September 16, 2020

Pitfalls of an Ill-equipped Sales Team

Article

The Dilemma

Bank sales managers know that their team’s success is directly tied not only to their own performance reviews, but to the bank’s short term and long-term success as a whole. Whether or not they achieve their goals has direct implications on hiring, cutbacks, and layoffs. Viewed through this lens, it is hard to imagine a more stressful position to be in –particularly at the end of a month or quarter, let alone against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. Any good sales manager should want each member of their team to be armed to the teeth with every possible tool and bit of information necessary to close a deal.

Imagine, if you will, a scenario at your local bank branch.A bank rep has been speaking with an existing client, a local hardware store owner, about improving his front & back of house. This involves bringing in new operating systems, a new point of sale, and updating processing infrastructure. The bank is very keen to grow revenue through their merchant services offerings, and upselling to their existing client base should be a natural, easy process. Except it isn’t – it never is. Sadly for the bank repand her sales manager, she wasn’t able to speak confidently about their product offerings due to some blind spots. No additional sales were made.

Banks are historically bad at providing experiences for their clients that are up to par with their more technologically advanced fintech competitors. Burdened by asynchronous legacy systems, asymmetries of information across teams, and byzantine onboarding processes, it is no surprise that their market penetration is very low relative to their more adept contemporaries. The challenges that they face in delivering positive experiences become apparent to potential buyers early on, during the sales stage,and when it becomes clear that getting up and running will involve an endless stream of handoffs to third parties, buyers churn.

Working Toward a Solution

With complexity in the merchant services space on the increase (and not the other way around), it’s clear that sales managers andbank representatives need to become better acquainted with the product landscape – and fast. That means more in-depth product and integration knowledge (knowing what works together and what will not) and knowing what competing brands have to offer. It also means offering holistic knowledge to the customer in real time, displaying a level of expertise that will assure the customer, and not the uncertainty that can frighten them away.

When anyone in a revenue generating position cannot display a level of expertise that makes a customer want to purchase their products, money is left on the table. When entire teams are handicapped in this way, it makes it all the more difficult for a brand (in this case a bank) to prove itself – especially in the merchant services space. Gaining that expertise involves a level of interest and investment in digital transformation – to eliminate blind spots in the sales process. It’s the only way that banks will be able to stake their claim in the merchant services space. In partnering with banks on this journey, we provide solutions that increase revenue & consumers’ faith.