Capital Raising Sales Support

Marketing That Helps Bring Capital in the Door

If you’re not doing marketing that’s helping bring capital in the door, why are you doing it?

The reality is that there’s a lot of marketing done in our industry that just does not support the sales effort.

Sales-Focused Marketing Strategy

Yes, we’re a marketing firm. And we appreciate all things marketing. But in the asset management and alternative investments world, we focus on marketing not just for the sake of marketing, but to help raise capital for your investment offerings.

For example, while we appreciate branding and the importance of it, it can be taken too far, which can take the focus off sales-focused marketing efforts. For example, instead of using effort to make sure an advisor lunch is well branded on site, consider instead putting resources into providing a solid marketing follow-up effort for the event, which will better support the sales team and the capital-raising effort.

Educate Advisors

Another key area that can help push capital raising is advisor education. Educating them on your asset class, your company, your management team and your offerings. Think about how you’re giving advisors updates and staying in front of them so they develop trust and faith in your firm. And how you’re providing the information they need so they understand your offering and can explain it to their clients. Make that easy and your sales team will have an advantage with advisors and establishing the type of relationships with them that lead to capital coming in the door.

Deciding Where to Focus

Thinking about where to focus your marketing can be overwhelming. As you’re prioritizing your list, evaluate each marketing project by what it does for your sales team. Does it help explain something better? Address a common advisor objection? Highlight what differentiates your firm? Explain the investor problem your firm’s investment solves?

If you’re looking at your project list and don’t know the answers to the above in relation to each piece, get the sales team involved. The marketing-sales feedback loop is critical in understanding which marketing efforts move the capital-raising dial. And remember, that marketing is iterative. You won’t always get it right the first time, but through collaboration with the sales team, you will consistently improve and make sure marketing contributes to bringing in capital.

At Marketing Intent, we help our clients focus on prioritizing marketing that helps bring capital in the door. If you need help deciding which marketing projects to focus on, we would be happy to talk to you about it.

Sales Support

Marketing & Sales Alignment Better Supports Capital Raising

Do you remember the game telephone when you were a kid? At one end of the line, your friend said “Chuck E. Cheese” and what you ended-up actually hearing was “Would you please?”

Communication Between Marketing and Sales

A game of telephone is exactly what it can be like when the marketing and sales teams don’t talk to each other. They are hearing direction from the management team and attempting to translate it into what the sales team needs from marketing.

That can often end up in a high-level mandate of: “We need more marketing materials,” “We need more leads,” or “We need more marketing activity.”

But what does that really mean? And what is the true need the sales team is expressing?

What I found in my experience is that when the people who are doing the work sit down and talk to each other, a lot of great things can happen. It opens the lines of communication to really understand what the needs of the sales team are. In our view, this is exactly what marketing should be focusing on. Syncing with the sales team.

The Feedback Loop

When sales and marketing start talking, you open a feedback loop that will allow you to create more impactful marketing materials that start and support sales conversations. The worst place to be as a marketing professional in our industry is working in a vacuum. Interaction and feedback from the sales team is critical to your success and your firm’s ability to raise capital.

As you open the lines of communication with the sales team, you may learn that they are continually encountering a certain objection that current marketing materials don’t address. Or you may learn that the same question is coming up that is blocking advisors from making the next step in investing capital with your firm. A marketing piece answering that question may help smooth the interaction and better support the sales team.

As you open the lines of communication and listen to feedback from the sales team, you’ll learn what’s working and what isn’t, as well as which topics need to be highlighted a little bit more. The conversations may also lead to ideas for other types of campaigns you can create from the marketing perspective.

Some friendly advice: salespeople love to share their opinions! Don’t take it personally. Your goal is to produce marketing that helps bring capital in the door. When you determine what this is for, your firm and for your salespeople will take some iterations. You will put out pieces that flop…it’s inevitable since marketing and what resonates with advisors over time is not static and not black and white. Do not take feedback from the sales team personally, but do take it to heart and make your next piece even better.

