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BLOG. 3 min read

Does Your Firm Want a Lead—Or A Customer?

Eight in 10 asset managers use lead scoring to try to identify the advisors who are seriously considering their firm’s products. But much of our industry uses traditional, rules-based lead scoring—which is based on opinions and assumptions about which interactions indicate that an advisor is most likely to buy in the next month. This “manual” methodology is not scientific—or reliable. It's too simplistic for the complex decision journeys that customers take in making investments.

This type of lead scoring is also very focused on short-term sales—that is, finding any advisor for sales to call who seems interested enough to buy now. It doesn’t consider whether the advisor is a good fit for your firm’s approach and products. Why waste valuable resources like a salesperson’s time if the advisor rarely uses the type of funds you sell, or relies 100% on models?

The traditional, rules-based approach was a good start, and made lead scoring feasible for firms with limited data analytics resources. But data and technology are making it much easier for asset managers to evolve to a much more precise measurement of opportunity.

Our new report, Advancing from Scoring Leads to Tracking Customer Opportunity, takes the task of identifying the best prospects for a firm to the next level. It introduces the concept of Customer Opportunity Scoring, which helps firms identify the advisors who are likely to become the most valuable and loyal customers of the firm and ranks them by their long-term value to the firm—not just their likelihood to engage in short-term sales.

The Customer Opportunity Score also identifies opportunities to do business with advisors over and over again, signaling marketing or sales when they need a higher level of attention. This enables the firm to allocate resources more effectively and focus on maximizing customer value throughout the advisor’s relationship with the firm. It is more accurate—and ultimately more profitable—than traditional lead scoring because it combines rich data, scientific algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help find and monitor your ideal customers in real-time.

Robust data helps precisely evaluate three key elements of Customer Opportunity:

  • Fit:  What’s the potential for a profitable long-term relationship with this advisor? Is she the best fit for the firm’s business goals, products and approach? Fit is the cost of admission – no matter how “hot” a lead may be, a firm shouldn’t be wasting a salesperson’s time or other expensive resources on advisors who won’t have an ongoing need for their products.
  • Intent: How likely is the advisor to become a customer, buy more of your products and advocate for your firm? It’s not about watching a webinar or downloading a fact sheet. Signals of intent are more complex in our industry, where advisors are as likely to do those two things after buying a product as they are before. Instead, intent means looking for patterns of behavior that match those of your best customers and prioritizing them for sales follow-up and marketing campaigns.
  • Product Competitiveness: How does your product stack up to competitors in strategy, performance and expenses? These factors help gauge intent and prioritize the best-fit advisors with high intent for follow-up.

Bottom line: Customer Opportunity Scoring means marketing and sales can focus on synchronizing an approach to engage the advisors who are most likely to become high-value, long-term customers in a much more relevant and cost-effective way, building loyalty and advocacy by:

  • Directing valuable resources like wholesaler visits, portfolio consulting and premium services to the highest value advisors
  • Providing helpful insights to inform salespeople’s conversations and fuel predictive analytics processes (like next best actions)
  • Enabling marketing to engage the best-fit advisors with a more personalized customer experience that reinforces the relationship with advisors, and builds the kind of loyalty that lasts far beyond a single sale

The end result is a modern approach that evaluates advisors based on opportunity (not just interest), enables the firm to allocate its resources more effectively, and focuses on maximizing customer value throughout the lifecycle of these relationships.

Download the report overview and purchase Advancing from Scoring Leads to Tracking Customer Opportunity.

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