High Performing Branches – Installing a Sales Culture – Part 3

As expected, there are a number of elements necessary for a financial institution to have a fully integrated sales culture.  A financial institution with an entrenched sales culture knows that to create that culture at a high rate of speed you are looking at two years, at least.  Not only is the target constantly moving; the bar for achieving a fully integrated sales culture is always rising.

Many banks attempt to simply overlay new concepts over existing organizational structure.  The flaw in this is that it leaves existing thinking in place. In order to change a culture, you have to change thinking through role modeling, training and conveying expectations.  The decision to move towards a sales culture is the easy part.  Getting a strong majority on board and tirelessly executing the plan to deliver the results that a sales culture can provide is no doubt the hard part.  And, if getting there is hard, staying on top of a thriving sales culture is harder.

Get the Picture!

Executive management must have a true picture of where the institution is today and where it needs to be headed.  Establishing a clear picture of what a successful sales culture will look like is the foundation of success.  Everyone must get the picture.  Especially leadership in the branches, and, most definitely,  those leaders that the branch managers look to for direction.

Declare Victory Over Your Desired Outcome; Then Work Backward.

Community banks have the advantage of doing many things extremely well.  Know their customers in ways that bigger banks can only dream of; they genuinely serve the communities they serve and can traditionally respond quicker to the needs of the customer.

Yet when it comes to building relationships with customers methodically, cross-selling a broad product range, and developing a true sales culture throughout their organization, community banks frequently lag in comparison to larger banks.

Vision, Values, Mission

It is critically important to have a clear vision of where the company wants to go and when it plans to get there. The CEO will need to sell and tell that vision, then require all responsible parties to contribute to developing a plan of attack to achieve the vision.  Another key to a sales culture is developing values that describe how everyone on the team will need to conduct themselves along the way.

Lastly, a plan is written with measurable goals that are realistic, obtainable and are supported by clear strategies that ensure action is taken and monitored.

That common bond that is formed from having a clear understanding throughout the company of what the vision and values are establishes the mission.   That mission is what creates a synergy and excitement that is evident in terms of camaraderie and results.

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