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Closing the Sales Gap in Retail Banking

January 26, 2015

Small businesses will buy banking products from the bank that best understands their business and the challenges they face, as well as deliver a clear vision of how to solve them. However many banks are falling short during this consultative sale process. Here’s why.

Let’s take a closer look at the weakest link in a bank’s sales process. It is sales execution, more specifically, it is the ability to understand the customer’s unique needs and consistently recommend products that meet those needs quickly and accurately. Consultative value-based selling is not easy.

With more than 100 products, it is highly unlikely that the sales team in the branch and the customer service center will have the right sales knowledge, for the specific sales situation, tailored to the needs of the buyer consistently across all channel. Banks need to make the front end sales processes more repeatable to elevate the entire sales team to be top performers. Automating the consultative process also provides a consistent customer experience as well as gives your bank a reliable way to measure and manage toward profitability.

So what happens if you don’t automate the front-end sales processes?

Consultative sales reps will typically sell the products that they know, not necessarily the products that meet the needs of the customer. The same customer could go to two different branches and get two separate recommendations. As a result, you will never get a clear picture of what that customer profile really is because the data going into the CRM system is biased based on the perceptions of the consultative sales rep.

With this biases, sales cannot be measured at its full potential. The reporting generated by your CRM system will not be fully accurate. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have accurate and complete profitability measurements on customers, branches, staff and channels? If not, why not?
  • By not having accurate and complete measurements caused you to miss opportunities or even put you at risk of losing business?
  • Have reports generated for management to date caused you to take actions you shouldn't have or not taken actions you should have?
  • Are there risks and costs you would have avoided if you knew these measurements and management highs and lows?
  • Wouldn't you want to have the predictive power of these measurements within your CRM?
  • Finally, wouldn't you want to have the data to predict consumer trends instead of relying on outside sources or inaccurate “Human Factor” data housed in your CRM?

According to research conducted by C5 Insight, CRM failure rate is between 30-60%. Failure is rarely the fault of the capabilities of the actual CRM solution but more about misaligned expectations, budget constraints, lack of skilled talent, lack of tailoring to business and sales processes, and lack of integration into other software solutions as well as sales and marketing initiatives.

CRM solutions alone will not help the sales team close deals. You must make sure you are feeding your CRM solution with data that results from a consistent and repeatable sales process.

Close the gap between sales execution and sales operations. 

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