This is the first in a series of thought leadership articles that will examine three critical areas that need to be addressed to revolutionize the wholesaler role.
Fund Wholesalers are facing radical role redefinition. In recent years, the wholesaler ranks have been thinning and asset managers are looking for different ways to attract advisor attention and better position their products in an advisor’s book of business.
Wholesalers will need to adapt faster than their competitors and solve three critical issues:
- Challenge #1: Differentiate yourself from the competition
- Challenge #2: Add value to advisors’ practices
- Challenge #3: Automate processes to save time
Challenge #1: Stand out from the competition
Advisors are inundated with wholesaler demands on their time, but, advisors don’t have space in their calendar or the interest to sit through 10 or 20 product pitches every month. There’s no value in it for them, not when they can get all the product information they need online. If that’s all that the crowd of wholesalers is offering, then none of them are likely to be very effective.
The best way for wholesalers to differentiate themselves over their competitors is by developing expertise in solving problems that advisors care about the most—and then promoting that expertise.
They turn themselves in recognized experts in these areas and then take every opportunity to build their brand and make sure advisors are aware of the value they can provide.
These exceptional wholesalers speak at advisor events and conferences on the topics that matter most to advisors—like adding even more value for clients and growing their practices. Expert wholesalers create content and thought leadership pieces in the form of LinkedIn posts, short videos and articles. And they maintain a constant social media presence, so they are always top-of-mind when advisors need help.
Challenge #2: Drive value in advisors’ practices
The critical piece in creating a competitive advantage over other wholesalers is to find ways to add value to advisor businesses.
And, although most wholesalers are great relationship managers, not all are experts in critical skills like portfolio construction. The best way to build and demonstrate your expertise in this area is to leverage technology. Wholesalers can now use wholesaler-specific software to offer a new service to advisors—the opportunity to review model client portfolios, complete an analysis and identify the best mix of products.
This requires wholesalers to implement a sales acceleration platform that features guided investment product positioning & analytics. The best solutions include powerful presentations that use data-driven talking points to illustrate why the recommended solution is the best.
This type of software turns old-school wholesalers in tech-enabled consultants who are able to continually deliver value for their advisors.
Challenge #3: Create more time to spend in front of advisors
Like all stakeholders in the wealth management industry, wholesalers and their teams still find themselves bogged down in low-value work like manual data entry and administrative tasks.
To succeed in the transformation to tech-enabled business consultants, wholesalers need to streamline their workflows, automate as many processes as possible and focus on the high-value tasks that drive value in advisor practices. To do this, top wholesalers implement automated and integrated tools that increase their productivity.
The same sales acceleration and analysis platform that enabled a wholesaler to offer a value-added portfolio construction service to advisors, should also be able to integrate with a wholesaler’s current CRM. This integration streamlines workflows and saves time, increasing efficiency and productivity.
The sales and analytics tool should also be a central hub for all “point of sale” and product documents, ensuring that compliant literature is always at the fingertips of the entire sales team. No more hunting for documents, or wasting time searching different sites—meaning more time spent helping advisors enhance their client service.
Putting it all together
To attract new advisors and build even stronger relationships with those they already work with, exceptional wholesalers will find ways to set themselves apart from their competitors. Technology will be leveraged to offer value-added services to advisors, and those wholesalers will utilize that same software to increase their productivity. By addressing these three foundational challenges to the role, wholesalers can transform themselves into the tech-enabled business consultants advisors want to work with.