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Banking CRM Adoption Plan for Senior Management

Karl Keller

August 9, 2023

The key to bank adoption of CRM is senior management engagement in the usage of the CRM to manage customer relationships, pipelines, and sales/service activity. 

Which senior managers should use the CRM? Top performing Banks and Credit Unions use the CRM at all levels of management.  Starting at the top with the President/CEO, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Lending Officer, and Chief Retail Banking Officer, when branch managers and other associates realize that their management team is using the CRM to monitor activity and relationships, they in-turn utilize the system. The CRM contains key information to help every senior manager. It also contains reports to help senior managers assess performance and help coach associates to success.

Why should senior management use the CRM? First, based on bank management feedback, the CRM is easier to use to research information on customers and prospects than going onto the core banking system. The information is complete with bank account balances and services and is combined with specific information about past customer interactions including meeting notes, call activity and issue resolutions. Think of it as a one stop shop. Quickly connect, look-up a customer and get answers to your questions about customers, pipelines and service activity.

When should senior management use the CRM? Senior management should use the CRM daily. The CRM contains valuable customer information that is only housed in the CRM. It also includes valuable reports providing insight into sales/service activities as well as profitability indicators that are key to the growing the organization.

What should the management team be monitoring in the CRM?

Sales Pipeline

  • What deals are currently in the pipeline?  How are the deals progressing and are they moving ahead as planned? What deals are going to close in the next 30-60-90 days, so we know what funding is required?  Is our pipeline workflow progressing quickly and efficiently or are our commercial deals getting held up due to missing documentation, or other reasons that slow down production.

  • Pipeline management is extremely important. Most institutions use spreadsheets that get locked up when a single user forgets to close it and only adds new deals to the pipeline after an application is taken/confirmed.  This is short sighted and does not reflect the true sales activity within the organization.  Modern CRMs have the ability to track sales pipeline activity from the point of initial contact until the money goes out the door.  This information allows the management team to have insight into sales trends and builds confident when reporting to board of directors and other external stakeholders/investors.

Sales Activity

  • Banking trends have proven that without meeting and calling our prospects and customers, new sales growth will not magically appear. The management team meets regularly with sales associates to coach associates to success. Do managers have insight to see how many meetings and phone calls each sales associate setup this month? What new insight was learned about your competition? How many meetings and phone calls are being made to generate new business vs servicing existing customers?

  • Review sales activity at the weekly sales meetings. Use the meeting notes to coach and ask questions about each deal and identify roadblocks that may cause slowdowns to closure. Don’t accept excuses from sales associates that they did not have time to update their pipelines or document meetings. The only way to keep this from happening is to review this in weekly/bi-weekly sales meetings and hold associates accountable to their job responsibilities.


Customer Retention Activity

  • What is the strategy to retain our best customers? Before answering that question, which customers are the most profitable? The CRM can provide the answer by specifically identifying top customers based on customer profitability.  In most institutions, 20% of the customer base drive 80% of the revenue. The loss of just one of valuable customer can cause loss of organizational profitability.

  • If not done already, assign relationship managers to your most profitable, top segment customers. 

  • Setup contact frequencies for your top 3 segments. For example, your Gold customers should have a personalized touch every 3 months, your Silver customers should have a personalized touch every 6 months and your Bronze customers a touch once a year.

  • Run reports to confirm that your relationship managers are meeting your expectations with customer retention activity. Are they hitting their contract frequency targets or not?  You now have the empirical data to hold associates accountable for their job performance.


Introducing a new tool into your banking environment requires proper training, on-going support, and management oversight. Banking CRM software is no exception. With a CRM, financial institutions can accelerate growth and reduce expenses by delivering on their customer service pledge.

Read the entire series:

1/5 - Senior Management (this article)

2/5 - Retail Adoption

3/5 - Commercial Adoption

4/5 - Servicing Adoption

5/5 - Operations Adoption

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