Bank and credit union sales practices are broken. Most branch staff are order takers or product pushers while digital channels are simply brochureware. A former big-bank sales executive details the failures and lays out the way to correct them by delivering advice and guidance at scale.
By Evan Siegel, VP Financial Services AI at eGain
(Originally posted on The Financial Brand)
Retail banking sales is in disarray. Sales practices in branch and digital channels produce poor customer experiences and undermine revenue growth. As a former megabank executive who spent 16 years in customer experience and sales strategy roles, I have seen first-hand how difficult it is to build an omnichannel sales model that delivers quality advice and guidance at scale, which is necessary to help people achieve their financial goals for the ultimate customer experience.
The situation is far from hopeless, and advances in AI powered knowledge management systems are making a difference. Yet the ingredients for meaningful change are fundamental in nature.
Before getting to those, it is essential to understand why the banking sales model is broken.
Branches — Expensive Channel Under Pressure
Branch traffic has decreased 35% over the last five years, as reported by NPR news. That lower volume makes it much more difficult for financial institutions to get value from personal bankers who cost on average cost of over $70,000 a year (salary plus benefits) and sit in expensive retail locations. Banks and credit unions justify this expense by expecting strong relationship building and cross-sell through value-add guidance. The reality, however, does not match the strategy, as my mystery shopping experience shows.
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Author: Mike Lawson
Married to a most gorgeous and wonderful wife, raising 5 kiddos (including twins!), enjoy helping others tell their stories, and love surfing SoCal waves. Keep it simple.