sales culture, bank sales

I recently stumbled across a short article  written almost 10 years ago by sales guru Dave Kurlan on 10 rules for developing a sales culture.

Whether you’re trying to get your commercial team out from behind their desks or promote more teamwork between RMs and specialists or equip branch bankers to proactively develop relationships with small business owners, all of Kurlan’s rules ring true. Here’s my slightly edited list of the most relevant observations with some editorial comments thrown in:

  1. The culture won’t change without someone in management driving that change. That usually means the bank president in a community bank or line of business heads in a regional or mega-bank.
  2. Your people need to hear what you expect—and it better be simple, consistent with what your organization values and ultimately doable. Notice I didn’t say “easy.”
  3. You will have to show people what to do. And that means giving them the necessary skills and tools (e.g. templates, access to industry information, sales refreshers, etc.)
  4. Coaching is critical. After working with hundreds of banks over the last 25 years, my partner Buck Bierly says that coaching from first-line managers is the single most factor in a sales change initiative.
  5. You probably will benefit from expert advice. That is admittedly self-serving but it’s hard for most bankers to do this alone.
  6. Start with low-risk concepts. At the outset emphasize things like calling inactive clients as outreach, meeting with current customers to learn more about their business and asking your most satisfied clients for referrals. I know people need to acquire new relationships but don’t ask inexperienced calling officers to start there.
  7. The culture won’t change unless you hold people accountable.

Are there any other “rules” you’d add? Feel free to include your comments in the space below or email them to me at nmiller@mzbierlyconsulting.com.

Check out our recorded webinars on building momentum in prospecting. Go to http://mzbierlyconsulting.webex.com to sample the complimentary Q&A on Prospecting webinar that Buck Bierly led recently.