Sales Managers Roundtable

April 06, 2017

Memphis, TN


On Thursday, April 6th the BDA held its 2017 Sales Manager Roundtable at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. Over 25 sales managers and fixed-income leaders from middle-market dealers attended and there was an active discussion of the biggest sales-related issues facing middle-market dealers in the fixed-income markets. The roundtable was followed by a networking dinner at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous.

Both the event and the dinner were sponsored by National Public Finance Guarantee. Thanks very much to National Public Finance Guarantee for their support.

The key issues discussed included: aging sales teams, recruiting talented sales people, training programs, shifting communication trends, the roles of the sales assistants and strategists, and trends in sales technology.  A more fulsome recap of the issues discussed is below.

Developing and Retaining a Talented Salesforce

Discussion Leaders: John Miller and Cory Clark, Piper Jaffray

  • Many senior sales people are close to retirement age. What are firms doing to ensure they continue to have a talented, knowledgeable sales team? What is working and what is not working?

Aging Salesforce: Ideas for Training the Next Generation

  • How have dealers been successful transitioning a book of business when someone is retiring?
  • How have mentoring programs been structured? And are firms paying retired sales people who have aided in the transition of a more junior sales person? If so, at what split of commission revenue and for how long?

Training Programs

  • Discussion of the structure of junior sales programs
  • What’s the right age for new hires? What is the right sales experience to transition to fixed-income sales? Is a salesperson who has sold more complex products (tech, medical) a good potential hire?
  • How do firms structure compensation during the training program? Do trainees have sales production targets to hit in years 1-3?
  • Do firms utilize non-compete agreements and do firms clawback training costs if the salesperson leaves to go to a competitor before the term of the training program expires?
  • What personality tests, like Myers-Briggs, and evaluations do firms use in the hiring process?
  • How and where are you seeking the best and most diverse candidates for sales roles? The importance of taking a leadership role and being intentional in seeking diversity in the hiring process.

The Sales Generation Gap

  • How do firms deal with different age groups and their specific technology / communication preferences: instant-messaging services v. text v. phone?
  • Are you matching the age of your salespeople with the age of the PM?
  • How are you tracking salesperson communications that are not executed over the phone?
  • Will sales communication change in a rising rate environment?

Key Topics in Sales Management

Discussion Leader: Jim Bishop, Wells Fargo Securities

Developing Your Sales Mission Statement

  • What’s your mission statement?
  • Who is your customer and what is the product?

The Role of the Sales Assistant

  • What’s the right size/ratio of your sales force v. sales assistants?
  • If you have sales assistants are the assistants dedicated exclusively to one or two salespeople or is it a whole team effort?
  • How are sales assistants paid—salary and a share of commission compensation? How do you structure compensation to protect sales assistants, who are lower paid employees, against fluctuations in compensation due to a slower year/quarter for senior salespeople?
  • What actual sales responsibilities do sales assistants have?

The Role of Strategists

  • Do most firms have a strategy group?
  • How do you incorporate strategists in the sales process to drive conversations and increase revenue?
  • What clients are strategists most valuable with? How are they helpful with regional, smaller depositories?
  • Are firms considering charging for strategists or do firms see strategy as part of their standard platform?

Enhancing Sales Prospecting

Technology and Sales:

Discussion Leader: Chris White, ViableMkts

  • Click on these links for the ViableMkts presentation slides and the Sales Technology Diagnostic
  • BDA has a Business Solutions relationship with ViableMkts intended to uniquely benefit member firms. For more information about the exclusive BDA member benefits delivered by ViableMkts, click here.

Sales Technology Diagnostic

  • Firms filled out a sales technology diagnostic to assess and compare how firms are using technology in the sales process
  • How does your sales team view the desk’s inventory?
  • Firms that submitted the Diagnostic will see the results by Thursday, April 14thand BDA and ViableMkts will follow up to set up individual meetings to assess the results

Update on Electronic Trading

  • Important updates on how fixed income electronic trading is evolving and the implications on the sales process

Sales Credit Qualifiers

  • A discussion of the value of implementing a system for measuring the value of a sales credit. Session will involve an overview of ‘s old system (A B C E) with instructions on how to implement the program.


A special Thank You to the 2017 BDA Sales Manager Roundtable sponsor!



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