Four Steps to Ensure Your Staff Uses Your CRM to Build Relationships

It's all about relationships

Banks and Credit Unions Are Focusing More on Member and Customer Relationship Cultures

Our recent evaluation of new CRM software for our company reminded us of past bank and credit union clients that fretted their staff was not using their CRM and that it may become a lousy investment. That prompted us to share some insights on steps you can take to ensure your CRM is embraced by your staff and they use it as a member or customer relationship building tool that generates revenue and ROI. Do any of these scenarios apply to you?

  • You’re trying to move from transaction-based selling to generating more business through member or customer relationship building
  • You feel your staff is not using your CRM effectively or not at all
  • You still have doubts about the ROI you are getting on your CRM

Your bank or credit union likely has a list of reasons why it invested in CRM (or would like to). You may want to track sales, improve productivity and close more day-to-day transactional business. These are solid reasons but not enough to get the highest ROI. Your biggest bang for the buck comes when you use CRM to build relationships that keep generating repeat business over a lifetime. This is referred to as relationship selling. To start to determine if your organization embraces a relationship selling culture versus a transactional selling culture, ask yourself:

  • Is maintaining a customer profile and building relationships prominent in job descriptions and performance evaluations?
  • Does your staff truly know how to engage customers or members? Build trust and uncover their financial anxieties, hopes and dreams?
  • Are they entering key information and life events in the CRM profile, reviewing it before following up and embracing their role as a trusted financial partner?
  • Are they provided with training on how to build relationships?

How to Ensure Your Staff is Using CRM to Build Member or Customer Relationships

The biggest challenge to implementing a CRM system is not the technology but getting your employees to use it effectively. It’s changing human behavior, plain and simple. Companies that fail with CRM, in most cases, did not adequately consider “The People Factor”. After all, technology doesn’t build member or customer relationships – your people do!

So how do you get your team to accept the changes and use the CRM software for both service events and generating revenue? How do you protect your investment in your CRM system? How do you overcome these challenges? You must implement a process in your bank or credit union that includes the following:

  1. Daily Activities – Incorporate the use of your CRM software into your staff’s daily routine. This includes recording key information in profiles with customers’ or members’ future goals, challenges, financial priorities, life events, children, how they do their banking, current debt obligations and much more. This information is captured over months and years by engaging the member and is continually updated. Take a look at your current profile format to determine if it truly gives you a picture of your customer or member or is just a list of products offered or sold.
  2. Training – Provide member or customer relationship management training in how to consult, advise, engage and build trusting relationships for the long-term. This builds staff confidence and pride and is the next step to advance beyond the transactional product selling approach which often repels people.
  3. Coaching and Development – Ensure your managers sit down with your staff, jointly pre-call plan using a CRM profile and coach their team on anticipating and preparing for a follow-up call.
  4. Accountability – Collect a sampling of customer/member profiles each month to view the quality of the notes captured. Recognize those that uncovered specific goals and offered a successful solution and plan of action.  Also, note what information is missing and review with staff. Staff should always ask, “What don’t I know about this person?”

How To Get Relationship Selling Going in Your Organization

Marrying “the tech side” of CRM software with “The People Side” of relationship building results in customers or members who view you as a trusted financial partner, not “just another errand”™. It also ensures a higher ROI on your investment in CRM software.  Best of all, while many employees don’t enjoy selling, they do enthusiastically enjoy and adopt this relationship-building approach in which financial needs naturally surface. That’s why it’s called “relationship selling”. If you want to get organizationally ready for CRM/MRM or advance your current process in 2019, we can assist you with a structured relationship-building training and consulting process. See client comments below and this page to learn the differences between them and conventional sales cultures.

Rate Your Relationship Selling Culture – How well is your organization doing on building customer or member relationships? Evaluate your organization on The People Factor with these 12 questions.

Download our white paper, The Banking Relationship Management Experience – A Strategy for Becoming a Trusted Financial Partner and Increasing Revenue and Profitability.

Thanks for reading this post and share 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 also watch my demo video to see how I’ll engage and inspire your employees to achieve your 2019 strategic objectives.   

July 2019

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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Posted in Banking Relationship Management, CRM Software, Customer Relationship Management, Member Relationship Management, Relationship Building Tagged with: , , , ,

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