According to CSO Insights, over 58% of pipeline opportunities end up as no decision or

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1 The current state of sales performance is startling. According to CSO Insights, over 58% of pipeline opportunities end up as no decision or lost. According to Sales Benchmark Index, less than 42% of financial institutions have a documented sales process. Of those that do have a documented sales process, less than 12% of sales managers actually adopt the process and hold their people accountable for using it. They use the sales process as a check the box, saying we have a process. According to CSO Insights, over 59% of a sales person s time is spent not selling. According to the Corporate Executive Board and the Rain Group, less than 35% of salespeople are achieving their goals. According to St. Meyer & Hubbard, the average personal banker meets with 5 people a day and opens 1.1 new accounts (and closes 0.9 accounts). According to the Rain Group and the Corporate Executive Board, the average salesperson forgets over 87% of what they learn in sales training within 30 days. According to CSO Insights, salespeople spend 65% more time on deals that are lost than on deals that are won. The bottom line is that we cannot keep expecting different outcomes when using the same old approaches. It is time we take a new approach. Our new research has revealed a new approach that is working for the highest performers in financial services. We call this new approach the Sales Process of Winning. This paper will give you a general overview of this new process and our new research Sales Benchmark In the coming months I will write more articles on this subject. - by Ron Buck Director of Performance Management 2

2 Your sales process is a series of interdependent actions or steps taken in order to achieve a specific result. If you can t describe what you are doing as a process, you don t know what you are doing. W. Edwards Deming 3

3 What Is Your Sales Process For? Within a bank there are a number of interdependent sales processes each designed for a different purpose. Referral management On-boarding new customers Outbound calling Opening new retail accounts Prospecting Pipeline management Portfolio management Each of these interdependent sales processes may have a different conversational model that is installed during sales training. Figure 1.0 illustrates the pipeline management process for a business banker or a commercial lender. Figure 1.0 Frontline Sales Activities For A Business Banker Figure 1.0 shows a series of pipeline steps but it also illustrates the interdependencies with the prospecting process (or activities), on-boarding process and portfolio management process. 4

4 One of the steps in the prospecting process is a Discovery Call and one of the steps in the presentation stage of the pipeline is a Presentation Call. Each call uses a specific conversational model that is unique to that part of the process. For example, the Discovery Call has a conversational model of building rapport, acknowledging direction, exploring needs, presenting potential solutions and obtaining a commitment. Figure 2.0 Frontline Sales Activities For A Personal Banker Figure 2.0 illustrates the interdependencies of the new account opening process with the outbound calling process, on-boarding process and the teller transaction process (for referrals). Notice that the conversational model (establishing rapport, acknowledge direction, explore needs, present solution, and obtain commitment) is a set of steps within the larger sales process that includes completing an application, making an on-boarding appointment, sending partner referrals and updating information in the CRM system. These sales process activities overlap with the processes of other departments like credit, underwriting, and marketing. 5

5 Each process needs to be monitored and measured by senior sales managers for continuous performance improvement. Key performance indicators (like win/loss ratio, cross-sell ratio, stage conversation ratio, call conversion ratio) measure how efficient, productive or effective the Frontline Sales Activities are performed. Activity measures measure how many times an activity is performed. Ultimately, activity measures (like how many calls have been made) and key performance indicators (KPIs) are displayed in scorecards and used in a more global sales management process. Figure 3.0 illustrates how the Frontline Sales Activities fit into the more global sales management process. Figure 3.0 Classic Sales Management Process This sales management model is a recurring process for continuous performance improvement act, measure, analyze, plan, and execute for continuous improvement. The Frontline Sales Activities are those illustrated in Figure 1.0 and

6 The Metrics That Matter are those key performance indicators that measure how effective, productive or effective the Frontline Sales Activities have been performed. Once in compelling Scorecards, the metrics help focus results-coaching (when action plans are developed) on the few activities (behaviors) that have the most impact on sales outcomes. Action Plans are the primary job aide used in Weekly Check-Ins - those brief (but important) weekly meetings used to close the loop on the entire process and create a cadence of expectations, accountability and feedback at the frontline. What Is The New Sales Process of Winning During our research study Sales Benchmark we established benchmarks for over 50 key performance indicators for five market segments (rural, rural growth, suburban established, suburban growth, and urban competitive). We then conducted surveys of each performance segment (high performers, average performers, and low performers) to better understand specific aspects of their sales processes and other factors that account for their competitive success. The surveys explored: The presence of coaching and sales management practices like coaching, check-ins and team meetings. We also explored how engaged senior managers were and if they had really adopted the practices or if they had just invested in the training. The presence of well documented (prioritized and improved) Frontline Sales Activities. Our surveys also probed the process details and who was held accountable for adhering to the process. The presence of The Six Breakthrough Behaviors of High Performers 1. These behaviors describe how the Frontline Sales Activities are actually performed (or executed). Focus on a few important goals. Measure the metrics that matter. Act on the lead measures. Keep a compelling scorecard. Develop action plans. Create a cadence of expectations, accountability and feedback. 7

