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The Data Possible Podcast

Improving the Client Experience Using Advisor Team Data

Guest: John Pumphrey, Director of Sales Enablement Solutions, SalesPage Technologies

Summary: In this episode of The Data Possible Podcast, SalesPage Technologies’ director of sales enablement solutions, John Pumphrey, discusses advisor team data including what it is, how much information is available, and how you can leverage it in your day-to-day business practice. He also talks about their new partnership with Discovery Data and how it will benefit asset managers. In this episode, you will learn:

  • What is advisor team data and who uses it
  • Where does team data come from and how often does it change
  • The challenges firms face with managing and keeping team data up to date
  • How data can help sales teams make strategic decisions, determine ROI on campaigns, and demonstrate value

Resources: Discovery Data | SalesPage Technologies

The Data Possible Podcast is produced by our partner, Advisorpedia.

Podcast Transcription:

Doug: Hello, and welcome to The Data Possible Podcast presented by Discovery Data. This is your host, Doug Heikkinen. We're joined today by John Pumphrey. John is the director of sales enablement solutions at SalesPage Technologies. SalesPage helps asset managers use data to connect investment products to clients who will benefit from them most. Really interesting stuff, and a perfect fit for The Data Possible Podcast. Welcome, John.

John: Thanks Doug, really happy to be here.

Doug: You left a long career at a very well-known financial services firm. What drew you to SalesPage?

John: So we at my old firm, we were actually a client of SalesPage's. And over the years, that relationship been going on for 10 years, I got to really know the company and really build good relationships with the folks inside the company. And I really loved their culture, how they approach things and where they're going with the future of data and technology when it came to the asset management industry. So I decided to give it a shot. And after a long time, and my old firm of Eaton Vance, I moved over to SalesPage about a year ago, a little over a year ago now. And it's been a great time so far.

Doug: So SalesPage deals with Team data. What is team data and who uses it?

John: So by definition, an advisor team is a functional group of representatives that work together to serve the needs of their clients. So the top benefit of advisor teams, based on a poll that was done two years ago now is improving that client experience. And that's a term that has a lot of parts to it, improving the client experience from a research perspective from, how they communicate, how they grow their business. These teams started, they've been going on for a while, but I'd say the last few years, or maybe a little bit more than a few years, let’s saya half dozen years, there's been a strong push around the asset management industry’s clients, the broker-dealer community, for advisors to join teams and really capitalize on the resources that they have. Asset managers, they want to know who the teams are and identify the members of these teams. When they do that, they end up seeing an increased distribution opportunity with the teams because of their enhanced portfolio management and their expanded growth versus dealing with a single advisor. So they have, let's say, you get to have multiple sources all at once and dealing with a team versus dealing with all the individual advisors on the team. And sometimes that can be two people. Sometimes that can be 10, or 20, or more. So some of these teams can be very large. And when you can deal with just that team, now you're getting inputs of data inputs of transactions, sales, assets, from multiple folks, with one communication going out, one source to deal with as an asset manager, and it makes you much more efficient in what you're doing.

Doug: Where does it come from? And how is this stuff gathered?

John: The data comes from dealer and team websites, industry newsletters, and publications, and then also government sites such as FINRA and the SEC site where we actually confirm advisor information. So our main source is from actual dealer and team websites. The gathering of the information is a combination of technology, which is our scraping of these team websites, as well as a manual part of it, which is the people part. The people will manually gather information from websites that we can't necessarily scrape accurately, but we know the information is there so we have a team of people that goes out and looks at those websites. The person also is performing data quality checks on the data that we have collected to ensure that the information is accurate. And that's really where the FINRA and SEC part comes into it. So we want to make sure that if we gather a team of people from let's say, Morgan Stanley, that all five people are still at Morgan Stanley. And if we go in the SEC, we see they moved last month, maybe they haven't updated their team website yet. Well now we're going to take them off that team because they're not at Morgan Stanley anymore. They moved on and might be so recent that they haven't updated their own team information yet.

Doug: Let's talk a little about how much data there is in this universe. How many financial advisor teams are there and how many reps are associated?

John: It's a pretty big number. I think what happens is people tend to associate teams with just the big wirehouses. So they're a little surprised to know that we currently track or are providing to our clients over 30,000 teams at 259 firms. And that translates to 160,000 people. And I purposely use the word people because it's a mix of registered advisors, which are about 102,000, a little over that right now. And what we would call contacts, right? So think of people on those teams that are not registered advisors that are key folks, support folks, analysts, etc., that are important for our clients to know. On top of that, we also keep a database of another 9,000 potential teams that we have incomplete data on from the source. And also we have a massive database of 800,000-plus U.S. financial services professionals that are related to the industry in some way, shape, or form that aren't on teams today, but could be tomorrow.

Doug: We all know that data is only as good as the people maintaining it. What challenges do firms have with managing and keeping team data up to date?

