[Sales and marketing teams in financial services have traditionally worked in their group silos focusing on separate issues. These kinds of activities would tend to reflect a focus on tactics rather than an understanding of what drives purchasing considerations among today’s investors and intermediaries. While deploying various tactics can help, a financial firm can generate far more significant positive results by encouraging greater flexibility and participation in these teams working together to play a more creative role in delivering a strategic and effective message to the marketplace.

In order to better understand the issues and potential strategy behind sales and marketing integration, we reached out to financial services marketing expert and founding Institute member, Dan Sondhelm of Sondhelm Partners — an experienced provider of marketing, public relations and sales strategies for the asset management and RIA industries. His firm won the Hedgeweek US Awards 2023 Best Third-Party Marketing Firm accolade, along with a strong third place in the Best PR and Marketing Firm category. We will be exploring Dan’s thoughts and insights on why and how to develop an integrated strategy for financial services sales and marketing teams.]

Bill Hortz: Why are you such a strong proponent of an integrated marketing and sales strategy?
Dan Sondhelm: There is so much a firm can gain with an integrated marketing and sales strategy, including a more efficient allocation of resources, greater alignment of goals and efforts to achieve them, and more consistent messaging up and down the organization, all resulting in a greater return on investment (ROI). 

When fully integrated, marketing can create more targeted campaigns to better support sales efforts leading to increased lead generation, more qualified leads, and an improved customer experience through more consistent and relevant messaging across all touchpoints, all leading to more sales conversions that drive revenue.

All that is made possible through data-driven decision-making, which is a hallmark of an integrated sales and marketing strategy. By sharing data between teams, financial companies can gain deeper insights into their target audience, their behavior, and the effectiveness of their sales and marketing efforts. This data can then be used to make more informed decisions and improve future campaigns.

The challenge for many firms is they tend to lean in one direction or the other. They may only have the budget to hire one person to guide their marketing and sales efforts. If they hire a person experienced in sales, they will likely focus on their sales efforts. Or they may hire a marketing person with little experience in sales.

To have any chance at achieving sustainable AUM growth, firms must prioritize both marketing and sales with the necessary resources to optimize results under one cohesive strategy. It may be too much for a smaller firm to do that all at once but it is critical to move in that direction, taking baby steps if necessary.

Hortz: What does an integrated sales and marketing strategy look like? Can you share a few examples?
Sondhelm: Generally, when sales and marketing are on the same page in terms of planning, messaging, and priorities, a firm can increase efficiency while achieving more powerful results. For example, a marketing strategy focusing on content marketing, digital advertising, and social media engagement can generate more qualified leads to fill the sales pipeline.

Marketing can further help the sales team by creating marketing materials such as product brochures, videos, and demos that can educate potential customers about the features and benefits of the product or service. This can help the sales team by giving customers the information they need to make informed decisions. 

Marketing should weave the same look, feel, messaging, and quality into sales collateral, including sales decks, case studies, and customer testimonials to support the sales team in opening and closing more deals. 

In addition, small firms need to build a “buzz” around them to add credibility to their marketing efforts. When the marketing plan includes a public relations strategy through media outreach, thought leadership content, and influencer marketing, it can increase brand awareness, generating more interest in the firm and its products or services. It also helps establish the company as a trusted authority, making the sales team's job easier by creating a positive impression of the brand before the sales pitch even begins.

First « 1 2 » Next