7 Maintaining a disciplined sales process throughout the entire organization is key not only for increasing sales efficiency and productivity, but also for on-boarding new employees, continuous sales improvement, and coordinating work with other groups within the bank (credit, underwriting, marketing, operations, and HR). Many times the sales baton is passed between departments at different points in the sales process like passing a qualified opportunity to underwriting or receiving a campaign lead from marketing. To ensure successful sales execution at each hand-off, it is crucial to share a common process and common definitions (a glossary). Figure 4.0 illustrates the percentage of banks that (1) have documented (prioritized and improved) Frontline Sales Activities (see Figures 1.0 and 2.0); (2) hold their salespeople accountable for using the sales process; (3) have senior management adoption of the process; and (4) have installed the sales management process illustrated in Figure 3.0. For example, over 75% of average performers have invested in training for coaches and sales managers, but (as you can see in Figure 4.0) only 21.6% of them actually hold their people accountable for using it. Figure 4.0 illustrates that high performers consistently execute every part of the sales process illustrated in Figure 3.0. Furthermore, our surveys have confirmed that they do so with the Six Breakthrough Behaviors of High Performers 1 listed above. When executed with these behaviors, this new process is called the Sales Process of Winning. Figure 4.0 Defining The New Sales Process of Winning 8

8 About 42% of all banks have documented at least part of their sales process and of those banks less than 12% have senior management engagement and hold their people accountable for using the process. Over 94% of the high performers have documented the entire sales process and hold their salespeople accountable for using it, but are still falling short relative to senior management engagement. Over 48% of banks have deployed scorecards, but most lack the metrics that matter, and 89.3% indicate that their reports and scorecards are inaccurate or infrequent (94.5% indicate they are still using spreadsheets). Your Sales Process Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link The Theory of Sales Constraints (TOSC) 3 states that there will always be constraints in people, process, policy, technology or leadership and a small number of constraints will limit the organization s ability to achieve its goals. The TOSC adopts the idiom a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. This means that sales organizations are vulnerable because of the weakest person, the weakest link in a process or the lack of leadership engagement and these weak links adversely affect the sales outcome. Weak or missing links are why so many sales initiatives fail. Scorecards are deployed without the metrics that matter. Frontline sales activities are not documented or measured with the right metrics. Coaches have been effectively trained but don t use action plans. Banks invest in CRM systems but the frontline is not held accountable for using the software. Training occurs but done in disregard to the interdependent processes around the conversation model. Parts of the entire sales process are missing or weak. Most sales processes have a small number of weak links. For example, while most sales organizations focus on prospecting and finding new sales opportunities, CSO Insights research reveals that over 58% of these new sales opportunities end up as no decision or lost. These are wasted opportunities (that waste valuable time). Our research indicates that most of these lost or no decision opportunities are stalled in the Qualification/Underwriting stages of the pipeline. These two stages create a bottleneck that constrains sales velocity (or deal flow) and the performance of the entire organization. While high performers have the ability to (1) identify process bottlenecks; (2) decide how to eliminate or work around the bottleneck; and (3) take action; other, lower performing organizations are unable to compete. Our research has revealed four levels of competitors within the banking industry. Only Level 4 Competitors (high performers and high achievers) have differentiated their organizations with this new Sales Process of Winning. Level 4 competitors are the least constrained to achieve their goals. 9

9 Level 1 Competitor: Random Sales Process 35.2% of all banks and credit unions. These organizations may be perceived as being anti-process, although they really just lack a documented sales process and the training and leadership to support it. Sales managers and salespeople do their own thing their own way. Senior sales managers do not participate in or support any sales process. These organizations take great pride in saying we just want to focus on taking care of our customers with no customer relationship processes (like on-boarding or portfolio management) to guide them. The sales performance of these organizations is highly constrained. There are no recurring processes to guide the organization. Sales velocity is seriously constrained by almost everything including leadership. Sales performance is characterized as low or under achievement. 10

