Last week, I had the chance to attend one of the biggest banking events of the year—BAI’s annual Retail Delivery Conference in Chicago. While there, I was able to listen to the latest happenings in the retail banking world and hear others’ experiences and ideas on key issues such as data analytics, branch transformation, omnichannel banking, mobile, and more…

Events like BAI lend perspective and allow us to see how other organizations are dealing with – or at least talking about – these types of issues. We gain so much valuable insight into what matters most to regional and community banks.

So, as I walked the show floor and spoke with banking business executives, I saw and heard a few things that made me take note. One theme stood out more than any other:

Financial service organizations lack the visibility needed to track bankers’ sales performance.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how passionate we are about helping companies—regardless of industry—use their data to improve sales effectiveness. Whether it’s offering best practices for ensuring marketing compliance or gaining sales intelligence, the better a company can make their data work for them, the greater overall productivity they’ll yield.

You can imagine our eagerness to learn more from banking executives on why this visibility gap into sales rep activity exists. The consensus was that many banks simply don’t have a CRM system.

This makes sense actually, because what good is a CRM if you don’t have the data to feed it?

Sure, banks sit on a goldmine of customer data, including details on occupation, mortgage, location, purchase behavior, etc., but they have very little information—or visibility—on their bankers’ activity such as opportunities and pipeline. This information is vital when it comes to achieving forecasted goals.

In my conversations with executives at BAI and with banking customers in general, the challenge lies in the fact that retail banks are becoming increasingly distributed, and the traditional contact center is becoming extremely decentralized—making it difficult for branch managers to effectively manage their sales team.

From a sales perspective, measuring call performance helps set benchmarks for current branch teams, and helps in setting the standards for new and future bankers. By observing both qualitative and quantitative call performance, specific call parameters can be set, which will give bank managers the peace of mind that their teams are adhering to the right scripts and overcoming obstacles with proven responses.

But before banks even think about investing in a CRM system, they need to ensure they have the ability to capture this data. Otherwise, without calling activity data, CRM remains little more than an adequate reporting tool, instead of a productivity tool for which managers can establish and manage standards of behavior that will result in growth.

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