February 2014, BOSTON. According to new research from global analytics firm Cerulli Associates, asset managers are shifting away from salesforce channelization. More than 50% of asset managers have reported moving away from organizing their salesforce by channel.
"Exactly 20% more asset managers are not channelizing their salesforce today compared to 2011," states Pamela DeBolt, associate director at Cerulli. "The number of asset managers reporting that they are not channelized jumped from 31% in 2011 to 51% in 2013."
Cerulli's latest report, U.S. Product Marketing and Sales Organizations 2013: Supporting Distribution with a Multi-Faceted Marketing Plan, examines marketing and sales organizations taking a closer look at structure, staffing budgets, branding, advertising, websites, social media, wholesaling trends, and RFPs.
"For two decades, firms were organizing their salesforces by segmenting the industry into distribution channels, and assigning territories to wholesalers based on a combination of geographic factors and channel attributes," DeBolt explains. "Industry consolidation, technology, and the rise of fee-based platforms have created a new landscape in which firms are trending away from a channelized view of distribution."
"Firms are no longer able to rely on the classification of their clients into neat groups of channels that share similar characteristics," DeBolt continues. "Firms are organizing their sales efforts around their key accounts and most promising client relationships, with key account managers playing an increasingly important role and wholesalers relying on them more."
As a result of this trend away from a channelized structure, firms may rely on hybrid wholesalers more often. The hybrid wholesaling role tends to focus on niche areas of distribution, rather than channels. Cerulli expects the hybrid role to remain important as asset managers try to maximize the productiveness of field wholesalers.