November 6, 2013
“Eight out of 10 customers will buy from the company that is easiest to buy from.”
- The Gartner Group
While other businesses have long recognized the benefits of the online channel, most banks are lagging behind other industries in tapping into the online channel to generate new sales. Banks have historically used the online channel for the servicing and account management aspects of their customer relationship however consumers and businesses increasingly expect to use the online channel as a way to help them find and manage their banking solutions.
According to Accenture, more than half of financial services product searches in the United States begin online and customers have ranked the online channel as the single most important way of interacting with their banks.
Despite this trend, retail banks are challenged to translate the traditional in-person, consultative sales experience to the digital experience. Guided selling is the first step in this transition.
Guided selling is a process that helps potential buyers of products or services to choose the product best fulfilling their needs and hopefully guides the buyer to buy. Guided selling simplifies and accelerates the sales process by automating the first part of the sales process.
Consider this – when a prospect peruses a banking web site or when they walk into a branch, they already realize they have a need for financial products. From this point, there are several things that need to happen before this prospect can be converted into a new account opening including;
- Conducting a needs assessment
- Determining the right products
- Establishing eligibility for those products
- Overcoming objections
- Closing the deal
Guided selling automates the first three steps in this process.
Ignite Sales’ Recommendation Guides and Analytics is a great example of guided selling for banks. It can be used directly by the prospect on the website or by banking personnel in the branch and call center as an interactive tool to provide a consultative, direct touch experience for the customer.
First, the Recommendation Guide conducts a needs assessment by asking a series of questions to understand the prospect’s current situation. The guide then uses the collected information, banking thresholds, and analytics to evaluate the responses and determine eligibility for the products that meet the customer’s need. The guide returns recommended product bundles to meet the specific needs of the customer in real-time.
The Recommendation Guide has just automated the first three steps in the buying cycle. If the prospect is online, this interaction turns into an intelligent, highly qualified lead that is sent to a CRM system such as Salesforce.com so that it can be delivered and managed by the sales organization. If the guide is being used by a relationship manager at the point-of-sale, then they can immediately overcome any objections and close the deal.
Guided selling is a must have tool for banks to increase sales today.
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