Man, you guys are old: How the “graying” of the commercial finance business is impacting business development.

Wanna talk through how an insight like this can impact your company?

In our recent joint survey of 3,540 Financial Decision makers and more than 500 Commercial finance companies we found:

The average age of a financial decision maker is 48 and has been reducing by 3 months per year, every year since 2006 while the average age of a commercial finance senior sales leader is 55 and has increased by 6 months since 2006.

A 48 year old executive is 62% more likely to gain information from mobile device and digital platforms than a 55 year old executive

MUST READ: 58% of financial decision makers formed an opinion about their most recent buying decision before speaking with or meeting the salesperson while 73% of commercial finance sales leaders believe salespeople are the “tip of the spear” in informing the market about their company.

Ever go to a commercial finance offsite and in addition to the uniform button down and suit coat, you see the soft glow of male pattern baldness and enough gray hair to knit an inventory of Woolrich sweaters? What you don’t see is the pipeline of the young new hustlers poised to inherit the kingdom. We won’t get into the whys of baby boomers, shrinking demographics and yet another legacy impact of the financial crisis, but what we will mention is the impact it may be having on the lack of innovation and evolution you see in business development efforts across the spectrum. We’re not judging, but here are a bunch of questions to ask as you are hopefully a little unsettled by the data.

Are you looking at the business through old eyes? Now don’t get offended, but how different is your company’s approach to business development over the last 10 years? Are you doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  In a decade that has seen a digital revolution in how your target audience is getting information about you and making decisions about considering your company, have you adapted? The revolution is gaining speed…are you keeping up and innovating? Do you find a shortage of experienced qualified salespeople to recruit or do you see “churning” of too many salespeople? Doesn’t it cost a fortune to recruit a salesperson only to do it again in 18 months? Ever wonder if there is a better way?

If your business development strategy is to hire salespeople, push them, hand them flyers and fire them if they don’t perform in 18 months, it might be time to look for new ideas, innovation and an integrated sales and marketing strategy. One that connects with the audience and gives salespeople a stronger chance for success and growth than the 50 cold calls per day of 1994.

Age is a state of mind. Steve Jobs never had a problem with age and innovation so why should you? Attacking this issue is a HUGE revenue opportunity for your company. Do you have the guts to step out of the box and take it on? If you ever want to chat about a business development model that gets with the times, give us a holler.

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