The quest to achieve a true sales culture, one in which member relationships are the focus, is a common one for many credit unions. Typically, the shift away from a traditional transaction environment doesn’t happen overnight. But as Clearview Federal Credit Union ( Moon Township, PA, $600 million, 70,000 members) has found, the right technology can help jump-start a sales culture and drive tangible results.
Room to Improve
Clearview was already in the process of developing a sales culture when a planned name change (from US Airways FCU) and charter change (to a community focus) made that initiative more pressing. To capitalize on the chance to expand into underserved markets, the credit union knew its sales efforts would have to improve in several ways.
“At the time, our cross-selling was more like blind selling,” says Wendy Kingsland, Manager of IS. “The promotions weren’t based on member needs.” Instead, staff took a “shotgun approach,” extending the same product offers to all members. Another limitation was the credit union’s manual tracking of sales and referrals, which took valuable time away from the job of selling.
Clearview believed the right technology would address both issues: enabling the credit union to target each member with the right products and simplify sales tracking. The credit union turned to its core processor, USERS Incorporated (Valley Forge, PA), implementing the company’s Cross-Selling Manager software in June of 2004. Cross-Selling Manager is a browser-based solution that automates one-to-one, targeted cross-selling across multiple delivery channels.
The Right Tool
The software is an important enabling tool in a comprehensive sales program that includes training, goal-setting, and tracking. Clearview’s cross-selling initiative enjoys a strong mandate from senior management, which designated a cross-departmental team of 15 employees to set parameters for cross-selling promotions on an ongoing basis. Each month, the group selects 10 products to feature and establishes the criteria for matching members with those products (e.g. age, checking account balance, credit score).
Using Clearview’s product priorities and member criteria as a guide, the software now facilitates automatic, consistent cross-selling across multiple channels. Through USERS’ browser-based teller and lending platforms, employees at Clearview’s branches and call center automatically receive “prompts” indicating which products to offer a specific member during a transaction. The software also supports cross-selling through Clearview’s Internet banking, used by 35,000 members. “When members log into home banking, they see banner ads promoting products ideally suited to their needs,” Kingsland says. If a member accepts or declines an offer for a product through one channel, the software suppresses the promotion for that member – ensuring that he or she won’t continue to receive the same offer.
To gain the most complete view of the member – which is critical for matching members with the right products – Clearview starts with data from its core processing system, then imports data from two MCIF systems. “The third-party data is especially helpful for promotions that involve a pre-approval,” Kingsland says, citing a semi-annual auto loan sale as a prime example.
“We pull a credit score, bankruptcy score and other data from the MCIF system and import it into Cross-Selling Manager,” she explains. “So our staff knows who pre-qualifies for the auto loan and how much they can borrow, before they extend an offer.”
With the software’s help, Clearview’s cross-selling efforts have become increasingly effective. A pre-approved auto loan sale yielded $17.5 million in new loans, exceeding its goal by $1.5 million.
In addition to targeting members better, Clearview is achieving its goal of simplifying sales tracking. The credit union now generates reports on the number of referrals and sales for each product for each employee. “Our supervisors will begin using this data as part of an employee’s annual performance review,” Kingsland says. “They’re also reviewing the numbers monthly, so our staff can track progress toward their sales goals.”
“We couldn’t have moved to a sales culture without a software tool like this,” Kingsland adds. “Cross-Selling Manager has helped to move our sales culture very far, very fast.”
For more information about USERS’ Cross-Selling Manager or other technology solutions for credit unions, visit www.users.com or call 1-800-523-7282.