10 Level 2 Competitor: Informal Sales Process 25.6% of all banks and credit unions. These sales organizations train their sales managers and coaches to conduct quarterly coaching, weekly check-ins and team meetings. Senior sales managers expose their sales managers to the sales process, indicate they are supposed to use it, but usage is not monitored or measured. Senior sales managers do not participate in or support the sales process. Subsequently, sales managers and sales people still do their own thing their own way. The sales process does not include documented frontline sales activities, the Metrics That Matter, or accurate and timely scorecards. Action plans have limited utility and effectiveness without the Metrics That Matter. Sales performance is still constrained by missing links to the process, leadership engagement and frontline accountability. Sales performance is characterized as average or under achievement. 11

11 Level 3 Competitor: Formal Sales Process 23.3% of all banks and credit unions These sales organizations train their sales managers to conduct quarterly coaching and weekly check-ins. Senior managers actively participate in the sales process and monitor the use of it by their subordinates. The frontline sales activities are documented, prioritized and refined with best practices. However, the sales process does not include the Metrics That Matter, or accurate and timely scorecards. Action plans have limited utility and effectiveness without the Metrics That Matter. Some constraints have been removed but sales performance is still constrained by the missing Metrics That Matter and inaccurate and untimely scorecards. Level 3 Competitors must still work on the weak links within their processes. Sales performance is characterized as average and high achievement. 12

12 Level 4 Competitor: The Sales Process of Winning 15.9% of all banks and credit unions These sales organizations train their sales managers to conduct quarterly coaching and weekly check-ins. Senior managers actively participate in the sales process and monitor the use of it by their team members. The frontline sales activities are documented, prioritized and refined with best practices. The entire organization has timely and accurate scorecards with the Metrics That Matter. The scorecard and action plan are the primary tools and job aides for effective coaching and sales execution. Sales managers and coaches execute the process with the Six Breakthrough Behaviors of High Performers 1. These are the least constrained organizations. These organizations also have the ability to (1) identify process bottlenecks; (2) decide how to eliminate or work around the bottleneck; and (3) take action. While other, lower performing organizations are unable, or have less capability, to compete. Sales performance is characterized as high performance and high achievement. 13

13 Who Are The High Performers Who Have Defined The Sales Process of Winning? Our research revealed the high performers who are using the Sales Process of Winning. The primary goal of our research Sales Benchmark was to establish the first industry benchmark for the sales metrics that matter in retail, small business, business banking, commercial, insurance and wealth management. To date we have received data and surveys from over 5,000 branches and sales teams. Our plan is to double that number over the next twelve months. We used the Metrics That Matter to define various levels of performance. Figure 5.0 illustrates the retail Metrics That Matter. Retail Metrics That Matter Figure 5.0 Retail Metrics That Matter Figure 5.0 illustrates the retail Metrics That Matter and their interdependencies with each other. We used these metrics (along with others) to define high performance. 14

14 Figure 6.0 illustrates the Sales Benchmark Matrix for retail sales metrics (for the Suburban Growth market). The Sales Benchmark Matrix is designed around three metrics. I. The Input Velocity. The vertical axis is always the Input Velocity (number of face-toface meetings/day or, in the case of business banking, $/Month). II. The Critical Success Factor. The horizontal axis is always the Critical Success Factor. The critical success factor identifies the critical actions that lead to success. Based on our research and years of experience, we have identified The Success Ratio as the retail critical success factor and Average Time-to-Close as the business banking and commercial critical success factor. III. The Sales Velocity. The bold number in the middle of each segment is the outcome or Sales Velocity. Sales Velocity is always expressed as new accounts/day/fte for retail and loan $/month for business banking and commercial. Figure 6.0 Retails Sales Benchmark Matrix 15

15 High Performers and High Achievers tend to be Level 4 Competitors that use the Sales Process of Winning. Average Performers tend to be Level 2 or 3 Competitors. Low Performers tend to be Level 1 or 2 Competitors. High Performers open 1.9 more new accounts/day/fte than average performers - over 500 new accounts/year/fte. High Performers produce 135% more new accounts/day/fte than average performers. Average Performers produce 366% more new accounts/day/fte than low performers. High Performers proactively create more Face-to-Face Meetings and have a much higher Success Ratio than Average Performers. High Performers typically have a Success Ratio that is 60% higher than Average Performers. Our research indicates that the new Sales Process of Winning is mostly responsible for this performance gap. Figure 7.0 introduces three new metrics that matter. Each metric is mathematically connected to the Success Ratio. The Service-to-Sales Conversion Ratio is the primary driver of retail performance improvement. Our research reveals that an average personal banker has about 5 customer conversations per day (4 service-related and 1 sales-related). About 60% of service-related conversations are provoked by a life event. Converting 1 service-related conversation each week to a sales-related conversation may grow branch sales by 20%. 16

16 Figure 7.0 Retails Sales Benchmark Matrix The Service-to-Sales Conversion Ratio is mathematically related to the Win Rate which is mathematically related to the Success Ratio. 17

