Ned Miller and his team at MZ Bierly Consulting have worked with several of our clients and we are always impressed by their business banking acumen.
Guest post by Ned Miller, MZ Bierly Consulting
They don’t spend enough time with average performers. Sales Managers like to hang around with their best people; high performers remind them of themselves! (They also have massive recognition needs—”Hey, boss, let me tell you what I just did…”) Chronic low performers also command attention—often an exercise in futility. Who gets left out? The 70% of the sales team whose performance could probably benefit most from coaching.
Tom Zayko and Ric Carey, Directors at Peak Performance Consulting Group, were interviewed recently by SNL Financial. To them, banks are overemphasizing expense reduction efforts at the cost of engaging with customers — interactions that could lead to greater, more profitable relationships. Zayko and Carey propose leveraging the branch network to make it a more effective transaction point with customers, marrying data about channel usage and current products to customize offerings. They encourage banks that have been focused on cost cutting through branch optimization and investments in technology to try a different tactic: talking to retail and small business customers and tailoring services and packages to their needs.
This is a modified version of the SNL Financial article.
What is your read on 2013 so far and what do you think will be an area of interest for banks?
I am very pleased that two well-known bankers/strategists: Ric Carey, formerly with Umpqua Bank, and Tom Zayko, formerly with Citigroup, have joined Peak Performance Consulting Group as Directors.
As EVP and Head of Retail Banking for Umpqua Bank, Ric managed Umpqua’s internationally acknowledged best-in-class community banking program. Additionally, he has particular expertise in Small Business Banking.
Tom is an expert at identifying growth opportunities and creating high performing marketing and sales strategies. His work includes developing specific competitive and growth strategies based on individual market potential. In addition, he was responsible for creating a unique survey program that gathers customer feedback in real-time.
Ric and Tom bring tremendous expertise to our clients, having led their banks in strategies that achieved revenue growth with superior profitability and improved distribution effectiveness. With long careers in banking, they understand the challenges the industry faces today, and they know how to deliver bottom-line results. In addition, they expand our geographic coverage: with Ric on the West Coast and Tom focused on the Mid-Atlantic and New England area, we are better able to serve our growing client base.
But, as they say on TV, “wait, there’s more!” Go here for the full release from BusinessWire.
This article was originally published in BAI Banking Strategies on Nov. 21, 2012
Effective bank-at-work programs require a target market strategy, relationship sales process, segmented offers and deep penetration of the employee base.
“Bank at Work,” or workplace banking, is not a new concept but it’s one that may deserve a second look from growth-starved bankers since best-in-practice banks have embraced this strategy to drive as much as between 40% and 60% of all new consumer accounts. And the time is definitely right for this renewed attention. Fewer customers are coming into bank branches as preferences shift to alternative channels. At the same time, traditional media and direct response is becoming less efficient as a means of acquiring and converting prospects. In this environment, bank-at-work can be a highly effective and efficient acquisition channel by reaching prospective customers at their workplace.
Our analysis of over 20 workplace banking programs suggests a clear roadmap for building successful programs. We surveyed a broad spectrum of financial institutions, from Top 10 to super-community banks. Some had developed highly innovative solutions that enhanced their ability to penetrate the bank-at-work channel. Others, who were equally effective, simply maintained a clear eyed focus on basic executional excellence.
Missed the BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo, or attended and trying to make sense of the over 200 vendors? Here’s my personal “Top 5″ do-not-miss list
Panoramic view of exhibit hall – use mouse to move left or right.
Walking through the exhibit hall at BAI Retail Delivery you’d never know it had its origins as an ATM conference. This year only 11 of the roughly 210 exhibitors were in the ATM space while over 60 were promoting mobile payments. How times have changed!
What else were the vendors promoting? “Customer experience” was the hot buzzword this year, closely followed by “gamification” (I’m still trying to figure out what that means).
So how do you boil this all down? Here’s my personal Top 5 “must see” list.
This article was originally published in BAI Banking Strategies on June 5, 2012
As customers gradually migrate from branch transactions, branch employees need to do a better job of cross-selling those that remain.
The traditional branch sales model was based on cross-selling to customers who used the branch for transactions. In a typical scenario, a customer comes in to deposit a check or make a payment on a loan and the teller points them to a ready personal banker who might cross-sell a money market account or a home equity line of credit.
But transaction activity is moving out of the branches – fast. Between the ready availability of direct deposit, online and mobile banking, remote deposit capture and advanced function ATMs, many customers are finding that they hardly need to enter a branch at all. Check transaction activity has been declining an average of 7.1% per year and 39% of consumers expect to decrease the number of checks they write, according to the 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study. Consumers still use branches – according to JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s 2012 Investor Day presentation branch preference remains strong across all wealth segments. But declines in check transactions means that consumers – the primary source of branch traffic – have fewer checks to deposit or cash at the teller line.
Since most banks built their staffing models to support transaction handling, reduced traffic means cuts in branch staff. Managers are finding they must do more with less in order to grow sales in this difficult environment. Where to start?
The first and most obvious opportunity is to better serve the customers who do enter your branch. Unfortunately, most banks do a poor job of capturing overall customer potential, as we recently discovered by monitoring and measuring the sales process at over 1,000 branches. Our research revealed that 65% of sales interactions involved the prospective customer sitting through a monologue of simple checking account features. In 79% of those occasions, the sales person did not ask questions or gauge the customer’s interest in products outside of a demand deposit account (DDA). When a banker did ask about non-DDA products, 92% of the time the inquiry came because the banker was completing a profile of the customer.
These are lost opportunities that bankers can ill afford. So, what can bankers do to coach their branch sales teams to greater success?
- Build the right team. Successful managers recognize that the cornerstone to performance is developing the right team. Simply put, not everyone has a high aptitude for financial services sales. We believe that standardized strengths-based assessment profiles are a valuable tool to improve the effectiveness of the recruiting process, and to target focused skills training for existing teams. As with any scoring tool, these widely used measurement techniques constitute just one piece of the puzzle. But without them, managers can be handicapped in their hiring and team development process.
- Create the right sales process. Banks that train employees in a well-defined sales interaction, with a narrow scope of variability around the process, typically do a much better job at both discovering and meeting the needs of their customers and building loyalty and relationship “stickiness.” If the process discipline is not there, branch employees will fill in the gaps with their own language and goals, which can lack consistency, impair the sale, and significantly reduce effectiveness.
- Use relationship profiles to unlock customer needs. Encouraging a customer to complete a relationship profile is the only way to consistently guaranty that employees are moving the discussion beyond the basic DDA. As noted above, our surveys and branch shops revealed that when branch staff probed for relationship needs, it was almost always because they were using a profile to assist them with the process.
- Coach for success. While the ultimate result is sales success, managers need to maintain process discipline by regularly reviewing required activities on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Banks must consider whether their goal setting, process metrics, and financial measures are well focused and in line with industry benchmarks, or whether they need tweaking to provide their expected results.
The typical branch only sells about one new product per personal banker per day. With transaction traffic declining and continued pressure on staffing, it is critical that branch managers establish and maintain disciplined sales and service processes. Cross-selling is the key to creating deep, profitable and long lasting banking relationships. Having a well-defined sales process will give branch staff the tools and discipline to be successful and deliver the service consistency that customers expect.