Risk Watch with Alberta QUARCOOPOME: The changing role of the branch manager in a digital world (4)


“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombard

  • This is a continuation of key roles expected of the modern branch manager. Some of which are excerpts from my book. Read on…

    Managing the Sales Data: Combining the Old and New

    In managing sales data, we need to appreciate the manual as well as the computerized data management. Whatever system a bank maintains, as a branch manager, you need to make it a part of your daily monitoring, self or through the team leader of the sales persons. Managers should be aware of the global picture and direct or assist the team when necessary. Some managers make some fundamental mistakes:

    • They rely on their memory to keep track of important information. With the number of functions that they have to keep track of on any given day, they are bound to forget something crucial.
    • They write important information on scraps of paper, legal pads, or sticky notes and then hunt for a phone number or an email address.

    Such old habits waste time and might lead to the loss of prospects. Important information should be entered in your data management system on a regular basis. If it sits on your desk or in your car overnight, you might have a hard time finding it in the morning.

    For this reason, managers should have a more coherent data management system. Some managers maintain a dual system, which contains both a computer- and paper-based element. A good desk diary with sections for entering reminders based on dates, along with a section for contact information comes in handy anytime as a back-up.

    A computer-based data management system will usually make use of a dedicated sales data system which allows you to keep a strong database of information.

    If you are looking for information on customers who have bought certain products, are of a certain age, or have other specific needs it will all be easy to find. This way you can keep track of your prospects and contact them with any information that you think will be beneficial to them and perhaps encourage them to make a purchase.

    If you keep and manage your information on customers, it allows you to sell in a more streamlined manner. Customers appreciate being kept abreast of the latest developments, and as long as it is relevant to their needs, they will respond to your contact in a way which will keep your sales numbers high. It may seem like it takes an unnecessary amount of time to maintain records, but the amount of time it will save you when it comes to trying to recover information really makes it worthwhile.

    Technology has benefitted sales and reduced the analogue systems of managing sales data. The following are reminders of the useful features of computerized contact management systems:

    • They provide quick, easy access to information.
    • They offer search capabilities.
    • They help you manage your daily activities.
    • They interface with other computer programs.
    • They can be used to generate activity reports.


    The efficiency of a good computer data management system allows a manager and a salesperson to find the information they need with a few clicks of a mouse.

    It is easy to set reminders using such a program. The benefits of setting reminders are clear. When you arrive at work in the morning, all you need to do is sign into your

    computer to see the reminders you have set for the day. By following up on your reminders you will then be able to set your schedule for the day.

    Despite the manual system, the benefits of the computerized method are clear. It allows users to access information from any computer in the office (and usually from a personal computer), which is endlessly helpful for the salesperson on the move; and as well these days when monitoring is done virtually when working from home.

    Using a Prospect or Statistical Board

    The prospect or statistical board should never be abandoned despite the use of artificial intelligence. A combination of both can assist the manager or sales team leader monitor the sales team. A prospect /statistical board is a powerful tool that can help you track prospects and manage your time. It is basically a way of showing where each prospect is in the sales process at any given point in time. It allows the salesperson to see where more work is needed, where a sale is near to completion, and how many sales are currently on the agenda.

    By using a prospect or statistical board, it is easy to monitor at a glance where work is needed and how you can best utilize your time in the sales field. It helps detailing every salesperson’s performance. From a glance at the board, it is possible not only to read the current state of play but also to gain some sense of motivation from seeing the work done. It can encourage the salesperson to ensure that that work gets done within the stipulated benchmarks. It is a demonstration of how many opportunities there are to be taken advantage of while guidance and coaching is given to the salesperson or sales force, where there is a lack of movement.

    The prospects/statistics board will alert both the sales force and the management to what needs to be the area of focus for a given period. If sales are in the pipeline but yet to be completed, the prospects board will give a clue as to what the next step should be in order to advance things further. This encourages competition among the sales force, but still allows individuals to motivate themselves. Salespersons with some difficulty in advancing prospects, need encouragement and assistance. When you get one positive result you will find that others follow suit due to the boost in their confidence.


    Tips for Effectively Cross-Selling Bank Products

    • Acquiring new customers can cost eight to 10 times more than you would spend cross-selling products and services to existing customers. The more connected a customer is to your bank, the longer they are likely to stay with you.
    • Cross-sell and acceptance by customers build loyalty.
    • Bundling products strengthens your bank’s brand and increases retention levels. The more products a customer has with you, the longer and stronger their relationship is likely to be.
    • Focus on customer’s needs
    • Train and empower the frontline staff on best approaches to cross-selling strategies. They are closer to customers and have daily opportunities to ask customers about their needs, and then offer appropriate product or service solutions.
    • Use data, such as transaction behaviour, existing accounts, lifestyle factors and demographics, to segment customers into groups based on most-likely cross-sell opportunities.
    • Focus on value. Customers want value. That can mean financial benefits, convenience features or any other advantages the customer gains by doing business with you.
    • Make sure your marketing always answers the customer’s number one concern: “What’s in it for me?”


    Next week, we shall examine ways of boosting digital adoption of your products and services.

    After customers try your product for the first time, you need to ensure they continue using it.  The onboarding process should encourage customers to habitually use your product for at least two months. This will gradually make them a habit and create loyalty to the bank’s brand.

    I wish you good experiences on your digital sales journey.

    For more insights please book a copy of my new book, “THE MODERN BRANCH MANAGER’S COMPANION” which involves the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach in the practice of today’s branch management. It also shares invaluable insights on the mindset needed to navigate and make a difference in the changing dynamics of the banking industry. Call 0244333051 for your copy.

    To be continued


    Alberta Quarcoopome is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, and CEO of ALKAN Business Consult Ltd. She is the Author of Three books: “The 21st Century Bank Teller: A Strategic Partner” and “My Front Desk Experience: A Young Banker’s Story” and “The Modern Branch Manager’s Companion”. She uses her experience and practical case studies, training young bankers in operational risk management, sales, customer service, banking operations and fraud.


    Website www.alkanbiz.com

    Email:[email protected]alkanbiz.com  or [email protected]

    Tel: +233-0244333051/+233-0244611343

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