Bankers say the most challenging parts of business development today are creating time to prospect, finding the contact information for the right decision-makers, and having new business meetings and more sales conversations. As a bank leader, you can help your team overcome these obstacles to finish this year strong and set yourself up to achieve more in 2023. In this webinar, Caryn Kopp, Chief Door Opener® at Kopp Consulting, and Martin Wise, Founder and CEO of RelPro, discuss the foundational components of growing bankers’ new business sales pipeline. Here are some of the key takeaways from their conversation.
Challenges Creating Fluidity in the Banking Market
Companies need their banks now more than ever to get capital to fund growth, restructure, or purchase new equipment. Wise shared some common trends about the opportunities and challenges creating fluidity in the market:
- Higher customer expectations
- Increased competition and willingness to jump banks
- Uncertainty caused by frequent mergers
- Continual changes in banker/company one-to-one relationships due to frequent employee turnover
Although market fluidity can create more opportunities for small to midmarket banks to forge new relationships, that alone won’t automatically translate into a robust sales pipeline. Bankers still need to get in front of new potential customers and pique their interest. The first step to business development, finding companies and people to contact with valid contact data, is easier now than ever, especially with tools like RelPro. The trick is getting a meeting with that information!
Crossing the Chasm to New Business
Most bankers say they can usually close new business when they get in the door, but they just can’t get in enough of the right doors and have that first meeting. The chasm is driven by:
- Not having a good target account list – this isn’t just an issue of bad data but includes identifying non-obvious criteria which would make a prospect more ideal for your bank.
- No time to develop new business – bankers need to schedule time and then protect it so nothing gets in their way. Bank leaders need to respect this time so progress can be made.
- Don’t have the right skills to open doors – not every banker is great at opening doors. It takes a special kind of mindset and determination to do this well.
Caryn says that if you’re not getting in as many meetings as you need, there is a problem with one or more of the 5 Key Planks of Door-Opening Success.
- Right target
- Right message
- Right answers to objections
- Right door opener talent
- Right execution
If all of those planks work well, doors open, and the pipeline grows.
Build Look-Alike Lists for Your Best Vertical (Niche)
Bank executives expect potential new business partners or vendors to be trusted advisors and do their homework before engaging in a conversation. Wise recommends bankers build their pipelines by identifying look-alike companies similar to their best clients because:
- The edge is clear (i.e., service, technology, or competitor advantage
- The solution’s value to their goals and objectives is well understood.
- The talking points are defined.
Creating a niche can simplify 1) finding qualified prospects to call and 2) identifying the right messaging to pique their interest and get a meeting. Find your niche, bottle up the talk track, and repeat!
Protect the Top of Your Funnel
Finding prospects and looking up contact information is very different from creating strategic messaging for contacting prospects and doing outreach to ask for a meeting. Caryn suggests separating the roles to avoid breaking the flow of messaging, calls, and emails.
Be honest about the desire and time you have each week to open up new relationships with people you don’t know. If your time is better spent developing relationships and closing sales, create a role dedicated explicitly to door-opening. If you aren’t calling on your target list, your competitors likely are. Avoid giving your competitors carte blanche access to your target list, and make a plan to protect the top of your sales funnel.
There are many low-level outsourced appointment-setting companies out there, but if you need to meet with the C-suite, senior-level door-openers comfortable engaging with business leaders will have much greater success.
To get expert advice on taking your bank business development plan to the next level, here are two next steps!
1. Learn more about opening more new prospect doors:
>> Book a Consultation with Kopp Consulting Now
2. Learn more about creating a stronger target account list:
>> Schedule a Demo with RelPro Today