“The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it.” –Oscar Wilde
Denizens of Gonzoville, you’ll notice that we have spent quite a bit of time of late musing about banking through the Internet and other non-branch channels. No surprise there. The latest data we are seeing points to the fast mainstreaming of the alternative channels for both service transactions and, increasingly, buying decisions. Our latest survey numbers show that close to half of checking customers are regular users of Internet and/or mobile delivery channels. 20%-30% of consumer loan applications are already taken on line. And while the number of deposits accounts opened on line is not significant yet, growth is likely to be fast in the next few years.
Now, let’s cross-reference another issue that has been high profile in the industry, which is the time and money that has been spent developing sales and service cultures, particularly in our branches. The skills training, goal setting, results tracking, incentive calculations, et al that now occur to support this initiative aren’t tiny by any means. And the end goal of differentiating from the competition through better sales and service is widespread among banks (oh, but those of you that follow the concept of “surly, cheap order-takers, but we’ll still get our share” may stop reading).
So, some of the key questions sales organizations will need to answer are these:
What have we learned so far? Well, here are some of the early Gonzo lessons learned about how “cloud” sales differ from traditional branch and call center sales.
In summary, those things that may create a competitive sales (or service) advantage when the opportunity is face-to-face don’t translate to new channels. So, with that recognized, banks need to answer some questions about how to address these new needs and new rules.
These are beginning questions. The real message here is that it is time to start creating the long-term vision of how cloud sales fit in the overall sales picture and what new skills and capabilities must be developed. It ain’t your mom’s face-to-face world anymore.
Are you sold?
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