Is Your Financial Institution Having a Sales and Marketing Love Story?
Don't Miss An Episode, Subscribe Now
During one of my favorite events of the year, INBOUND in Boston, I attended a session that inspired me to write a blog about how to better connect Sales and Marketing in your Financial Institution.
Melissa Miller, Marketing Team Operations Leader from HubSpot, presented on how to set up a Service Level Agreement to better connect your marketing leads with your sales/member service team. This tends to be a huge challenge we see many of our credit union and community bank clients facing.
Here are some great highlights from the presentation you might find useful:
Think of the relationship between Sales and Marketing as a marriage. It takes constant communication, compromise, and give and take.
What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a formal commitment between a service provider and the end user. An SLA defines exactly what the end user will receive.
In the case of marketing and sales, the SLA agreement focuses on the marketing department delivering a set number of leads for sales to pursue AND a set sales process that follows up with those leads to meet the institution's new account and lending goals.
When companies surveyed by HubSpot had a formal SLA in place, 82% said their marketing efforts were effective.
Why Would You Want an SLA at Your Credit Union or Bank?
There is often a natural tension between marketing and sales in lots of companies. This can come to the surface more when bottom-line revenue isn't meeting larger sales goals and objectives. Retail will blame marketing and marketing is forced to switch and shift on the fly!
A clearly defined and well-developed SLA can help facilitate constructive conversations between sales and marketing team members about what areas are underperforming if numbers for the bank or credit union are off for the month, quarter, or year.
We also find that some senior managers at community-based financial institutions can be reactive about marketing campaigns. For example, if deposits are down in August, the CFO or VP of Retail Banking may demand that the marketing department change focus immediately. This can potentially throw the entire department into a tailspin!
If you have a clear SLA in place, this will help better determine why numbers aren't meeting expectations. Then your marketing and sales teams will be able to adapt or change more successfully and focus where they will see the biggest positive impact.
How Would an SLA Work for a Credit Union or Bank?
For financial institutions coordinating between departments can be tricky. A realistic SLA must have clear goals and also communicate what is measured, how it's measured, and why a particular metric is the focus. This approach will in turn help staff have a starting point for positive collaboration.
It's also very important that the leaders of this cross-department collaboration meet regularly, and that they share expectations with all the players in the mix.
Your bank or credit union SLA should back out the assumed annual value of a new account, member, or product, and then make some data-driven calculations about how many leads your marketing department will need to drive to sales to close a lead. Then you can calculate how many total leads you will need to impact your revenue or member growth as desired.
The nice thing about an SLA between marketing and sales is if numbers aren't reaching your goals, but leads are coming in the door, you will know that sales need to adjust their follow-up strategy to better convert new members or sales. Conversely, if sales are down and marketing leads aren't coming in the door, you will know that perhaps a strategy shift in the marketing campaigns is in order.