The Lesser-Known Key to Sustaining Organic Growth

Article originally published in AdvisorHub.

The Lesser-Known Key to Sustaining Organic Growth

By Abby Salameh

The organic growth engine for RIAs (registered investment advisors) has sputtered in recent years. Fidelity’s 2023 Benchmarking Study revealed a precipitous drop in growth, falling from 8.4% in 2021 to just 3.6% in 2022. While much ink has been spilled analyzing the drivers behind this decline—including a decade-long bull market that may have caused complacency amongst advisors to work to grow their business—a critical, yet overlooked factor could jump-start sustainable growth.

With industry experts advocating that 30% of a financial advisor’s time be devoted to growth, the key may lie in achieving seamless internal alignment between a RIA’s marketing and sales functions. As independent advisors grapple with retaining existing clients, while at the same time prospecting for new ones, harmonizing these two vital components can reignite the engine of organic growth.

Growth via Internal Synchronization
For many RIAs, a lack of integrated infrastructure and data sharing between marketing and sales teams can create significant friction that stymies growth. When systems and personnel operate in silos, gleaning learnings and appropriate next steps from data analyses becomes an arduous process, often riddled with information gaps. This disconnected workflow can directly impact critical areas like client prospecting, advisor recruitment, and ultimately, profitability.

Disjointed data can severely hamstring sales and business development efforts, by depriving these teams of vital lead intelligence. If marketing data isn’t effectively disseminated to the appropriate stakeholders, timely updates on promising leads may fall through the cracks. Not exactly an ideal scenario for propelling growth, right?

The negative repercussions can be plentiful, including an inability to quantify engagement, lack of crucial learnings about what resonates with prospects, and zero refinement of the sales funnel. On the flip side, better integration of data flows, coupled with automated nurture campaigns tailored to each funnel stage, can enhance lead generation while delivering a superior, and personalized, client experience.

Tech-Enabled Growth
Technology plays a pivotal role in fueling sustainable organic growth, empowering marketing and sales teams to effectively process, visualize, and act upon data. A recent McKinsey & Company report details that wealth managers have aggressively invested in technology over the past two decades to meet heightened expectations from both clients and advisors. In 2022
alone, technology spending surged 19% year-over-year, significantly outpacing revenue growth of 6%, and cost growth of 5%, with a concentrated focus on improving data feeds.

In addition, Forrester’s first Global Martech Software Forecast predicts that investment in this segment, across all industries, will reach $148 billion in 2024, and is expected to surpass $215 billion by 2027. This equates to a 13.3% annual growth rate, indicating that companies see true value in their tech spend, especially as it relates to bridging the marketing and sales verticals.

Leveraging martech to personalize campaigns based on behaviors, demographics, interests, and other key attributes ensures that automated outreach to a prospect is hyper-relevant and contextual. This level of personalization and precise targeting can increase engagement rates and prospect conversion. By bridging internal silos and fusing data, automation, and in some cases, AI-driven personalization—marketing and sales teams can operate as a unified growth engine, capable of reigniting stagnant organic growth.

Bridge the Gap to Grow
The pursuit of robust organic growth now and into the future will require RIA firms to prioritize a strategic alignment between their marketing and sales functions. By implementing an integrated infrastructure that bridges disparate data silos, firms can tap into a frequently overlooked element to spark and support growth. Down the line, continued investment in unifying these complementary teams—coupled with supporting martech that enables data integration, automation, and personalization—will prove crucial.

Firms that successfully fuse marketing and sales functions to serve as a cohesive unit stand to gain a formidable competitive edge. In an increasingly crowded field, this seamless internal synchronization may ultimately separate the firms achieving sustainable expansion from those struggling to move the organic growth needle.

Article originally published in AdvisorHub.

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