Four Reasons Your Credit Union or Bank Sales Initiatives May Flounder

Four Reasons Your Credit Union or Bank Sales Initiatives May Flounder High Definition Banking®
Whether It’s Sales Training, Customer Relationship Management or Increasing Staff Recognition, Any Initiative Can Derail

If you’re looking to implement important sales training, customer relationship management or other initiatives for 2020 or have already started, odds are you will run into a roadblock or two. Worst case is the whole initiative could just die on the vine. In this post are the top four reasons I’ve seen these types of initiatives flounder, before or after starting.

Perhaps you want your staff to make more follow up calls, embrace your CRM, enhance the member or customer experience, increase referrals or update customer or member profiles. However, you may be frustrated with their low sense of urgency or lack of enthusiasm. At a more senior level, you may want to move forward with an organizational culture change, new products or staff realignment and it’s slow going or going nowhere.

The Top 4 Implementation Pitfalls

From my experience speaking at many bank and credit union conferences, working with clients and conversing with execs, I often see these top four implementation pitfalls.

  1. The project is endlessly in committee – Of course, you want to gather input from various people. However, when it comes down to actually making a decision you’re never going to get everyone to agree. Top leaders must weigh the pro’s and con’s and if it makes sense, take a risk, make a decision and move forward.

  2. Resistance to change For bank & credit union sales initiatives to succeed, ensure accountability from the top down. High Definition Banking®You may have tried to implement a home-grown sales training program with other components without success. Perhaps your in-house staff’s expertise to pull it off was overestimated. Or maybe your new onboarding process fizzled out and follow up calls are not tracked. In any case, you know you’re in trouble when your people believe, “this is just another program, it will pass like the others.” The key here is to ensure there is accountability, buy-in, positive communication and recognition from the very top all the way down the organization.

  3. Unwillingness to Change the Players – Many strategic initiatives are implemented to improve staff performance. Some benevolent leaders can’t fathom the thought that new processes and systems may mean some low performers may have to go. Their goal is to keep everyone which may not be realistic. At the point of a decision on a process or choosing a vendor, the benevolent leader often goes into a stall mode. It’s important to coach, provide training and help your folks succeed. However, accept the fact you may have to reassign, change or remove some players that are holding the team back.

  4. Lip service or passive-aggressive resisters – Your new tracking system, marketing campaign, or performance management initiative is supported every step of the way until it has to actually be implemented. Some who were never excited by it from the get-go and whose support is needed suddenly are no-shows. Or you may have people who feel threatened by the changes that are coming. They constantly bring up reasons why the process just won’t work. Or worse, they nod their heads in agreement, say the rights things and then subtly undermine the process.  Chances are you have some key leaders or employees that need some special attention and coaching to earn their buy-in and clarify expectations going forward.

How We Can Help

You may have seen the Farmers Insurance company ads on TV where they say, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two”. We kind of feel that way. If you are looking to implement an initiative that will impact your revenues like the ones I mentioned in my opening paragraph, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to take some time to understand what you want to accomplish and provide guidance on how to avoid the pitfalls and make it a roaring success. Just click on Contact Barb or call me at (858) 674-5500 ext. 101. Learn about us at

Thanks for reading this post and sharing your observations!



“Your focus on capturing substantive member information, entering it into our CRM profile and then applying it on future calls has reinforced behavior change and ensures an ROI on our investment in CRM and your process. In addition, your emphasis on building trust first and avoiding product pitching is resulting in more new business, referrals and increased loyalty. In fact, one member said, “Nobody has ever helped me like this.”

—  WESTconsin Credit Union

“One outreach call by a relationship banker alone generated $1.1 million in total customer relations including six relationships encompassing business and personal loans, deposits, trust accounts and more. Our bankers are maintaining and updating profiles for their assigned customers in our CRM and reviewing them when pre-call planning.”

— Town and Country Bank

“This was truly an amazing program, so dynamic and yet at times so simple. I am very excited to watch our staff’s growth with this way of thinking. We are the customer’s financial advocate! When we build that trust and relationship with them, sales will follow!”

—  Program Trainee and Branch Manager


P.S. I’ll be traveling to your area in the coming months.  If you’re planning an employee meeting, kickoff event, leadership retreat, etc., click on six factors Barb delivers on and then watch my demo video below to see how I’ll engage and inspire your employees to achieve your 2020 strategic objectives.  


Let’s plan a tailored and memorable presentation! For an exploratory call, click Contact Barb, email or call me at 858-674-5500 x101

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