It Pays to Communicate

It pays to continue to meet with the sales team, have regular meetings and open the lines of communication. Start a weekly meeting between marketing and sales to get the ball rolling. Get to know each other and help each other bring capital in the door.

Syncing marketing and sales is one of our sweet spots. We love finding the gaps and bridging them so your firm can solidly compete in a crowded marketplace.

Contact us if you’re feeling tension between marketing and sales, or if you’re feeling like you’re working in a vacuum, disconnected with sales. We’d love to help sync your marketing to the sales team’s needs.

Marketing Management Sales Support

Is Marketing Ready for a Hybrid Sales Model?

The sales process changed tremendously this year as wholesalers learned to build relationships and trust with advisors remotely.

As the pandemic continues so will virtual sales, with many firms planning to adopt a hybrid sales model even when our lives return to normal. Which means marketing has to change too.

A Marketing Metamorphosis

Marketing has started taking a bigger role at the front end of the sales process. According to Discovery Data, advisors now make it 57% of the way through the buying process before they engage with someone from your firm. With less involvement from a wholesaler at the critical early stages of the sales process, marketing has to morph its approach to attract advisors and keep them engaged.

Attract Attention

Think about how your firm can get noticed in the sea of product sponsors marketing to the same advisors you are. Competing products typically offer the same or similar portfolio benefits yours do.

Make a positive first impression by ditching your product pitch and focusing on how you can help advisors do their job. What problem do you solve for their clients?

Keep your messaging clear and brief. Give advisors key information so they engage with your firm.

Create a Positive Experience

Once marketers have successfully attracted advisors’ attention, it’s important to focus on creating a positive experience. Much of which centers around your website. Use it to make a powerful impression on advisors – not simply as a place to post your latest marketing material.

Evaluate your site to make sure it’s easy to quickly understand what your firm does without jargon. And create a clear information path for advisors. This is particularly important when your website is designed to appeal to multiple audiences.

Check to be sure your site functions properly with all links and PDFs current. An outdated website can give a negative impression of your firm’s ability to provide ongoing updates to advisors and their clients.

Build Trust

Part of marketing’s job is to build trust and credibility with advisors in the digital realm. Provide the opportunity for them to learn about your management team and track record.

Show advisors you’re interested in them beyond an investment. Educate them. Deliver thoughtful and meaningful insights to help them make the right choice for their clients. Act as their partner in building their business and serving their clients.

We’ll Help You Differentiate Your Firm

You can differentiate your firm by creating a positive advisor experience. Schedule a time to learn how to start that process with website improvements.

Move advisors from researching your firm to investing in it.

Schedule a time for more information.

Sales Support

Marketing & Sales Alignment: Small Adjustments for Optimal Capital Raising

When I was young, I remember my dad mowing the lawn. At times, the mower would barely start and other times, it would sputter and choke. Dad would take the mower into the garage, make a couple of adjustments and get right back out to finish the lawn.

Capital raising works much the same way. At times it feels like the engine is sputtering and about to stall. When capital raising goals aren’t being met, part of, if not the entire problem in my experience, has been a disconnect between sales and marketing.

The Cost of Misalignment

Marketing and sales misalignment costs businesses a significant amount of money in both capital raising and revenue each year. It’s cited as one of the top reasons for declines or stagnation from year to year.

On a morale level, when marketing and sales aren’t aligned, team members from both departments feel like their work is underappreciated and wasted. This makes it difficult for them to generate inspired and quality work – and contributes to inefficiencies between and within both departments.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Small Adjustments Make a Big Difference

Making small changes to how sales and marketing are aligned and focused can make a big difference. It doesn’t take a major overhaul or expensive software to sync the teams up. Below are three adjustments you can make now to start aligning marketing and sales.

  1. Communicate. While sales and marketing teams interact with each other daily, they often don’t really communicate. I’ve seen firsthand how improved communication can make a significant difference in sales results.
  2. Focus, focus, focus. On the right clients and their needs. Which type of advisors or firms are being targeted? Why? What are you trying to communicate? Why? What information do clients need? Why?
  3. Align goals & share rewards. Keep both teams moving north toward common and well-communicated goals. Structure rewards so both marketing and sales share in success.

