Differentiating oneself from the competition is the objective of every asset manager. Many are turning to data and technology for help. The top issue for C-suites: Data needs to be aggregated, accurate, and actionable for sales, marketing, and the BI folks that support them, so that it can positively affect customer experiences, as well as the business as a whole. With more asset managers looking to cut costs and outsource, how should you choose your data management solution partner and avoid the risks of botched or expensive implementations?
Best practices for selecting a solution partner
Make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Often, ready-made solutions will not fit an asset manager’s unique needs, particularly for intermediary retail and institutional distribution. When looking at CRM, for instance, you will want the traditional CRM features, and the ability to manage data feeds, territories, and sales reports. Intermediary retail has a multi-tier environment (firm, office, rep, partnership, team), and institutional has a multi-relationship framework (firms, consultants, plans). Most CRM solutions will not incorporate all these requirements.
Hotchkis & Wiley combined distribution data and CRM platforms to support both institutional and retail.
Have a strong selection team, with executive buy-in. The selection team should have executive sponsorship, major stakeholders, and a lead project manager. The project manager can act as the one-stop shop for all communications, set expectations, and make sure that all stakeholders are sufficiently involved in order to meet the unique needs of each.
Our industry is a small world. Asset managers and the partners who serve them usually know each other, and they are eager to help each other. Our industry has unique challenges, and they do not always have easy answers. We encourage you to speak with peers about their experiences. Engage vendors proactively, outside the research process, and ask existing solutions partners about examples of companies with successful outcomes.
Avoid expensive implementations
Be on the lookout for red flags. Be cautious when the salesperson says “yes” to anything, because things that seem too good to be true are usually just that. Be on the lookout for hidden costs. These could include data storage costs, limitations on API calls or needing third-party consultants to set up and implement the solution that achieves your goals. You want to make sure the person you are going to be working with is on the same page with you regarding the deliverables and has the knowledge and experience to help you complete your tasks.
Differentiate with data
As noted in the Ignites article, Sales Teams Build Tools, Staff Up for Data-Driven Push, asset managers are investing in data, technology, and team members to best generate and leverage analytics. When a solutions partner understands your business and the data that matters, you will make the most out of your tech investments. We ask both C-suite leaders and end users: How do you plan to leverage data? Do you know where all of your data is coming from? How do you want your systems to integrate and share data with other solutions? How do you want your data represented? Having the answers to these questions provides a roadmap to differentiate your brand through data-driven marketing and distribution.
Understanding your requirements before implementing will make sure that your data is accessible and actionable for all. As you work with a solutions partner to deploy a new data source or technology, or start your selection journey, know that SalesPage is here to help. In addition to providing solutions to help asset managers manage data, focus marketing and distribution efforts, and grow assets, we are also here to offer guidance. We would love to talk with you about ways that we can make data work better for you—whether it is with our solutions, or through complementary solutions. Feel free to get in touch with us!