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Retail banking sales culture is a necessity. Your competition is real.

January 14, 2015

The competition is heating up in the world of small business banking. New non-banking entities such as Wal-Mart and PayPal entered the small business banking market last year, banks like Capital One opening up drop-in “cafes” instead of branches in order to entice both consumer and small business customers, and innovative technology companies like Square launched a broader range of small business banking products. The competition to traditional banks is very real, and it is heating up.

In any industry, when the competition becomes more intense, executives focus and prioritize capturing market share above any other initiative. The organizations that survive and thrive are the ones where the customer becomes the primary focus and sales and customer support execute flawlessly.

Retail banking has traditionally not developed a competitive sales culture but that needs to change if retail banks are going to survive. Bank Boards of Directors will begin to feel pressure from shareholders to become more competitive before it is too late.

Here are six things retail banks can do to begin the transformation.

  1. Hire seasoned sales executives from other industries to lead the charge.
  2. Implement customer-centric programs to help change the mindset of bank employees.
  3. Give employees the sales tools that help automate the sales process so that they can focus on developing relationships and not on the process.
  4. Consider cloud-based solutions that help the process. Traditional on-premise solutions tend to be more costly and typically take months to implement whereas cloud solutions take only days or weeks to get up and running.
  5. Develop sales processes that can be measured to ensure they are efficient and successful.
  6. Focus on selling your most profitable products. If a small business buys three of your products they are less likely to move to a competitor.


2015 will be a pivotal year for retail banking. The market is fractured with many entrants from outside the banking industry vying for market share. Retail banks have to learn to become more nimble and quickly take advantage of technology that will help them capture market share. If you snooze, you will lose.

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