What’s all the buzz about sales and referral tracking, contact management and setting
performance incentives? A heavy investment in a sales culture and the technology
that can help coordinate those efforts may be appropriate for some types of financial
institutions, but is it the best path for small to mid-sized banks ($75 Million in assets to $10
Billion)? Unfortunately, the proof that this concept is both doable and worthwhile is hard
to find. The investment of $100,000 to $1 Million in technology to manage and drive
your Sales Initiative is a hard pill to swallow for a nice idea. Where’s the proof? Is there a
measurable ROI? In addition to this investment, and maybe of more concern, is the level
of discontent that you will have to deal with on a personnel level. Many of your front-
line staff are not interested in being evaluated, tracked, scored or even incented on
Creating a sales culture is really a different way of saying, we want to serve our
customers better. And in my opinion, the primary emphasis should be on enhancing
your customer service culture. If you provide great service and good information to your
customers, loyalty will follow and so will revenues and profits. But before you can do even
this, there are some caveats to consider and hurdles to jump.
First of all, even if you use the term ‘selling,’ it’s not about beating someone over the
head to drag them back to the cave. It’s about educating customers about the services
you offer that match their needs, so they can make intelligent decisions about what they
want to buy. Establishing a sales and service culture begins with two prerequisites: 1)
understanding customer information and 2) gaining buy-in.
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