So far in our lifecycle journey series for financial services, we've discussed acquisition and onboarding strategies for banks, wealth managers and insurers. Next, let's delve into the ever-critical topic of cross selling.

The challenge for every FSI marketer is similar: You work hard (and invest heavily) to acquire and onboard each customer, yet most take advantage of a small percentage of the products and services you offer. Banking is a prime example. When a customer strongly agrees that their primary bank looks out for their financial well being, they consume 25% more products than customers who do not think their bank looks out for them. However, even when the customer is extremely satisfied with the relationship, they still only entrust slightly more than 25% of their household assets with the primary bank. Talk about opportunity!

And while many larger organizations have more than 100 products to market to customers, the American Bankers Association found that less than half of banks surveyed have a company-wide cross-selling strategy. There are two problems here:

  1. Technology platforms are available to facilitate impactful strategies, yet organizations continue to struggle. In many cases, they are mired in data quicksand due to legacy systems cobbled together during periods of growth and acquisition. Others must contend with internal policies that make it difficult to mine data across departments. The result: It's nearly impossible to identify opportunities and suggest products at key points in the relationship.
  1. Though many FSIs use predictive scoring algorithms to recommend 'next best' products, they are often disconnected from reality. Recommendations are seldom contextually consistent with the behaviors exhibited by customers. They do not correlate with moments that matter to customers, and rather than help to build the relationship, they often reinforce that FSIs are not truly interested in an individual's financial well being. The perception: You're just trying to sell me more product.

Data Drives Financial Services Success

The fractured nature of many financial services institutions requires a new approach. Easier said than done, right? To start, we must admit that cross selling in financial services is broken-and execute things much differently moving forward.

The answer is to once and for all leverage data and fully integrated CRM systems, and acknowledge the critical importance of myriad personal relationships across sales, service and marketing. Every interaction, regardless of whether it occurs in a brick and mortar branch, online, over the phone, through an app, on social...anywhere...presents opportunities to learn, and then apply the knowledge to expand relationships.

The Currency of Customer Trust

Customers-especially when it comes to their finances-want relationships anchored in trust. They will reward firms that demonstrate understanding of their wants and needs, and remain loyal to those that deliver the right content and knowledge at just the right moments in time.

From the customer's perspective, the keys to developing The Currency of Trust are:

Know Me: Demonstrate that you understand my complete relationship with your business.

Show Me: Use your knowledge and my actions to deliver 1-to-1, personalized financial guidance.

Grow Me: Earn my trust, and you'll earn more of my business.

Customers Live in the Moment

Understanding the customer journey, and orchestrating engagement throughout, is critical. Moments are defined by events in your customers' lives that when addressed properly, put you directly in the dialogue. They are the signals you listen for to deliver contextually relevant content at precisely the right moment.

There are three things you need to do in order to maintain an effective moments-based CRM selling strategy:

  1. Map the Journey: Identify moments that matter in a lifecycle and build a content matrix to serve them.
  2. Anticipate Needs: Integrate a predictive intelligence tool with the real-time flexibility to deliver contextual and dynamic "offers" from your CRM system as your clients show interest.
  3. Go Beyond Marketing: A Command Center that exposes key moments across any channel to sales and service is critical.

Without these elements in place-and a strong reserve of trust-the customers you spend so much effort and money to acquire and onboard will forever be skeptical. That's a fact every FSI can take to the bank.

More Digital Marketing Tips for Financial Services

Interested in learning more? See how digital marketing can provide 1-to-1 experiences throughout the financial services customer lifecycle. Sign up for Any Journey is Possible, and you'll receive a series of cross-channel communications powered by Marketing Cloud. Experience the possibilities first hand! You'll see emails, ads, mobile messages, recommendations, and more that a customer would see.

About Matt: As a Master Business Consultant within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Matt delivers transformational strategies focused on unlocking the moments of value that exist between customers and their journey with your Financial Institution's sales, service and marketing efforts. He has 23 years experience leading digital in consultancies, agencies and technology companies. He relishes spending time with his wife and two sons, traveling, writing and producing an art show. @mclement