WINDSOR,Conn., Feb. 26, 2015—New LIMRA research has revealed that internal and externalproduct wholesalers provide distinct value to financial advisors, depending on theissue at hand.
The LIMRAreport, The Whole Team: The Importance ofthe Sales Desk in the Distribution Model, offers new insights intoadvisors’ views of wholesaling strategies across manufacturers andintermediaries.
“Advisors tellLIMRA that both internal and external wholesalers are able to answer advisors’ questionsand solve their problems,” said Breana Macken, senior analyst, DistributionResearch, LIMRA, and the author of the report. “But who does what best dependson not only the request, but also the advisors preference, and the wholesalersthemselves.”
Advisorsbelieve internal sales teams are the best at handling advisors’ requestsconcerning planning tools, illustration support, and basic service issues, accordingto the study. However, advisors surveyedbelieve external wholesalers are best with point-of-sale assistance with aclient and with product positioning.
For most otherrequests, like identifying sales leads and new hire training, about half of theadvisors surveyed said either internal or external wholesalers are the bestprovider of services.
“All toooften, manufacturers’ primary focus is around which sales team — internal orexternal — is most efficient, but they should also pay attention to who providesadvisors with the most value. The reality is that both remain integral in theminds of advisors,” said Macken. “And while it would certainly be lessexpensive for companies to rely exclusively on their internal teams, advisorstell us that wouldn’t be providing them with all the solutions they need.”
According toLIMRA, some manufacturers of financial services products and intermediariescontinue to experiment with their wholesaling platforms and strategies tomaximize productivity and efficiency.
“Whether it’sa hybrid wholesaling model or a team-based structure, for some companies, thestrategy continues to be a work in progress,” said Macken. “And it basicallycomes down to companies trying to figure out what will work best for all of theparties involved.”
LIMRAsurveyed 900 financial professionals for the study and conducted 17 one-on-oneinterviews.
LIMRA is aworldwide research, consulting, and professional development organization thathelps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countriesincrease their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA atwww.limra.com