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The Future of Advisor Prospecting

How evolving business models and data-driven segmentation will change the way asset managers engage with advisors.


There is a fundamental shift taking place across the Asset Management industry. Longer term trends in digital marketing and hybrid selling models have only been accelerated by the pandemic. The image of the traditional wholesaler “pounding the pavement” and dropping by an advisor’s office to build a relationship and to pitch new products is rapidly evolving into a more systematic, data-driven exercise.

According to recent Broadridge research that surveyed advisors:

  • The enduring effects of COVID-19 on advisors and asset managers may be felt for years to come. 70% of advisors indicate that the pandemic will have a lasting, long-term impact for their practice.1
  • 58% of advisors plan to work fewer than five days per week in the office.2 Increasingly virtual work environments will heighten the importance of effective digital engagement and data analytics. 
  • 81% of advisors plan to start or increase ESG usage based on client interest.3
  • Fee-based compensation continues to dominate the industry and usage of model portfolios continues to grow, freeing time-starved advisors to focus on practice building and client retention.

Essential Components of Effective Distribution

To reach advisors effectively in this dynamic environment, asset managers must revise their distribution strategies and expand their toolkit. Executing an effective plan of action involves data analysis and a clear vision for the optimal advisor experience:

  • Target the right advisor using sophisticated algorithms and scoring to identify the best opportunities.
  • Map an advisor journey to guide prospects through the buying process.

Creating a Road Map to the Future

There are three key steps in accelerating effective advisor prospecting.

Step 1 – Audit the Current State

Conduct a distribution audit. Interview stakeholders across the organization to better understand strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

Step 2 – Segmentation and Scoring

Segmentation and record scoring begins with answering key questions, such as: What are the key behavioral differences between segments? What is the value of each relationship to my firm? Which advisors are open to adding new funds? Do they use model portfolios?

Using algorithmic segmentation models to score advisors among a variety of key traits enables asset managers to focus outreach efforts on the advisors most likely to buy and who have winnable assets. There are eight key traits we’ve identified that can be measured and combined into a score to power your segmentation.

  • Sales lift
  • Model usage
  • Concentration
  • Active/passive mix
  • Winnable assets
  • Total assets
  • Openness to new funds
  • Practice growth

Scoring advisor potential is multi-faceted and requires a deepened grasp of behavior and performance patterns that only data can reveal. Algorithms to score and segment based on key characteristics can offer powerful insights that asset managers need now for effective advisor prospecting.

Step 3 – Mapping the Journey

Once your advisor audience is segmented and scored, you can map the buying journey. Start by identifying high-value activities and map them to each segment to create an integrated contact strategy. Then add KPIs to track success in each segment and integrate results into future modeling.

Creating a centrally authored and agreed-upon contact strategy has many benefits.  You can divide contact strategies among Marketing, Wholesalers and Internals so each group is focused on a clear segment. 

Strategy in Practice

"A mid-sized asset manager wanted to launch a new team to focus on asset holders and prospects not being covered by the traditional sales team. A core focus of this team was asset retention and growth of new producers. Through segmentation and other targeting tools, Broadridge helped this asset manager design and launch the team, resulting in the conversion of over 200 producers and a 25% drop in asset turnover in the first six months." – Matt Schiffman

Take Advantage of This Unique Opportunity

As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Asset managers are at an inflection point driven by changing advisor business models. They have a unique opportunity to create the future of advisor prospecting, but it should be based on data-driven segmentation, scoring and mapping a journey advisors can follow.

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