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Developments in Fintech Sales and Marketing

Date: 28 June 2017

Fintech companies are continuing to grow in popularity as they release innovative new products into the market. An increasing number of start-ups are entering the money transfer, payment technology, loaning, and lending space. Taking a more creative approach to the business of finance, these new start-ups have already released an impressive amount of cutting-edge technology so far this year.

Investment banks are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with these innovative financial technology firms who specialize in one specific area, compared to traditional banks that usually cover multiple sectors.

The Fintech Field

According to a report by McKinsey, $23 billion of venture and growth equity was invested in fintech between 2011 and 2016.1 This trend looks set to continue, with the investment forecast predicting more growth in the near future.

For many fintech companies, younger, less-experienced candidates (those with five or less years’ experience) hold the key to success. By targeting this demographic, firms can watch their talent grow organically. As more organizations expand in this manner, there is a greater integration of employees across each line of business.

For example, most fintech sales teams are spread across hunting, farming, and marketing, with smaller companies having less division of labor. In contrast, fintech giants tend to adopt a more streamlined process to help marketing materials convert into top-line dollars.

Compared to last year, more senior-level employees are looking for new opportunities. There are a few reasons for this. A higher volume of top-level layoffs have taken place this year, while junior talent has been less affected. Plus, many at the senior management level, who better understand the direction of the firm in relation to funding and growth, have left their organizations to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Candidate Trends

Much of the talent who are looking to move to a start-up have 10-20 years’ experience and want to try something new. However, a growing number of business graduates are also showing an interest in fintech jobs, rather than more traditional financial services careers. Blockchain-related roles are most popular, with the number of blockchain job adverts on LinkedIn increasing by more than 40% each quarter.2

It is the exciting work environment of start-ups that candidates find so attractive. While the risks of joining a start-up are acknowledged, the upside is that candidates are able to add immediate impact to the business.

Barriers to market entry have remained relatively low as long as a niche product is identified and the means to go to market are strategically planned. Candidates want to work for exciting start-ups that specialize in a specific niche space and have a truly competitive advantage. On sales teams this is especially appealing as it allows for higher margin sales and higher commission potential.

Candidates willing to take the risk associated with joining a start-up are rewarded with the opportunity to gain equity and bigger pay-outs in the future – provided they impact the growth of the business.

Areas of Growth and Decline

We are seeing increased growth in the big data analytics and investment research space. As new data sets and alternative data are produced, fintech firms are finding clever ways to create products that would be too costly and timely for banks to create in-house.

Emphasis on the expert network space is decreasing as resources are being commoditized. In addition, we are seeing fewer sales into investment banks. Typically, the sales process with investment banks takes longer and is more regulated compared to the buy side.

On the other hand, selling into the buy side is a growing space. It appeals to candidates because there is greater risk-taking, capital raising, and diversification opportunities depending on the investment style of each firm.

Geography Trends

Five years ago, Silicon Valley was the heart of fintech start-ups, but now the focus is starting to shift away from the area. Unless the compensation package is phenomenal, candidates are reluctant to relocate there because of the high cost of living.

Boston, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco are still major hubs for fintech start-ups. However, new companies are opening offices in more cost-efficient locations such as New Jersey, Atlanta, Portland, and Texas.

 

Global Trends

 

Bitcoin, money transfer, and payment technology firms are keeping market share in the UK, rather than the US. These firms are starting to expand in the US market, especially in the FX e-commerce space. Originally, most of these companies wanted to expand into San Francisco, but now many are moving their offices to areas such as Chicago or the Southeast.

The market is competitive with some big names owning most of the market share. However, smaller, more nimble companies are finding it easy to create new products that help them break into the market. 

 

Marketing Salaries 

 

Sales Salaries 

 

Skill Requirements

When it comes to junior-level candidates, clients are looking for salespeople who are energetic, have a great attitude, and are open to being coached. While clients do value junior candidates who can demonstrate experience of hitting quotas, they would generally prefer someone who craves a client-facing role and demonstrates the soft skills necessary to be successful at it. Even junior-level sales talent should be as comfortable presenting to C-level executives as they are cold-calling to generate their own leads.

When it comes to mid-senior level roles, especially account management roles, clients are looking for someone who has existing contacts. For business development, it is essential candidates have a great track record against their quotas, and can demonstrate adequate knowledge of the space they are selling into.  

Job Seeker Advice

The first half of the year is extremely busy as a lot of firms have both a budget and an idea of what their hiring needs will be for the year. As a result, it’s a good time for mid-senior level candidates to get their name out there, and take advantage of the available opportunities in the market.

Candidates should always keep an open mind throughout the interview process. Accepting a first round interview allows the candidate to speak with the hiring manager and better understand the role and the growth plans for the business. Speaking with the team can give you the opportunity to understand the team, culture, and the company. Keeping an open mind will allow you to explore a wider range of opportunities in the market.

Here at Selby Jennings, we encourage anyone who might be interested in a financial technology sales or marketing role to get in touch. A confidential chat with one of our market experts can help take your career to the next level.

References

1 http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/cutting-through-the-noise-around-financial-technology

2 http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-careers/4608/mbas-get-into-blockchain

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