How far can you go to increase sales? 15 August 2014

Pedro Álvares Ribeiro and André Campos from Milleniumbcp outline a new model which has allowed the bank to significantly increase sales in the retail network.

Millenniumbcp is the biggest privately-owned bank in Portugal, with more than two million customers and a retail banking network of around 700 branches. Each one of these branches is a point of contact with our customers - an embassy of our brand. Focusing more on the customer, aligning behaviours and achieving the best results from everyone are key goals. In order to achieve these objectives in the mass market, we are moving from a model where each associate in the branch has his/her own function, to a model where everyone shares all responsibilities - including the branch manager. Everyone is focused on the customer Whilst with the previous model the majority of our customers used to go to the teller position and make their deposits and withdrawals, now all team members are ready to greet customers. Before, customers would see one or two queues when they entered the branch and would wait for their turn standing up. Today, they are greeted by associates who invite them to sit down in a more comfortable and private environment. Now all team members are fully focused on serving the customers during opening hours. Everyone sells In this new business model we have created, everyone sells and everyone participates in all other key activities in the branch, such as teller functions. Therefore, each associate is prepared to ensure an end-to-end customer journey from service to sale. In today’s world, the most effective leaders lead by example and know how to do the things they want their team members to do. They know how to sell and can coach their team on selling more and better. Leaders also ensure all other activities, including administrative ones, together with their team members and are, therefore, well prepared to lead by example. Leading by example In order to create the maximum value from this business model, we need leaders who lead by example, who are often in the front line to enhance the team’s good results. Moreover, these leaders support their team continuously, they foster best practices and they are always focused on key areas for improvement of each associate, in order to ensure their ongoing development. Leading by example is the key to increase performance and to foster the development of each team member. A leader who ensures a high performance level has all the credibility to demand similar results from his team members. Results: The measure of success The new business model described above was fully implemented between October 2012 and June 2013. The implementation process took part in different phases, in order to guarantee maximum quality and efficiency in the process. For each team, we recorded the results before and after the implementation, not only per team, but also per associate. This new model brought with it highly increased levels of daily sales per associate. The amount of sales increased by 126% and the number of high value sales increased by 271%. Moreover, we have also compared the evolution of daily sales in teams with higher performing branch managers (> 3 sales per day) with other teams’ results. The results show how much the performance of a leader can impact a team. Teams with higher performing managers (30% of the total number of teams) increased their daily sales by over 60% more than teams led by managers with lower performances. Looking at it from another perspective, it should be noted that the delta between both groups increased significantly, even though with the previous models both groups presented similar results. Conclusion Focusing all team members on the customer is a radical change to the positioning of the bank; to manage this new process it’s necessary to have a system that allows us to measure online the sales of each associate, and this becomes a KPI for the whole mass market network. The increase in total sales with this new model was of 126%, from 1.40 sales per associate to 3.16 sales per associate. In terms of impact on revenue, with this new model, the high value sales increased from 0.28 sales per associate to 1.04 sales per associate, an increase of 271%. The Customer Satisfaction Index in Mass Market has evolved from 74.5 to 80 with this new model. Analysing branches with higher performing branch managers (more than three sales per day), we concluded that the increase in total sales with this new model was of 168%, from 1.49 sales per associate to 4 sales per associate. With the previous model, both groups presented similar results, however, with the new model, the delta between both groups is 10 times higher; the leaders’ performance clearly impacts on their teams’ results and the new model enhanced this. The branch manager is one of the most important forgotten secrets of a bank and banks don’t develop systematic processes for leveraging this strategic dimension - a truly fundamental driver for increasing performance continuously in a retail network. Pedro Álvares Ribeiro is director general at Millenniumbcp. André Campos is a business consultant.



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