Why Cross-Selling Should Take Center Stage in 2016 Sales Plans


I always pay attention to what Charles Wendel says about bank strategy. Here’s an excerpt from a recent article that appeared in BAI’s Banking Strategies Newsletter on the importance of building excellence in cross sell:

This was important 20 years ago; it is even more important today. While hardly a new topic, cross sell continues to provide the biggest near-term payday available to banks.

Recently, I was speaking to a client who was bemoaning his bank’s lack of success in this area over the last few years, despite it being targeted as a key growth area.

Similarly, a September article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted JPMorgan Chase’s opportunity to grow current small business customer profitability, noting that less than 10% of its customers used the bank for checking and credit cards and merchant processing versus over 40% who, based on a recent survey, use these three products. The article said that Chase “is working on breaking down the silos among those services over the next three years with tactics including the use of a common application for clients to fill out that could qualify them for deposits and loans as well as its ‘ink’ small business credit card and its ‘Paymentech’ payment-processing service.”

Streamlined processes and breaking internal silos are keys to Chase’s program, but silos exist not only at banks of Chase’s size but across all size ranges. The reasons for the lack of cross-sale successes are numerous, often including lack of training, organizational roadblocks and poor compensation incentives. Managers need to identify the key issues at their bank and eliminate them. An internal mantra should exist that emphasizes what we find is typically (although not always) the case: “More products sold equals more profits.”

Cross sell does not get the attention it merits in part because it requires management to influence or even demand cooperation between bank units; bankers need to break past patterns and they resist doing so. Cross sell, based upon understanding and meeting client needs, should permeate a bank’s culture and not be an activity that bankers choose to opt into … or not. In short, cross sell should be the number one priority at most banks. If not, why not?

If you’re gearing up for 2016, you might be interested in listening to a complimentary webinar with Charles Wendel and Buck Bierly. In it they discussed the challenges commercial and business bankers face in expanding relationships with business customers. The bottom line: Cross-selling may not be the secret sauce, but it is a key ingredient to increase per account revenue growth.
Here are some of their key points:
•Selling more to an existing customer is less expensive and more likely to succeed than prospecting.
•Cross-selling needs to be mandated from the top of the organization and reflected in compensation.
•Management needs to set priorities for the products to be cross-sold.
•Enhancing individual product profitability goes hand-in-hand with a cross-sell effort.
•Cross-selling needs to be a continual and dynamic effort, not a one-time event.
•The account planning process should highlight cross-sell opportunities.
To listen to this complimentary webinar, go to http://mzbierlyconsulting.webex.com

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