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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.


Jack Hubbard, of St. Meyer & Hubbard, is one of my favorite people, not only for his insight about sales (he is widely known as the “Professor of Prospecting”) but also for his openness and generosity in freely crediting industry thought leaders he admires – even if they are competitors.


Jack quotes his friend Charles Green in saying “You are a trusted advisor when you willingly refer your top client to your top competitor because you know that competitor can help your client better than you can.”


Jack just published a humorous and timely article on The United States of Sales – his 2017 Inaugural Address as if he were elected President of Sales. In it, he lists the industry resources he turns to. Some are competitors, most are not. It’s a great read – and a great list of resources.


We were so honored to be names to his Cabinet as the Baron of Bricks and Sticks!


“Baron of Bricks and SticksDavid Kerstein, President of Peak Performance Consulting Group is my go to guy when it comes to branching and the issues surrounding those buildings and the people in them. David writes eloquently about trends dealing with pricing, profitability, strategy and overall effectiveness of the branch and call center of the future and the present. David is a former banker with decades of experience in retail financial services. I go to his website often to see his articles, white papers and research at www.ppcgroup.com. “


David Kerstein, president of Peak Performance Consulting Group, was interviewed by S&P Global (formerly SNL Financial) about FinTech and the whether they are competitors or partners. He said that digital disruption isn’t new, citing past developments like automated teller machines and automated call centers. The difference, he said, is that today’s developments are much more rapid.


Nonbank competition can be a sore subject among community bankers as the banking landscape — along with customer expectations — is continually changing. “If you think about it, banking and technology have been tied together for all of our lives,” Kerstein said. “These were developed not by the core banking providers, but by what we would now call fintech firms.”


Today, wealth management is one area where small banks and fintech companies are teaming up. He said he sees ample opportunities for robo-advisory companies to team up with community banks to simplify and standardize wealth management platforms, citing SigFig Wealth Management LLC’s partnership with Cambridge Savings Bank.


Fintech companies such as PayPal Inc. and LendingTree Inc. have put pressure on banks to up their digital game, and teaming up with fintech companies rather than competing with them is a sensible solution, Kerstein said.


“There’s a huge number of fintech initiatives that are really building their business propositions around providing services to financial institutions to make quicker loan decisions or provide more efficient investment advice,” he added. “Small-business processing has been complex for financial institutions. It’s been difficult to maintain the skill sets, just given the amount of training that it takes and the skills of loan officers.”


For more, see the full article.



A businessman is consulting a crystal ball to foretell the future.

So begins a new year, a new administration and new possibilities in the ways banks will approach business and operations


This article was originally published in BAI Banking Strategies .


It’s that time of year again—time to put away the ball in Times Square and polish up our crystal ball for 2017. What do we think will be the key trends for the industry? Here we present our picks for distribution, innovation, technology, and compliance.

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