Last year Wholesaler Masterminds began to survey the wholesaling community. Given the significant unrest in the industry in late 2009 we kept our questions brief and our focus tight. The results of that survey were centered around job satisfaction.
While the 2011 edition offers insights into the same questions, we expanded both the number of questions and the topics we surveyed.
One broad question that we asked this year was:
While 56% believe that wholesaling is a great gig, we do note that 36% of wholesalers are somewhat resigned in their answer that “it’s not the same job as 5 years ago but it’s what I do”.
As our survey had over 51% of respondents with over 7 years of experience, it would appear that this seasoned group waxes a bit nostalgic for the “good old days”.
The comments we received were:
• “Concerned about the long term direction that wholesaling is headed as a career in the industry.”
• “The perceived value is declining and we are being commoditized.”
• “As an arm of a bank, I don’t think it will be long before I am forced to sell leveraged loans and mortgages.”
• “I am glad I do it, but it is not the same job it was.”
• “It’s the Peter Principle, management has ascended to their level of incompetence; no consistency, vision and worst of all, no ethics”
And yet 2011 appears to be a year of returning optimism.
In fact the following question seems to underscore the temperament of the community.
77% of survey respondents are either Very Optimistic or Somewhat Optimistic about meeting their assigned 2011 sales goals. In addition, only 5% felt that management had assigned an unattainable goal.
The comments offered were:
• “I have the ability to set my own goal”
• “30% increase over actual results. 112% increase over 2010 plan.”
• “The only way to meet a goal is to believe you can achieve it”
• “Only 1 person in the Firm moved this much product last year.”
And, not surprisingly, one respondent offered the following comment about his or her “ambitious” goal:
“2010 Goal: 165m, 2011 Goal: 345mm, hell of a stretch is right”
2011 Business Planning
This year we wanted to uncover information about the business planning process, as our work with wholesalers continues to suggest that, for most, it remains an Achilles heel of the overall wholesaling process.
The good news is that 83% of wholesalers have responded that they completed a plan.
What’s perhaps more interesting is the lack of consistency in the annual business plans wholesalers develop. It’s very possible that two wholesalers who work in adjoining territories at the same firm will have contrasting methods for planning their year out.
This is often because a firm will fail to provide a business planning template.
In fact the following graph shows that 54% of wholesalers said they developed their plan templates on their own versus completing one provided by their firm.
These wholesalers should be recognized by their firms for taking the initiative to create a planning tool that the firm failed to provide. But there are certain downsides to this trend. Judging by the fact that many wholesalers are left to their own business planning devices, it would infer that there is uncoordinated business planning across sales teams.
We believe that this lack of uniformity may result in sporadic approaches toward measuring the metrics of the business and an inability to gauge the expected outcomes and results of the sales force at a detailed level.
Almost 30% of wholesalers admit that the business plan “was done as an exercise for management — I never look at it.” We suspect these wholesalers are part of the ~40% of wholesalers who told us that their firm provided templates – after all, why go to the trouble of sourcing your own plan and completing it if you are not inclined to use it.
In part2 of the survey results we’ll report on the percentage of wholesalers contemplating a change in 2011 versus 2010 and what the major issues are for considering that change.
In addition, we’ll provide some insights into the wholesaler’s relationship with their managers plus the skills that wholesalers believe they need to improve upon the most.
The 2011 Wholesaler Masterminds Survey was conducted January 9th through February 16th 2011. A total of 158 participants took the survey which was administered through direct email outreach and through various LinkedIn wholesaler groups.
The live and interactive 7 Undeniable Traits of Extraordinarily Successful Wholesalers is available for your next sales meeting. Learn more now.