On the Fine Line Between Cross-Selling and Advising

April 5, 2017

Author: Chris Martin

Empowering Your People with Data

In a recent Salesforce webinar, Frank Perkins, RVP, Enterprise Sales, Global Run Rate, with Salesforce impactfully stated: “All of your data is relatively useless unless you can get it to the people who sell in the context they need it.” In a lending institution, that means putting the customer’s data (from a CRM like Salesforce) and credit data (from varied data sources such as FICO, FactorTrust, Twitter, etc.) in front of the people who are serving customers on a daily basis. It means empowering them to help that customer find the right product when they need it.

Cross-selling is Knowing Your Customer

Now, we’re all aware of the fine line that exists between “cross-selling” and “advising” in a financial institution. In many instances, the Personal Banker or Loan Officer wears both hats and should act as an advisor to the customer while making them aware of products and services that could help them toward their financial goals. To get this clarification out of the way now, cross-selling cannot mean shoehorning a customer into a product that’s only right for the institution. Cross-selling is knowing your customer, their history, and their needs well enough to present products and services when they’re relevant. And, good systems should empower people to do just that.

Creating a Frictionless Customer Journey

For example, McKinsey and Company identified a major bank that created a frictionless, integrated customer journey. By doing so, they “unlocked over $300 million in additional margins” by tapping into “underutilized customer data” and delivering “targeted marketing messages and various points in the purchase-decision process.” Imagine that your financial institution could create its own frictionless sales process by integrating CRM data with unstructured and credit data so effortlessly that your personal bankers could present a pre-qualified mortgage offer to an account holder who recently listed their home on Zillow. Yeah, that’s customer service.

Automating the Financial Industry

With stories like McKinsey's popping up, it's no surprise that experts see automation as the single most impacting force in the financial industry over the next decade. To be sure, it doesn’t make sense for you or your customer if your company is cobbling together outdated systems to make credit offers, forcing customers to wait while their officer manually ambles back and forth between systems. Building an integrated, frictionless process of your own not only makes financial sense, but it's also required if you want to keep up with the future of banking.


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