What are lenders doing to invest in their BDMs?

by Julia Corderoy30 Oct 2014
Business Development Managers are the face of the lender for brokers, so it is crucial that banks and non-banks are investing into their BDMs. 

Brokers have told Australian Broker time and time again that a supportive and reliable BDM often trumps rate cuts or commission bumps, so Australia Broker spoke with some lenders on what they were doing to further invest in their BDMs to support the broker channel.

Mark Woolnough, Head of Third Party Distribution at ING DIRECT said they have focused on decreasing the admin work required by their BDMs, so they have more time to build relationships with brokers.

“To enable our BDMs to really focus on building and maintaining relationship with brokers, we have built strong office-based support for pipeline management via our Sales Support Team.  This support team means that administration is minimised for our BDMs, freeing up more of their time to focus on face-to-face interactions with brokers,” he said.

“We believe we’re well represented in terms of geography, but as part of an effort to further increase the reach of our BDMs we have recently provided our team with fully maintained and branded motor vehicles.”

Woolnough says ING DIRECT is committed to running on-going training programs for their BDMs to keep them up to date and well-equipped to provide the best service for the changing needs of the industry.

“Brokers are increasingly diversifying, so we are running a program to support our BDMs with RG146 accreditation to aid wealth discussions. We also invest in ongoing sales effectiveness training to make sure that we are delivering what brokers and their clients want and how they want it. 

“We have increased our visitation program for State Sales Managers and other senior members of our third party distribution team, so that more of our team is on the ground talking with and listening to brokers and further strengthening these relationships.”

Craig Dunning, a BDM for Westpac who recently won Best Major Bank BDM at the AMAs, also says that a big focus for Westpac is keeping up to date with the changing needs of the industry, particularly in technology.

“The kind of support I provide brokers is nothing like what it was even a few years ago. Consumers are becoming increasingly technology literate and knowledge savvy, and brokers require more information and tools to remain ahead of the game,” he said.

“I am fortunate that Westpac's clear leadership in this area allows me to support my brokers with virtually everything they need – property reports, economic data, dedicated apps for mobiles and tablets, desktop tools, social media platforms for communication and networking, digital collateral and customised calculators. The support just keeps growing.”

Jamion Khan, state general manager NSW/ACT for Westpac Broker Distribution says that education is the key for capable and reliable BDMs – and high quality education is something he believes brokers can expect from Westpac.

“Our Best Banker program will ensure that each of our Business Development Managers holds an externally recognised Diploma of Finance. Our focus is on creating a learning pathway for our people, which reflects our continued and ongoing investment in the broker channel. 

“We are resolutely focused on helping Australia, and having the most capable Business Development Managers in the Industry.”

What makes the perfect BDM for you? Is there anything you think lenders should be focussing on when it comes to investing in their BDMs? Leave your comments below.

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  • by Anonymous BDM 30/10/2014 9:05:05 AM

    To all brokers out there who value a strong BDM that can assist them in growing their business through absolute commitment - what do you believe the income level of a good BDM shoud be, how much should we earn?

  • by John 30/10/2014 9:10:41 AM

    BDMs can be great for a broker, but most are not time savvy.
    Lenders should be letting their BDMs do what they are meant to do, which is develop relationships. Unleash them and let them do the job you have hired them for. The perfect BDM would be a broker who has had success, as they know what the broker requires.

  • by Tom 30/10/2014 9:37:37 AM

    A BDM should be paid commission only. Their income would then be indexed to the strength of their relationships and performance. The same as a brokers is.