Position your firm for stronger capital raising.

For a confidential conversation about how we can help, schedule a time.

Sales Support

Nothing Happens Until Something is Sold: Marketing’s New Role in the Sales Process

Alternative investment product sponsors deeply understand the truth of “nothing happens until something is sold” as they rebuild their selling groups and base of advisors with each new offering.

In today’s world of major market disruptions, public health issues and personal distractions, the job of wholesalers to gain or even maintain advisor mindshare and raise capital can be more difficult than usual. By taking on a new role in the sales process, marketing can help strengthen advisor relationships and contribute to capital raising efforts.

Marketing’s Old Role

Before we talk about marketing’s new role in helping the sales team, let’s take a look at the role marketing departments often play at alternative investment product sponsors.

They fulfill orders. Sales leads the charge and tells marketing what they need. And marketing produces it – no questions asked. After all, sales knows what they need, right? 

Wrong…and right. When sales requests a specific marketing tool, they have identified a gap in information either for themselves, or more importantly, for advisors. When sales translates that gap into a particular marketing tool vs. sharing the why behind the request, marketing doesn’t have the opportunity to explore and develop the best solution.

This is not an ill intention of the sales team – but rather an extension of who they are. They are idea people, people-people, problem solvers, and capital raisers.

And it’s not ill-intended on the side of marketing either. Oftentimes, marketing teams are not resourced with the time or experience to dig further into the root of the sales request, so they simply fulfill it and move on. Over time though, this approach can further strap marketing teams for resources as their load of ongoing, one-off marketing pieces to update grows, leaving even less time to plan strategic marketing programs.

Marketing’s New Role

In its new role, marketing works collaboratively with sales to understand the advisor’s experience and improve it, removing friction points and helping sales build stronger relationships. Marketing often makes the first – and most critical – impression of the firm on advisors. They control how easy it is for advisors to get information, the timeliness and consistency of critical updates, and the translation of a product into stories that resonate with both advisors and their clients. 

How Does Marketing Move into Its New Role?

The first step in marketing assuming a strong and prominent role in the sales process is to gain a deep understanding of advisors, their challenges, successes and perceptions/opinions of product sponsors.

Marketing can gather some of this information by meeting with both internal and external wholesalers, but it’s critical for them to also have firsthand experience with advisors, sitting in on sales calls and meetings.

Then, marketing can evaluate the experience they create for advisors. How easy or hard is it for advisors to build a relationship with the firm and do business with you? And how easy or hard is it for wholesalers to develop strong relationships with advisors?

With the rough spots identified, marketing can develop plans and programs for a smoother and more streamlined advisor experience.

Where Should Marketing Start?

While marketing works on a longer-term plan to move into a more strategic role focused on partnering with sales and refining the advisor experience, there are steps they can take to start heading down that path immediately.

  1. Communicate with sales. Let them know about the new role marketing is starting to take to better serve advisors, to become a more collaborative partner to sales, and to help raise more capital.
  2. Tap into sales knowledge. Until marketing can get a firsthand understanding of advisors, tap into the knowledge of the sales team on the advisor experience. Oftentimes friction points for the sales team will also be friction points for advisors. Focus on the top three to start creating a more positive experience for advisors.
  3. Ask why. When sales requests a particular marketing piece, seek more information to uncover the problem sales is trying to solve. Consider the problem and what the best marketing solution is to improve the advisor experience around the issue.
  4. Reduce materials. Take a hard look at all the pieces marketing maintains and discuss with sales to determine if any can be eliminated or combined.

The experience an advisor has with your firm can be the difference between never offering your products and becoming a loyal producer. Marketing plays a critical role in making sure the advisor experience is streamlined, positive and positioned to bring in capital.

Need help evaluating the experience your marketing team is creating for advisors?

Set up a time to chat about how we can help.