Looking across the Atlantic, research from Cerulli Associates has found that US distributors are putting an increasingly heavy focus on use of data to define their strategies and measure success, with some 90% of “national sales managers” using data analytics to make strategic decisions.
However, for many distribution teams, the use of data in this way is still in its early stages, with research indicating that they get “stuck” after collecting and analysing data.
Emily Sweet, senior analyst at Cerulli, said: “Successful execution of data analytics efforts requires not only data collection and manipulation, but also creating actionable output for the salesforce and getting their buy-in. Getting buy-in from wholesalers and sales management is a hurdle for many distribution teams. In 2017, 53% of national sales managers report that wholesalers are resistant to using information generated by data analysts to guide their sales efforts.”
Cerulli’s research concludes that asset managers therefore have to consider not only the cost of investing in data anlytics, but also the implementation cost of using the findings. It expects continued growth in the use of predictive analytics to “increase, or maintain, their competitive advantage in the field”.
“Our analysis suggests that distribution teams have a lot of work to do if they are to overcome the challenge of making data useful and profitable,” Cerulli notes in its latest U.S. Intermediary Distribution 2017: Operating in a Data-Driven World.