While we don’t know when the business world will return to some sense of normalcy, we know a time will eventually come when offices are reopened and in-person meetings will resume on scale. And while we don’t know precisely how much will change for wealth managers and asset managers, advisors in our recent SS&C Advisor Insights survey, conducted in association with Horsesmouth, expressed that fundamental changes are happening and will continue once they reopen their offices to asset managers.
Advisors expect a long-term shift from in-person meetings to remote meetings: Financial advisors have changed how they feel about meeting remotely—including meeting via video conferencing.
- Advisors are more comfortable with remote meeting technology: Two in three said that they are now somewhat or very comfortable using remote meeting technology with asset manager salespeople.
- Advisors expect more remote meetings, fewer in-person meetings: More than half of advisors (53%) said that the frequency of remote meetings with asset manager salespeople will increase. Additionally, 83% of these advisors said that the frequency of in-person meetings will decrease.
- Meeting with asset manager salespeople remotely during COVID-19 has provided advisors more time for other activities: With that additional time, 76% of advisors said that they were able to focus more time on their business (building and managing their practice, meeting with their clients and prospects, managing client portfolios, and researching market trends). Half of advisors (49.5%) said they redirected that time into activities that could benefit asset managers—learning about investment products, exploring what their asset manager partners offer that they do not use, and researching asset managers they do not yet do business with.
Some ways asset managers can meet advisors’ expectations in the new normal:
- Learn about your advisors’ preferences, goals and needs.
- Upskill the sales team to increase effectiveness of remote meetings.
- Offer training to advisors on how to use remote meeting technology.
- Use remote meetings to increase the availability of PMs and other experts.
COVID-19 presented challenges to the industry—every firm had to pivot to a sales environment none of us expected prior to 2020. While it was difficult to pivot to remote selling, asset managers rose to the challenge and most have done well over the past few months. Now is the time to look forward and begin positioning for a new normal that will see an increase in remote meetings and a decrease in in-person meetings. Renew your focus on understanding advisors and being able to personalize the experiences you offer them. Look at your overall strategy for responding to disruption—COVID taught us all that you never know what external forces can completely change the way business is done.
For more information on remote selling, the new normal, or insights about asset managers, advisors, business intelligence, marketing, and more, check out our recent research studies.
Research, Analytics, and Consulting