Photo credit: The Sparta Independent
Management gurus tout the value of building successful companies with an eye towards truly knowing not just what they do and how they do it, but why they do it. Lakeland Bank, based in northern New Jersey, already knew the “why” behind their brand: to make banking simple. Each customer transaction is an opportunity to show customers that banking doesn’t have to be a chore. “We connect our customers to all the possibilities in their financial profile, and we make it as simple as possible,” says Ellen Lalwani, Lakeland Bank’s executive vice president and chief retail officer. Through this commitment to connection and simplicity, the bank has built a loyal customer following. In the words of one business banking customer, “…Lakeland is there to do things I really don’t think any other bank would do.” But there was a challenge: Lakeland’s internal business processes were hardly simple — or connected.
When Lalwani arrived at Lakeland, sharing information between the bank’s Call Center and front office sales staff was limited. Deposits and loans were working with separate technologies. “The front office wasn’t tied to the back office, and the legacy systems we had from our core banking provider weren’t able to deliver a holistic view of all our client’s activity across all departments,” says Lalwani. “The bank had recently installed 360 View’s CRM, but we knew it could do more to connect and streamline the way all of us looked at a customer’s profile."
The Value of Early Adopters
Lalwani and her staff dug in to use 360 View to make Lakeland’s own business processes simpler and more connected, and to help initiate a more sales-oriented culture.
As with any new technology, there are those who immediately seize on the value it offers to an organization, and those who are more reluctant. As Simon Sinek explains in his viral TED talk, and as illustrated in the Technology Adoption Lifecyle, companies who effectively mobilize the Early Adopters can see a faster return on their technology investment. Lakeland’s Early Adopters were the sales staff, who helped carry the technology adoption banner forward and began to embrace the functionality and ease of use that 360 View offered.
The platform provided the Call Center with new insight into the sales process, which empowered them to consult with front line staff on sales prospects. In turn, front line staff provided feedback on how to navigate customer touchpoints originating from the Call Center.
Once they saw the results driven by 360 View through the sales staff, other departments were motivated to explore the full functionality of the CRM. The detailed reports enabled by 360 View provided critical insights for the executive teams and senior management. “For our better customers, it gives us a quick snapshot as to the overall value of the relationship to the bank, and allows us to make good decisions around the preferred rate for the customer,” says Lalwani.
“Unlike sales systems at other banks, 360 View enables us to really see what’s going to work for the customer,” says Lalwani. “We’re not just picking a product and driving it through the system. We’re able to provide customers with the right product at the right price, and at the right time in their consideration process.”
The back office operations of a bank are often challenged when working with an outside vendor’s technology. Lakeland’s back office staff was no exception. Yet once they began to see how the CRM was unifying and sharing data across the enterprise, they wanted to determine how it would respond to their challenges. “They began to approach us with ‘Hey, I’ve got this challenge - could we use 360 View to track and streamline this reporting?’” says Lalwani. The platform passed their tech responsiveness test, and the department began looking for new ways to maximize its effectiveness for their workflows.
Bringing Other Tools on Board
In addition to the CRM portion of the platform, Lakeland implemented the goals and incentives program for their retail banking team. Personal and departmental goals can be set, tracked and incentivized, with adjustments as needed based on changing market conditions and organization-wide performance metrics.
With some banks, sales and marketing efforts are often separated, with less than optimal results. Lakeland’s Marketing department uses 360 View’s marketing automation tool to keep them connected to their customers. By tailoring communication to each customer’s specific profile, Lakeland can retain and grow relationships. “Our marketing folks are digitally savvy, and they understand data aggregation. They work closely with the sales team to utilize the marketing automation in a meaningful way,” says Lalwani.
With everyone starting to right size retail branches, marketing automation becomes even more important, according to Lalwani. Staff members don’t have time to hunt through and scout new customers or realize new possibilities with existing ones. 360 View takes the guesswork out of targeting customers with the right message and the right product or service for each customer.
For a community bank that aims to connect and simplify, digital strategies are at the heart of Lakeland’s focus to drive a better experience for business and consumer customers. Lalwani sees 360 View’s role as pivotal for supporting greater digital innovation.
To see Lakeland Bank’s results tied to revenue after implementing 360 View, get the full case study.