Your bank needs to grow loans.
The same goes for your competitors.
But over the last few years, only a handful of banks have excelled at growing loans. In fact, over 75 percent of loan growth over that period is concentrated in the top 20 percent of peer banks (see Exhibit A).
It’s true: Roughly 80 percent of their good fortune is “inherited”—these banks just happen to be located in the richest markets. But their competitors are located in the same markets. The takeaway? Grit matters. A lot. In every single market. The good news is that local competitive playing fields are far more level than this winner-take-all chart implies. Advantages and disadvantages are not as solid a conventional thinking implies. So if your bank wants to break away from the pack, or come from far, far behind—it is more possible than you think. But you must think differently. Radically differently.
When it comes to loan-growth strategy, conventional thinking leads most bank executives to a few predictable frequently-asked questions or FAQs, such as:
Sure, these are reasonable questions. But pursuing these FAQs only intensifies competition for the same scarce, costly resources.
If you want to accelerate lending revenue growth and achieve breakthrough gains, try asking yourself some never-asked questions, or NAQs, such as:
At the typical bank, at least half—and more likely, 80 percent or more—of customers hold only a single product. It’s an embarrassment of riches: Your most profitable revenue stream, just waiting to be tapped.
Put another way: If the typical bank were to sell just one more product to just one out of every five customers, revenue would jump by 5 to 10 percent!
You might be surprised to discover that your bank already has all the data it needs to start cross-selling—today!
In fact, your bank couldn’t operate without this data: Things like account IDs, product codes, loan balances, transaction logs… It’s all there.
The problem, however, is that all of this valuable data is fragmented across a variety of disparate locations and formats. It needs a ton of work before it’s even close to something that the average salesperson could use. Who has time for that? AI-empowered RPA bots from The Lab connect the data from multiple sources to automatically build organized, campaign-ready cross-sell prospect lists.
Most banks direct their loan officers to “just do it”: Go forth and cross-sell!
Reps are left on their own, with no support for targeting, no time for prospecting—and no valuable results.
Effective cross-selling is a complex process requiring continuous end-to-end support. Roadblocks require senior management attention—and sometimes intervention.
For the typical community bank, this new cross-sell process seems radical. Roadblocks are instinctive, well-intentioned, and difficult to dislodge. But they pose the greatest threat to bank-wide cross-selling effectiveness in two organizational areas:
1) Conventional bank marketing
2) Existing sales operations
Let’s explore the shortfalls— and opportunities—of both:
The problem: Insufficient know how and scale for direct marketing campaigns.
The average bank’s marketing team (internal or external) isn’t built for largescale, mass-customized, coordinated direct-marketing campaigns, requiring extensive hands-on follow-up and management. Instead, these teams are accustomed to conventional, hands-off “broadcast model” marketing activities such as public relations.
Assess the capabilities and interests of your current internal marketing staff. If you have several resourceful, energetic individuals who are eager to learn, shift them over to assist with the new “hands-on model,” i.e., hyper-targeted, high-touch,
long-reach digital marketing campaigns.
This will also help address the second major roadblock, described below: sales operations capacity. And if your existing marketing staff are only interested in handling the “broadcast model,” leave them in place to continue with branding, PR, and traditional media outreach. Don’t let them impede (i.e., “manage”) your direct campaigns! This usually requires senior management’s consistent nudging and intervention.
We provide proven, industry-specific marketing campaign content templates and RPA bots to assist with campaign reporting.
• Industry-specific needs assessments
• Campaign briefs
• Lead contact lists
• Email templates
• Plus more!
The problem: Lack of sales operations capacity for prospecting and managing leads.
You hear it all the time: “I don’t have time for prospecting!” Your producers are already spread thin with admin and account-servicing tasks, leaving a fraction of their day (see Exhibit C) for prospecting. As absurdly contradictory as it sounds, it’s true: Sales reps are too busy to sell.
