Earlier this year, Hartford Funds
] launched a very aggressive revamp of its sales organization. The firm outlined the details of this revamping to MFWire
The makeover was pretty severe, impacting all elements of the fund firm's sales operations.
Was it worth it?
Well, the fund giant saw more than a 30 percent increase in flows during the first half of this year.
"We were really trying to bring our sales force into better alignment, in order to better serve our customers in the marketplace," Hartford's chief marketing officer Marty Swanson
recently told MFWire
. "From a sales perspective, overall we are feeling pretty good about where we are."
Swanson described some of the more important elements of the makeover in this way:
Expand our senior national account resources to more effectively support our broker-dealer relationships.
Streamline our sales force around more uniform territories in order to provide a more consistent experience for financial advisors. We will expand our training resources for this group to further develop their expertise and level of professionalism.
Increase our dedicated RIA resources to focus on this growing opportunity, as previously announced.
Increase our DCIO specialists to better support financial advisors focused on retirement plan business, as previously announced.
“From a quantifiable perspective, we have seen a tremendous 30 percent increase in year-over-year sales, which we attribute in large part to the sales reorganization. On the qualitative size, we have received great feedback from our broker-dealer firms and financial advisors that our new structure is directly addressing many of their needs. We are confident that we will continue to see the payoff of the reorganization as a result of more dedicated resources and talent,” he said.
Hartford Funds also recently launched an advertising, featured on such media venues as CNBC
, The Wall Street Journal
, Seeking Alpha
, Advisor Perspectives
, Bloomberg Markets
, Financial Planning
, and Google
. The campaign is roughly 75 percent digital and 25 percent print.
What was the response from clients? Swanson described it in this way:
I think, generally, the changes didn't cause much disruption, which is very important. We think we are seeing some real developments at the advisor and B-D level. Getting some positive feedback. The broker-dealer firms feel like we are better aligned and have more resources to support their staff from the top down. We have more RIA directed resources and we are starting to see some success in that channel. We also have more directed DC I-O resources. Our DC I-O sales are up a similar amount to overall sales, up 30 percent in the first half of the year.
Of course, Internet presence is a big part of any sales strategy now. Swanson's team launched a brand new website, a Hartford Funds website in March, which has worked out really well.
It is a great spot that has all of our fund solutions, all of our investment creative, all of our tools for financial advisors. It has been great to have that from a marketing perspective. The site has seen 10,000 registrants over the second quarter.
His team is continuing to build up the functionality of the site, like adding more content and business building tools for advisors.
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