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Making Things Simple: How Lakeland Bank Used 360 View to Simplify and Connect Operations

Posted by David Acevedo

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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.

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Topics: Goal and Incentive Plans, CRM

3 Ways to Attract and Retain Top Millennial Talent

Posted by David Acevedo

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By 2025, Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. And, at some companies, like Accenture and Ernst & Young, they already account for 2/3 of the entire employee base. Is your financial institution a place where Millennials want to work?

Strong company culture is essential to attracting and retaining Millennial employees — especially in sales positions, where turnover is high and burnout happens all too regularly. A supportive and engaging work culture, empowered by an effective goals and incentive plan, should form the foundation of a sustainable, growth-driven sales strategy.

Here are the top three ways you can build a company culture that will attract and retain Millennial talent at your financial institution.

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Topics: Sales & Marketing, Goal and Incentive Plans, CRM

Get Motivated: The Power of Real-Time Goal & Incentive Tracking

Posted by David Acevedo

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An effective goal and incentive plan is essential to the success of any financial institution’s overall sales strategy. In a survey of US bankers, 84% of respondents who currently have an employee incentive plan in place said their incentive plan has increased sales within their organization and increased employee engagement by encouraging better profiling, cross-selling, and referrals to other lines of business. 

With more and more banks realizing the value of incentive plans, you might be wondering how to get started with tracking results and driving change within your own organization. Here are four key steps toward adopting and implementing an effective incentive system.

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Topics: Sales & Marketing, Goal and Incentive Plans, CRM

Meet Your Banking Customers at the "Moment of Opportunity"

Posted by David Acevedo

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Every day, you’re engaging with your customers in the moment of opportunity” — but are you capitalizing on the chance to nurture that relationship, drive sales, and improve profitability?

There’s an efficiency problem in the financial industry. Opportunity is out there, with both new and existing customers, but it is regularly hindered by obscured data, undefined processes, and a lack of communication across the organization. Here are some tactics for making sure that you are optimizing your customer relationships and maximizing your bottom line.

Empower Your Frontline Workers

According to this report from McKinsey in a banking environment with strong bottom-line pressures, maximizing frontline sales performance should be top priority. Your frontline staff has the daily opportunity to deliver valuable customer-specific sales and service messages to customers during those interactions — but most banks fail to capitalize on these moments of opportunity due to a lack of actionable data. 

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Topics: Profitability, Sales & Marketing, Goal and Incentive Plans, CRM

The Number One Thing to Ensure CRM Success

Posted by Chris Green

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We get asked all the time, can you tell me the number one thing we can do to ensure that CRM is successful at our bank? The answer is easy: executive buy-in! But, what exactly is executive buy-in and how do you know when you have it? Now those are hard questions.

What Is Executive Buy-In?

Often, we assume executive buy-in for projects like CRM results from meetings where executive leadership gives a “go-ahead nod” to proceed with the process. But, often this first approval is seen by the executive leadership as a low-risk way to explore options, understand potential benefits, and learn costs. It’s a great first step, but it’s not the type of buy-in you will need to ensure a successful CRM implementation, nor the type of buy-in you want. Even if you get the final purchase approval or an agreement to “cut the check,” you still may not have true executive buy-in.

The buy-in you are looking for is the type that comes from doing! Your executive leadership needs to have sweat equity in the process to really buy in and have the genuine authority to demonstrate approval to others in your organization. So, give your executive leadership specific tasks to accomplish through each phase of your CRM search, selection, implementation, and go-live. If your executive leadership seems unwilling to follow through on these tasks, then you can rest assured that you don’t yet have the type of buy-in you are looking for. 

Here are suggestions and tips for gaining executive buy-in through various CRM milestones.

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Topics: Profitability, Sales & Marketing, Goal and Incentive Plans, CRM