We deliver RPA bots to handle loan officers’ most-hated and time-consuming administrative chores, freeing up time for valuable prospecting activities. Consider just a few bot examples:
• Application data entry
• Document retrieval and indexing
• Borrower status communications
• New customer setup (core, CRM)
• Plus over 10 more!
We’ve established that there’s a massive cross-sell revenue opportunity within your existing customer base. And that two organizational roadblocks continually challenge cross-sell effectiveness: Knowhow and capacity.
Overcoming these challenges even once is difficult. Embedding repeatable, scalable cross-sell capabilities into the bank’s day-to-day operation is an even more daunting task—but it’s the only way to gain a sustainable advantage in today’s winner-take-all competitive environment.
The Lab deploys a combination of standardization and automation (robotic process automation or RPA, and artificial intelligence or AI) to develop ongoing and expandable cross-sell capabilities for banks of all sizes.
Each of these intelligent sales support bots can integrate with your existing technology stack: core platforms, CRMs, loan origination systems, and more. They are designed to handle the heavy lifting of cross-selling—list generation, prioritization, outreach, and monitoring—so your loan officers can focus on selling.
It’s true. The volume of cross-sell targets is so high that you’ll need a way to prioritize and focus on a manageable number of high-margin opportunities. And who has time to do that data analysis and cleanup? Certainly not your loan officers!
Robotic process automation (RPA) arrived roughly five years ago promising blinding fast, disruptively valuable business transformation. Today, despite board-level support, half of all internal RPA initiatives are stalled at 10 operational bots or less. Automation efforts at banks are struggling and failing to identify valuable automation opportunities. That’s because “discovery” is fiendishly difficult and painfully slow.
The solution is easy: Tap into The Lab’s inventory of over 300 RPA banking bots—along with thousands of other automations, benchmarks, best practices, and key performance indicators. We’ve been discovering, documenting, and standardizing bank operations since 1993—and we’ve been digitally automating them since 2017.
The Lab has arranged the most valuable digital automation workstreams for banking into modules we call “Big Rocks” because each one delivers competitively meaningful business value. There is no prescribed sequence. Work on one or tackle all at once. Want even more benefits? Use Big Rock 1, the Discovery and Standardization Module to tie everything together and optimize your bank as a single Knowledge Work Factory®.
You may hear statements like these:
“I think Salesforce will do that…”
“Once we get nCino deployed, I think it does the same thing…”.
“MortgageBot is capable of that…”
These perceptions are partially accurate. Virtually all of these latest cloud-based applications are packed with features that can help with the prep and follow-up for cross-selling activities. The Lab is familiar with each and keeps an inventory of how our clients can make the most of these features—as frugally as possible. However, using these features is never quite so easy, flexible, or economical as their sales reps claim (no surprise there!).
Not to worry. The Lab can help you take a best-of-breed approach to each feature and function. If it can be best performed in the application, then we recommend that. And if the task can be better performed by a bot or two, external to the app, then we give clients that option as well.
At The Lab, we’ve spent three decades refining every aspect of our transformation engagement model. We’ve made it easy for clients—from the C-Suite to the front line—to understand and manage the initiative:
• Minimal use of client time: One to two hours each week, maximum.
• Measurable benefits: Typical 12-month ROI is 3x to 5x.
• Pre-built templates and tools: Process maps, data models, bots, and more.
• U.S.-based, remote delivery: Nothing is ever outsourced or offshored.
Since 1993, The Lab has led the industry in eliminating risk for our clients. Whether your engagement involves a handful of bots or wall-to-wall transformation, we make it easy to do business with us:
• Fixed pricing and clearly defined scope
• Pre-project feasibility/value assessments at nominal cost
• Early-out checkpoints and options
• Money-back guarantees
• Milestone-based pricing
The best way to learn about The Lab’s approach to increasing cross-selling at your bank is to book your free, no-obligation 30-minute screen-sharing demo. You’ll see real RPA banking bots in action. And you’ll get all your questions answered by our friendly experts. Simply call (201) 526-1200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your demo today!