17 Business Banking And Commercial Metrics That Matter The business banking and commercial Metrics That Matter are illustrated in Figure 9.0. Figure 8.0 Business Banking and Commercial Metrics That Matter Figure 8.0 illustrates the business banking and commercial Metrics That Matter and their interdependencies with each other. 18

18 Figure 10.0 illustrates the Sales Benchmark Matrix for business banking and commercial in a Suburban Growth market. It is easy to see that the High Performers have a much higher sales velocity than Average Performers (about $2.3 million more/month or about $28 million/year). Our research also revealed a linear correlation between the average win rate and the average time-to-close (the longer it takes to close an opportunity the lower the win rate). For the Suburban Growth market the relationship is: Figure 10.0 Business and Commercial Sales Benchmark Matrix 19

19 High Performers and High Achievers tend to be Level 4 Competitors that use the Sales Process of Winning. Average Performers tend to be Level 2 or 3 Competitors. Low Performers tend to be Level 1 or 2 Competitors. High Performers sustain a sales velocity 455% greater than average performers by closing pipeline opportunities 2X faster than average performers and almost 5X faster than low performers. Our research indicates that the new Sales Process of Winning is mostly responsible for this performance gap. 20

20 Conclusion The future of sales management and coaching in banking is already here but unevenly distributed. The future is being defined by the highest performers who have adopted a new Sales Process of Winning a sales process that eliminates common sales constraints. The future of sales management is unevenly distributed. Only 42% of banks and credit unions have documented at least part of their sales process and of those banks and credit union less than 12% have senior management engagement and hold their people accountable for using the process. Only 15.9% of all banks and credit unions have adopted the new Sales Process of Winning and they outperform all others by a factor of 2X to 5X. These high performers tend to be Level 4 Competitors that stand head-and-shoulders above the industry. A sales process is only as strong as it weakest link. This means that sales organizations are vulnerable because of the weakest person, the weakest link in the process, missing technology or disengaged leadership. Without a documented sales process it is very difficult to identify and fix these weak or missing links. Level 4 Competitors are the least constrained to achieve their goals. We cannot keep expecting different sales outcomes when using the same old approaches. It is time we take a new approach and enter the future of banking. Footnote 1 : The Six Breakthrough Behaviors of High Performers by Ron Buck in Based on research with 370 banks and credit unions. Available at Footnote 2 : Sales Benchmark 2015 by Ron Buck Based on research with 152 banks and credit unions. Available at Footnote 3 : Theory of Sales Constraints by Ron Buck Based on the Theory of Constraints by Dr. Eli Goldratt in his book The Goal. 21

21 About The Author Ron Buck Director of Performance Management Ron is a popular consultant, speaker and author. He is the Director of Performance Management at St. Meyer & Hubbard. Ron lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Ardonna. He is an avid golfer, runner and cyclist. Ron is a graduate of Iowa State University and MIT graduate school. Ron is the author of: Managing Breakthrough Behaviors The Six Breakthrough Behaviors of High Performers The Scorecard ToolKit Sales Velocity The Success Ratio Five Metrics That Matter For Business Bankers The Sales Metrics That Matter The Scorecard Design Guideline Small Business & Business Banking Benchmarks The Key To Great Scorecards The Real Cost of Sales Data The Disciplines of Sales Execution Business & Goal Alignment The Theory of Sales Constraints 22

22 Sales Benchmark 2015 The Sales Benchmark 2015 is published and packaged with the Scorecard ToolKit. It is the first industry standard benchmark for the following metrics. Each of the following metrics has been benchmarked and segmented by market (rural, rural growth, suburban established, suburban growth, urban competitive). Tellers Teller transactions/hour Cost per transaction Teller referrals/100 transactions Teller walk-over referrals/100 transactions Triggered referrals and cross-sell (potential sales opportunity triggers) Personal Bankers Unique products and services/household Net accounts/month/branch New accounts/day/fte Closed accounts/month/branch Face-to-face meetings/day/fte Success Ratio Service-to-sales conversion ratio Win rate Cross-sell ratio Referral conversion ratio Lead conversion ratio On-boarding % Appointments kept 60 day cross-sell ratio 90 day retention rate Business Bankers Commercial Insurance Wealth Management Individual and team sales velocity Win rate Along with pipeline stage conversion rates Average deal size New loan $/FTE/Month New Sales Ready Opportunities (SRO)/month/FTE From COI From Internal Referrals From Existing Customers From Cold Prospecting and leads New prospects/month/fte Prospect conversion rate Average time-to-close Along with pipeline average time-in-stage 23

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