Streamlining the activities of a complex organization serving important clients
“Our clients are complex organizations;in order to exploit their full value, and to offer support through every challenge faced by their business, we appoint a dedicated, multi-faceted team for each client, combining the highest level of professionalism with international know-how: bankers from Banca IMI for products and services in structured finance, investment banking, and capital markets, and relationship managers with expertise in diverse industrial sectors to manage the relationship. These experts are tasked with activating any and every Group resource that could be of use to the client. Streamlining information management and promoting collaboration, coupled with the corresponding knowledge in each field, are therefore essential.” Flavio Molino, Senior Manager of the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo, thus summarized the challenges that the organization was called on to address.
The Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo is the organization through which the leading banking group in Italy offers services to large financial institutions and companies, with a turnover in excess of 350 million Euros. In total, they manage around 15,000 clients.
The Division employs 2,800 professionals, with 44 business structures covering all of Italy, and a specialized international network for corporate clients, with branches in 29 countries. The relationship manager is the key person in this exclusive service model; a sole representative who steers the client through every stage of their journey, analyzing development plans and putting in place all the necessary resources within the scope of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group.
In order to achieve the best outcomes, the complex matrix model used by the Division must be supported by a platform that streamlines every aspect: from the centralization of information, to interactions with clients; from cross-organizational collaboration, to integration between processes. These are the results achieved by the Division thanks to Sales Cloud, as confirmed by Molino: “By using Salesforce, we have been able to streamline our business in line with our strategic objectives for growth outlined in our Group business plan for 2014-2017, particularly in terms of cross-selling and international markets.”
The Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo introduced Sales Cloud in 2008. Prior to that, client relationships were managed using traditional, automated office tools. The introduction of Sales Cloud turned out to be a lucky guess, according to Molino: “It was, at that time, a pioneering initiative. We understood the potential of the Salesforce platform and the cloud solution, even though there was no track record with users that had similar requirements to ours. The IT Services Department of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, open-minded when it came to technological innovation, and discerning when it came to investments, recognized the potential of our initiative and decided to support it.”
A bespoke solution
“The first step,” continues Molino, “was to personalize Sales Cloud, so as to adapt the platform to our particular business model. This stage was actually quite straightforward, and we managed to implement the solution very quickly, in spite of the many constraints imposed by our organization: regulations within the banking sector;rigid and complex internal regulations; the division of information across various departments and legal entities of the bank; data protection measures; and integration with pre-existing IT systems that had been stratified over the years due to mergers between different banking institutions.”
Since 2008, the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo has continued to extend the scope of Sales Cloud, and today it is one of the organizations, within the banking sector, that has made best use of the tool’s full functionality. This development was also intended to publicize and disseminate the know-how and expertise needed for working in a new way throughout the Division.
“At the start,” explains Molino, “we used Sales Cloud purely to track interactions with our clients, but then we made use of the full potential of the Customer Relationship Management tool, in order to plan our business strategies and track the entire supply chain in real time: from the first sign of a business opportunity, to meetings with clients, through to the conclusion of the report confirming pricing and credit processes.
Salesforce quickly became the driving force behind the integration of all our business processes, and today it allows us, among other things, to implement functions of data discovery and advanced analyses, and to fulfill risk assessment models.”
Today, the Salesforce platform collates daily input from over three hundred information streams within the bank, encompassing a wide variety of data (databases, profitability, credits, risks, current accounts), as well as the balances of our clients, company ratings, etc.
“Sales Cloud has become the unified platform through which our business structures find all the information they need; it allows us, among other things, to verify their performance in real time, to increase operational efficiency for our clients by carrying out ad-hoc analyses and dashboards. It is, therefore, the digital transformation tool for our division. Soon, every one of our managers will have a personalized digital planner within our platform, for proactive support of their daily operations,” explains Molino.
This growth has been made possible by the features within the Salesforce solution. “The configuration of the platform is easy and fast,” Molino points out, “and this has enabled us to entrust the task to a small project team who have worked closely with the business. Minimizing time to market is essential for a commercial organization such as ours, operating in a fiercely competitive environment. The cloud solution has enabled us to deal with investments incrementally, calmly, and with reduced risk.”
“Throughout this process,” he adds, “we have come to realize that all of our problems had already been addressed and resolved by Salesforce, because the solution incorporates all the best practice from established CRM software used by the largest companies around the world. This has made our lives much easier.”
Today, Sales Cloud is used by 1400 people within the Division, mainly relationship managers and product specialists, as well as a number of other staff (with functions such as marketing, monitoring, and coordination, etc.).
Sales Cloud is the infrastructure that now underpins all the activities of the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo. “We have had very positive feedback from our relationship managers following the implementation of the tool, and we now see that all of our business structures communicate with each other through Sales Cloud,” stresses Molino. “The tool also allows us to share knowledge in the scope of a changing management process, in line with our strategic objectives for data analysis, risk assessment, and digitalization.”
In light of these results, the Division’s management has proposed further development of the Salesforce solutions.
“Salesforce is helping us fulfill our commitment to simplification, integration, and flexibility. We plan to extend the use of Sales Cloud to mobile devices, to enable our relationship managers to use the tool even when out visiting clients,” confirms Molino. “We also want to further exploit Sales Cloud for data discovery and advanced analyses. Lastly, we will examine the use of the Salesforce tool in client interactions, to enable them to perform operations on our site autonomously.”
The collaboration between Salesforce and the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo, which began in 2008, promises to go from strength to strength. “After all this time, Salesforce continues to pleasantly surprise me. It is a visionary company that succeeds in anticipating the needs of their clients, using technology to enhance people’s expertise and knowledge,” concludes Molino.