With the past couple of years working remotely, many of your bankers’ skills are rusty and they may not be using the tech tools they should be. During these times, they must be better than ever before at reaching out and communicating effectively and consistently.
Here are 3 keys to evaluating the right banking sales training program that will help your relationship managers adjust to the new selling environment.
It’s no surprise that, with continuing pandemic issues and concerns, many clients and prospects are avoiding our bank lobbies. And why not, with online access to almost everything? So how will your salespeople continue to build relationships and keep your best customers? With the past couple of years working remotely, many of your bankers’ skills are rusty and they may not be using the tech tools they should be. During these times, they must be proficient, actually, they must be better than ever before at reaching out and communicating effectively and consistently. This is key for most banks to sustain and build relationships, grow loans, and achieve higher net interest margins.
Here are 3 key ideas to make sure that your banking sales training is helping your relationship managers adjust to this new normal, and increasingly remote selling environment:
- Make certain that your bank is focused on helping your salespeople blend the value of human touch with digital assistance. According to a recent Banking Exchange article, this is the new frontier in customer engagement. So, what does that mean? They must be able to assist customers and prospects in navigating these digital options and provide a holistic, consultative approach. Because of our new “anywhere economy,” our customers expect the ability to conduct all their business remotely and on any device. Think about your own experiences with digital platforms – you might love the convenience but often need that human interaction to make the experience successful. I am working with a new platform for prospecting called ZoomInfo Intent. The system helps to understand what companies are searching for keywords that describe our services, which could be very helpful but I have encountered the need to have human help along the way. This is your relationship manager’s greatest opportunity – to be ready to ask the questions to help more fully understand and serve the client. They must be adept at answering the question at hand and comfortably probing further to more fully understand the goals of the client. How good are your people at doing this?
- Speaking of prospecting… There are so many different tools to be explored to connect and build relationships virtually but it is harder. The second key to your banking sales training is to make certain that your salespeople are proficient at using the tech tools to connect. Some may want to avoid this but today, there is no choice. Calling is still a prospecting option but with so many people working remotely, you must have cell phones to connect with any consistency. Here are some of the “must-haves” in prospecting now:
- Regular outreach and activity on LinkedIn every day
- Industry research and pre-call planning tool like IBISWorld
- ZoomInfo or a similar tool to gather company and contact data of your target
- HubSpot or similar marketing platform to identify lead activity on your website
- Strong and effective use of video email – take a look at OneMob as a tool
- Networking opportunities with target audiences – conferences are back in person
- A strong and compelling value statement to share
- A system to consistently ask for introductions (not referrals) from your clients and COIs
- The third key is understanding The Will to Sell of your sales team. Do your bankers have the desire, commitment, outlook, and motivation to sell despite the challenges? Do they take responsibility for their actions and outcomes? Let’s face it, many industries have been affected by the pandemic; some have suffered and others have thrived. What does your bank need to do differently within its own culture to adapt, grow, and achieve 2.0 ROA and NIM over 5? Your client-facing salespeople are key and they must be highly skilled. There is a blueprint for elite performance and science to selling – the 21 cores sales competencies, identified by the industry-leading sales evaluation company, Objective Management Group.
Make certain that you know why your top performers are so successful and how your sales team stacks up against the other banks. Make sure that your banking sales training is focused on helping your bankers be stronger at the 21 core sales competencies listed above. When mastered, these skills will help your lenders and relationship managers differentiate from fintech firms and other banks and position their value so that they can hold pricing steady when your competitors are dropping their rates.