Catalytic Management Consulting
Accelerating Growth, Driving Performance

Solution Selling Replaces Product Pushing and Deposits Go Up!

Company Overview

Our client, a regional community bank, serves a diverse ethnic population with a branch system that is often dwarfed by as many as 11 competitors within a one mile radius. Their long history of community service and high levels of customer service have been the drivers behind deposit growth. They are blessed with a committed, long term management staff that serves as role models for customer dedication and professionalism in every aspect of their work.

Business Challenge

Community banks face increasing competition, an aging customer base and a staff that is not accustomed to nor inclined to sell. Like our banking client, community banks ask “what can we do to attract new customers, insure they become loyal customers and improve our profitability in a fiercely competitive market?” Faced with just such challenges, this community bank turned to Catalytic Management. The bank has a strong community presence and a strong reputation that have served them well in attracting new deposits. However, bank mergers and acquisitions have meant that they now must compete with the “mega banks” in addition to credit unions which enjoy distinct advantages due to fewer and more flexible regulations. Our client must proactively sell to increase deposits despite a staff that while dedicated, does not see themselves in a sales role.

Customer retention rates are dropping as the larger banks lure their customers away through professional selling and marketing. Senior management believed that in order to compete effectively both short term and long term, the culture of the bank needed to become more sales focused.

Result

The Branch system has adopted the new selling behaviors and is demonstrating real success at proactively selling—winning business from the “big guys”, networking through professional organizations and demonstrating new confidence and energy. The new sales tools have significantly helped in closing sales and in building market knowledge. The development of Territory Business Plans has provided structure and direction. New marketing initiatives are underway and customer retention programs are being deployed. Each new phase builds on the success of the previous phase.

Catalytic Management Solution

Changing a culture is a difficult task that must be approached realistically and with the understanding and knowledge that change is a process that takes time if the change is to be meaningful and lasting. Catalytic Management’s solution was a phased approached that included multiple steps to each phase. We fully expected to make adjustments in the initiative to respond to the realities of culture change and thus built in flexibility to the overall solution.

Our solution included the following phases and elements:

  • Phase One:  Building the Foundation for a Sales Culture
    • Achieving Branch Manager Buy In
    • Consultative Selling Training for Branch staff
    • Development of Sales Tools
    • Development of Activity Goals
    • Development of marketing “on-boarding” program
  • Phase Two:  Ensuring Success

    • Development of Territory Growth Plans
    • In field sales coaching
    • One on one coaching with teller staff
    • Review of sales processes
    • Implementation of CRM principles and tools
    • Training for Branch Managers in Sales Management
  • Phase Three:  Sustaining Success

    • Development of Sales Competency Model
    • Tools for recruiting and hiring
    • Sales skills testing
    • Account Management Training for Branch Managers
    • Development of “Guide to Sales Excellence”

This initiative is on-going with the continued support of Catalytic Management. Response to the new “culture” has been positive and training in professional selling skills has significantly advanced the new culture by providing the knowledge and skills the branch team required and by allowing time for new behaviors to be adopted, practiced and mastered. Sales tools were developed to assist in the selling processes and were eagerly adopted. Branch Managers are proactively selling in their territories with business accounts as their target. Managers have completed their individual Territory Growth plans and are rolling them out to their branches. Catalytic Management is acting as sales manager and coach with a dedicated, on site schedule. Branch traffic studies are underway to support new marketing efforts and help target new customers. Customer Relationship Management software modules are being evaluated with an expected implementation within six months. Sales Management training will be rolled out in two months and Phase Three will begin in 6 to 9 months.