolio manager webcasts, 3rd party articles or just an email that recommends a new restaurant in the advisor’s neighborhood can keep wholesalers top of mind – no expensive visit / repeated phone calls required. – Some wholesalers response to ‘stay in front of me’–“Glad to! Under what circumstances does it make sense to meet face-to-face meeting vs. an email or call”?

Question: Do your wholesalers simply drip or do they have a drip strategy that improves productivity?