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Within the financial services sector it is not unusual to know that product providers will look to outsource parts of their overall operation, largely to qualified and experienced experts in the necessary field to create efficiency within their organisation. This article will cover the benefits of outsourcing and how it could be considered an integral ingredient in sales strategy.
Looking to a firm who has the necessary expertise and experience will create efficiencies in the organisation partly through cost, partly through industry knowledge and also through flexibility that is a necessity in an ever-changing market. Costs can be reduced through improved time to market and continuity as well as leaving the focus for the provider itself to continue their internal focus on product delivery and enhancements trusting their new partner to represent their brand in the strongest possible way. Customer Service, Human Resources, Information Technology and Marketing are often parts of the business that are common to outsource with many strong companies operating within the sector waiting to apply their experience to the businesses they support.
One part though of the industry has been relatively rare to outsource and that is the role of the sales team. Product providers traditionally will keep these in house whether that be through “the way it has always been done” or because the nature of outsourcing a sales team has just not become as visible as other parts of the business. It can, however, provide the same benefits that companies get from outsourcing other parts of their business. A reduction in cost, industry knowledge of deepening business distribution within the intermediary market and finally the option to flex up (or down) their teams as market demands and internal demands require.
Most product providers have their own in house sales team but large parts of these focus – rightly so – on the top end of the market with many sectors seeing the “Pareto Principle” in its full effect where 80% of the business is written by the 20% most “active” of advisers within that sector. Concentrating on this section of the market in itself is efficient with sales teams (whether field or office based) able to generate large volumes of sales through their activity.
However, it can leave 80% of the adviser market feeling unsupported and sometimes short of in-depth knowledge of provider’s products. Our service to the companies we have worked with has focused around this section of the market and integrated with existing in house sales teams rather than looking to replace them. Providers have turned to us to deepen their distribution within their particular market(s) and our teams have taken on the challenging tasks of looking at the largest part of the adviser market and supporting those through criteria knowledge, product consultation and the link between the adviser and the product provider itself.
Within other sectors the use of a field marketing agency is very much seen as standard, but it has yet to become more widespread in financial services. As providers though become more pressurised to create flexible solutions for the adviser market and sales targets continue to rise could this be something that changes as time progresses?
The recent BWD adviser census (published in May 2019) references the continues desire from advisers to have strong relationships with sales staff (field or office based) and outsourcing part of the sales process can provide this as well as giving flexibility in terms of the size of this support on a frequent basis. Our teams have also been referenced within this report in this and previous years and we are extremely proud that we can represent strong financial services brands to this level.
As the pressures on product providers to become more efficient in their returns on investment increase and advisers remain under the level of scrutiny to provide correct advice and information on products we see the demands on sales teams increasing and providing a cost-efficient, flexible, knowledgeable team to do this is something that more providers should consider. Could the hidden ingredient start to become an integral ingredient in everyone’s sales strategy?
At McCurrach Financial Services we have been providing sales teams to product providers since 2006. Our sales teams operate under the badge of the product provider and to each and every financial adviser with which they interact they appear to be working directly for that provider – it’s our hidden ingredient. Working with the existing sales team we have increased activity levels through appointment sourcing for field-based teams as well as generated more than £2bn product sales over the course of the past three years across the providers we have supported.
Our expertise comes around understanding the sales process, having the ability to adapt to changing markets and also through our understanding and deployment of sales and adviser data to ensure that we drive activity in the right places.
If you’re interested in outsourcing your sales teams with us, please contact us here.