The Beaufort Group of Companies was created to address an increasing need for trustworthy retail financial services advice and solutions. Today the business is a growing, independent, wealth group incorporating a Chartered financial planning firm and a 5-star DFM (Investment Manager). With over 30 years’ experience, it has 28 staff in its Head Office in Westerham in Kent, and 100 staff including 12 IFA firms within the group nationally.
The Beaufort Group offers price focused model portfolios and cost effective investment management in addition to gold standard support services, including para planning and report writing, for IFA firms. The Beaufort Group is well on the way to building one of the best National Financial Planning firms in the UK. The IFA firms within the Group benefit from fantastic support to get on and practice as IFAs. The Beaufort Group is in the New Model Adviser top 100 for the third year running, this year.
In September 2016, the Group approached The Telemarketing Company with a view to expanding their IFA network, targeting new advisers looking for support, as well as established IFAs looking to grow. Rather than a one-way option whereby firms joining the network are subsequently acquired, the Beaufort Group model allows network partners to remain independent whilst benefiting from the marketing, financial and back office systems support available.
The overall objective of the campaign was to extend the size of the group from the existing 12 IFA firms to 20 firms across the UK by generating face to face appointments between interested IFA firms and a member of the Beaufort senior management team. Previous growth had been driven by a small sales team which had to drive leads from personal introductions or wider industry marketing. After speaking to three agencies, Beaufort engaged The Telemarketing Company based on their extensive experience in the financial services sector, in addition to their success marketing similar propositions, where a significant shift in business model was required.
The briefing session took place face to face at the agency's offices and from the outset a number of agents were trained to ensure different styles could be trialled to find the best fit. A comprehensive briefing document was prepared by the client including competitive information, pain points likely to be experienced by IFAs and the corresponding benefits offered by the network. The offer was built around six key benefits, from the provision of high quality leads and marketing materials to HR and recruitment, to cash flow and financial support.
The brief provided a clear definition of the target audience, which was senior shareholders within IFAs managing £40M to £150M+ of client funds, and/or with 1-25 CF30 fee earners. The Telemarketing Company was responsible for sourcing data and used a specialist supplier of financial services data and intelligence to source a list of IFAs matching the target profile. Appointments were to be made within a specific radius of London to accommodate geographical constraints and to minimise impact on travel time.
Based on previous experience, the client was keen to reach a target of between 16 – 20 appointments per month and a target of one appointment for every 10 hours of calling was agreed, which allowed for the time needed to get the campaign to ‘steady state’. It was also agreed that sales leads would be created for prospects not yet ready to commit to an appointment as an additional measure to the primary goal of setting appointments. To nurture the pipeline, agents would also send further materials and literature via email to reinforce the proposition. To help qualify and convert opportunities generated, the agents gathered detailed information whilst on a call such as the value of funds under management, any specialist products offered by the IFA, and the number of advisers within the firm.
In the early stages of the campaign, call recordings and regular reporting provided a solid foundation for detailed feedback from the client. Analysis of call recordings on both the client and agency side determined very early on that the core proposition messaging needed further refinement and during this time, new callers were also introduced to trial different call approaches. By the end of the first week of calling, in close collaboration with the client, a new call approach was defined to remove some of the complexity around the proposition offered and to arrive at a clearer more succinct message. A single caller emerged as the strongest performing agent and results began to flow in. Early calls had clearly shown that some of benefits offered by the network resonated more than others, and once the core structure of the call was identified, it enabled the caller to cover the key points and then move quickly to securing the appointment. With these adjustments, the campaign rapidly gained traction.
After six weeks of calling, the campaign produced a total of 27 appointments, one appointment every 7.7 hours, exceeding the target KPI of between 7.5 and 9.3 hours to result (16 – 20 appointments per month). In addition, a total of 18 sales leads were generated for future pipeline. In addition to these outcomes, the refreshed, profiled data output at the end of the campaign included 445 new email addresses to support future digital marketing activity.
Given the success of the initial phase of calling, the client has been left with a full calendar of appointments going into the New Year, in addition to a sales pipeline to be nurtured. As a result, activity has been scaled back to ensure that the client can focus on converting existing opportunities and discussions are underway to identify how to best support them in managing the pipeline. 50% of the original data sourced was still untouched at the end of the calling period, providing significant untapped potential to be further exploited.
"The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) were in frequent contact with me to ensure we understood each other and were clear on the objectives in place. It was pleasing how they adapted at the beginning of the campaign and refined the message to maximise success. We are now focused on pursuing the appointments and the leads.
We then plan to get in contact with TTMC again, to look at another round of calling. I was impressed with the lines of communication, and how my Account Team was always in touch to check progress. The caller had just the right amount of poise and tenacity for our audience. I would certainly recommend the above style of campaign to any other firms thinking of giving their sales leads a jump start."