John: There's quite a few challenges. Firms tend to focus more on data quality of the parts of the teams. And what I mean by that is, they are focused on the data quality of the individuals and specifically registered individuals, right? So that 102,000 universe that I just talked about, but they're not looking at the other 50, almost 60,000-plus other part of the universe. So they're looking at things on a on a rep. Is the firm name and address correct? Are they located the right office? Did they move firms or need an updated in email? Traditionally that has been the focus of asset managers and service providers. The data is critical for reporting compensation and analytics. What asset managers and others don't focus on are those same changes and movement in the team universe. They understand teams but don't track them. And let me give you an example of that, kind of explain that. An organization may make a decision to start adding teams to the data and they start an initiative to do this and get teams in the database. Many times they end up focusing on just wirehouse firms, that information about easy to gather and find your team websites. And then after a few weeks, they might have four or 5,000 teams in the database and feel really good about their efforts. Fast forward now, six months later, and those teams start shifting around. New people join teams, some people leave teams, others go from one team to another, sometimes between firms and sometimes even within the same firm or even in the same office. The company, the asset manager, made a one-time push to add all these teams, but they never put the resources or system in place to track the changes to the teams. Because of this, what happens after that six months is now they are missing new teams they want to target they have teams without a date membership information, or simply teams that don't even exist anymore. That's what Advisor Atlas does, it tracks the team changes at not just the top wirehouses like Merrill and Morgan, but also the independent firms like LPL, Commonwealth, and Ameriprise and any type of firm that we may find team information. It can be insurance firms, or even some RIAs out there as well. This needs to be managed on a daily basis with both people and technology in place to make these changes. And that's exactly what Advisor Atlas does for our clients.

Doug: How much does your data change on a weekly or monthly basis?

John: It's interesting, we run these numbers through every now and then it's probably a little bit higher than what I'm going to give you now. But on average, every month, we see about five to 10% of the data change. And that includes anything from new people on teams, people leaving teams, teams being removed completely, or new teams overall, title/role changes, etc. Anything that touches the data. And what that translates into in a number standpoint is roughly 3,000 team records are updated every week and 30,000 records overall meaning a combination of teams and contacts are updated on a weekly basis. So it's pretty big number that we're actually updating and just this team universe, the advisor population.

Doug: You said you used this for 10 years. So how does this information help firms make strategic decisions, review ROI on campaigns, and demonstrate value?

John: And that's the $60,000 question, right, is how does this really help besides just knowing who these people are and dealing with them. And actually the beauty of the team data is, once you have it, it's actually helping many areas of your organization. By tying the people together into teams, or as one of our clients likes to call them buying units, which I love that term, tThe team data really offers a benefit across the company. Sales and marketing can identify the best targets, knowing the right people to talk to, and what the right message should be based on information, such as the roles they play on the team, or internal financial information, such as sales and assets, and also, if they're gathering any kind of outside third-party data sources, can all be incorporated into those decisions. The BI analytics teams, they can see these relationships and provide some more accurate reporting to management along with more in depth analysis. So today, they might have to make those ties on their own. If they know about these teams, or they don't know what the teams at all, they are not making those ties together. So it's very important for those groups to know what that is. And management can be sales management, C-level management, etc. They can take this reporting and analytics to gain insight into the success of a campaign. Or if they see shifts in assets and sales from their largest top priority teams. They can make some strategic decisions either for the short-term or long-term. And I'll give you an example. Management wants to focus on the best advisors in the country. And so they decide we want to do a campaign around the Barron's top 1,200 list. They identify the people and they asked sales and marketing to target them for the next six months. The firm does not have any teams in their data. At the end of the six months reports are created and then showing very little sales growth for these advisors are on the list and very little wholesaler interaction. When they press sales, sales comes back and that they don't have any meetings and calls sales comes back to them and says, well, we do have sales that came in and we were talking to these folks. The problem is that the meeting was with someone on their team who was the decision maker and it wasn't someone who was on that Barron's list that they had the campaign around. The sale came through someone else on the team or possibly a partnership record on the team that wouldn't have been tracked or connected to the person the Barron's list. Without the team data, you don't connect those three dots, the three dots being the Barron’s list advisor, the team analysts, and the rep of record on the sale and never connected. With teams that connection will be made. And now you should actually show a successful campaign and you can look at trends on what advisors were doing, what firms were doing it, and that will help not only give you feedback on whether the campaign successful but also help plan future campaigns down the line.

Doug: So a new partnership was just announced between SalesPage and Discovery Data. Why are you excited about it and how does it benefit advisors?

John: We are very excited about our new partnership with Discovery Data. Discovery Data is a well-respected partner in the industry for many asset managers with regards to advisor and firm data, especially in the RIA data universe. By combining their comprehensive data around advisors, BDs and RIAs with our team structure that will give asset managers an in-depth, more complete view of their client database. RIAs are especially key as many large teams at BDs will we call it breakaway from our broker-dealer and formed our own RIA. Data around the RIA is not easy to gather and Discovery Data does a great job of this. By combining that with Advisor Atlas, our clients can truly focus on the top opportunities and focus on what they do best, which is distributing and selling their products.

Doug: Where can listeners go to learn more?

John: For more information, they can go to, review team data, its value to a company and request more information and a free analysis of their dataset.