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    Sales Management

    This article was was originally published in The Financial Brand on June 22, 2017


    Bank-at-Work programs are both efficient and effective ways to generate new business. But, work site events shouldn’t be a ‘hit-or-miss’ activity for bankers. Here are strategies that can ensure they drive consistent business results – and tips you can use at any prospective customer activity.


    By Paul Corrigan, Consultant at Peak Performance Group


    Bank-at-Work programs make a lot of sense – they are a way to leverage relationships you already have with businesses, and a way to generate consistent levels of new consumer accounts as well. After all, what could be better than a company giving you direct access to their employees? One of the best ways to capitalize on this opportunity is to hold on-site events at employee sites.


    Unfortunately, we frequently hear stories about less than expected results.


    An all too common refrain is, “Why are we sending valuable resources to work site events that generate no return for the effort?” Instinctively we are prone to thinking that poor results must be function of the offer package not being rich enough, or the client company is not proactively promoting the program, or the marketing materials aren’t generating sufficient awareness.


    I used to manage a Bank-at-Work program for a large national bank, and one of the things I learned is that inconsistent performance is almost always a function of the quality of on-site execution. It’s what we do with that on-site opportunity that makes the difference between success or failure.


    So, how do we improve results? Here are the top 10 keys to success for increasing your Bank-at-Work sales results. The good news is that most of these keys to success are applicable to any customer or prospect event, from an on-site meeting to a Chamber of Commerce event or other community activities.


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    John Voorhees, consultant and advisor at Peak Performance Consulting Group, was one of seven experts asked to share their vision of what bank branches will look like in the future?in this Banking Strategies article?and as part of the Executive Report on the Evolution of the Branch.


    Speaking specifically about how customers will be assigned, John states?“The platform will consist of even more specialists, and platform bankers may be assigned a portfolio of customers when issues need to be resolved—think of the olden days when you could go see ‘your banker.’ Customers may be able to communicate with branch personnel via Skype and more banks will also have private soundproof rooms in which customers can have face-to-face conversations with offsite bank specialists via video-conferencing.”


    Good article in Banking Exchange — including our point of view — on the Wells scandal and aftermath: what it means for cross-sell and the sales culture.


    Forty-odd years ago, banks didn’t “sell.” Yes, they had new accounts representatives and calling officers. Some even admitted to having marketing directors. But no salesmen.


    Sell was a dirty word.


    That was something they did down at the used car lot. That was the business of people who pushed life insurance. That was something that, frankly, everybody else did. There was something plain unbankerly about selling.


    But gradually, banks realized that sales and all the trappings—goals, incentive pay, and sales management—really were part of banking. Some accepted this grudgingly, some realistically, and some enthusiastically. One of the latter, although hardly the only one, was Wells Fargo.


    • Is sell a dirty word in banking again?
    • In a post-Wells Fargo settlement period, dare bankers utter that word?
    • In a time when UDAAP has become, and remains, the law of the land, can selling in banks survive?


    Read more…


    For years the industry’s eyes were on Wells Fargo as a cross-selling winner. That reputation went down in flames with last year’s sales scandal. But banking’s eyes?continue to scan Wells, which recently introduced a revamped performance management and rewards program that the bank’s leadership described as a beginning, subject to revision based on ongoing experience.


    “The devil is in the details,” and the potential improvement lies in careful monitoring were points of agreement among experts interviewed by Banking Exchange ?who looked at the summary released by the bank earlier in January.


    “It’s a very positive step,” says David Kerstein, president of Peak Performance Consulting Group. “I’m pleasantly surprised that they have taken such aggressive steps.?I think this is the right way to go for the industry, not just for Wells Fargo.”


    He says it would be essential to use such tools as mystery shopping to have an independent view of how well the program works where customer meets banker.


    “You have to be sure that you are building customer relationships and doing the right thing,” says Kerstein. “Wells had lost sight of the overall customer,” he adds, in its earlier emphasis on cross-selling. If the bank can make the team dynamic work and produce the longer-term results it hopes for, that will be a very positive development, he says.


    Further, if employees can truly work as a team, and the incentives pay off in that context, “turnover may be reduced,” Kerstein adds.


    To be successful, Bank-at-Work programs must deliver effectively on three elements: partnership, value proposition and sales execution.



    This article was originally published in BAI Banking Strategies on March 11, 2016

    business woman in warehouse


    It goes without saying that retail banking has many moving parts and Bank-at-Work programs are no exception. From target strategy to sales protocols and from results tracking to offer fulfillment, successful program implementation requires that banks maintain a comprehensive structure around their Bank-at-Work initiatives.


    But within that program structure, three things stand out because without them you’ll just be spinning your wheels. They are: partnerships, value proposition and sales execution. The formula goes like this: partnerships get you in front of company decision makers; value proposition gets you in front of employees; and sales execution gets you incremental revenue. Sounds pretty simple, but the reality is very few programs actually focus on these key essentials, which is the root cause of why many retail Bank-at-Work initiatives run aground and get shelved.

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    This article by Guenther Hartfeil, a Senior Consultant at Peak Performance Consulting Group, was originally published in BAI Banking Strategies on December 3. 2015.


    Cross-selling can be effective if bankers put the right metrics in place, change behavior of sales staff, align incentives, re-focus on customer needs and eliminate policies that get in the way.


    It’s common knowledge that it’s easier and cheaper to sell to existing customers than to attract new ones. However, according to studies at two major banking institutions, many cross-sell efforts result in little or no improvement in customer profitability.


    There are two primary reasons for this. First, most banks do not have an effective way to accurately track “new-to-the-bank” funds. Typically, sales staff receives credit for new accounts opened and the bank projects value based on typical account balances.


    But this does not account for the significant money churn between existing accounts. Analysis I conducted at one large financial institution showed that, depending on the deposit product type, between 25% and 79% of funds into newly opened accounts came from deposits already in the bank. For example, it’s pretty easy to switch account types, say, from one type of savings into another type of savings or one certificate of deposit (CD) term into another CD term, or open accounts for new family members by using existing account balances. Churn is less but still significant at 25% to 30% for brokerage accounts, non-auto direct loans or home equity credit.


    Another reason that cross-selling may be ineffective is that projected balances or anticipated account activity may not materialize. New checking accounts usually start with a small balance and grow over time as the relationship builds, or as new customers wind down accounts at their previous financial institution. However, sales staff may inadvertently receive incentives to generate account volume, “widgets” rather than value because of product configuration, deficiencies in tracking capability, or both. For example, free checking – a product that many institutions have now discontinued – was so easy to sell that the overwhelming majority of new accounts opened at most banks was “free.” The number of accounts grew dramatically, but balances often did not follow.


    Here are five strategies for making cross-selling more profitable:


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