During the month of February we ran a brief three question survey to take the pulse of wholesaler satisfaction.
The results of the survey were surprising – sort of.
In January, which seemed to be ’employee satisfaction survey’ month in the human resources world, the following reports began to emerge:
Ignites reported new research from The Conference Board about overall job satisfaction. The study suggested that 54.7% of respondents are “dissatisfied” at work.
A Kathy Freeman Company survey of leaders in financial services revealed that more than 75% of leaders were considering a job change in 2010.
In the shorespeak blog we wrote about an Advanced Sales Corporation teleconference regarding a survey done in partnership with Cerulli Associates. The call reviewed some of the findings of the 2009 Wholesaler Survey.
Our piece was called Why Wholesalers Leave the Firm.
All of these studies, and our poll, point to the same issue – there is growing dissatisfaction among the rank and file.
The results (hint – click on any image to view full size):
Total respondents – 158
Q1. Are you contemplating a job change to a new firm in 2010?
So even with the massive bloodletting that has taken place in the wholesaling community folks are still thinking about making a change to perceived greener pastures.
Note: some of the yes replies to this question are from wholesalers that are currently out of work and are searching for new opportunities.
Q2: If yes, what is the reason for considering this change? (multiple answers allowed)
Change in comp plan: 23.6%
Management direction of firm: 39.1%
Product performance: 14.5%
Culture of firm: 30.9%
Lack of opportunity to grow: 29.7%
Other (please specify): 28.2%
Some the comments offered included:
“Opportunity to grow has gotten sluggish, compensation is limited.”
“Disenchanted with the entire financial services industry. Nothing but smoke and mirrors…”
“Lack of internal support for wholesalers and clients: Poor customer service.”
In the post Looming Turnover in Financial Services Jobs Will Spell Trouble For Employers we explore more on this issue.
Q3: How long have you been an external wholesaler?
Less than 1 year: 5.7%
1 to 3 years: 15.8%
4 to 7 years: 24.7%
More than 7 years: 53.8%
Arguably this is the most troubling finding for distribution sales management as they are at risk of losing their most tenured wholesalers.
Considering most wholesalers do not really get into the rhythm of their firm or their territory for at least 2 years, and that many firms spend ample training and development dollars on their wholesalers, sales managers would be advised to take the pulse of their wholesalers and spend some time listening to their issues and concerns.
We believe that a great number of these issues could be mitigated by a greater involvement of sales managers in the ongoing development of wholesalers.
We did receive ONE positive comment: “Not even thinking about it [leaving the firm], I love my job and the company provides amazing support. My DVP is the best I’ve ever had in 20 years.”
Perhaps next year’s survey will yield more comments like this.
Have you seen the video “Are You a 360° Communicator?” Join the Wholesaler Mastermind Group on LinkedIn and you’ll get alerted to all the new content offered.
Rick Norris says
Considering so many firms are run by fools who have no idea what they’re doing, and they treat their wholesalers like garbage, your findings don’t surprise me at all.. My last job let me go after only 11 months, in a start-up territory no less, after my son got cancer. After 25+ years, I’ve grown to hate the industry I once treasured.
Paul McConville says
I agree with Rick, the “golden age of wholesaling is just beginning” the number of advisors who are looking for experienced consultative sales is on the forefront of most advisors minds.