The EU banking industry has a regulatory need for all new customers to have an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) check before providing a bank account. Not the most exciting way to start a blog, I know, but hang in there! Originally this check required two forms of ID to be brought to a branch in person. A process that was designed to prevent fraud & money laundering was time consuming, required staff to be extra vigilant and, in the modern age, outdated.
If only someone could create a way to make client onboarding more streamlined & simplified, focused on the customer and allowed staff to focus not on admin but enriching the customer’s experience during this crucial point of relationship building
Thanks to innovation from companies across the Banking industry and the explosion of FinTech entrepreneurs, this check has become more and more automated which has subsequently created greater security, cut down on the “Human Factor” and allowed customer facing staff to focus on delivering exceptional service to a New Customer. Technology is implemented to offset a regulatory requirement that impacts all new customers and allows its staff to focus on what is most important; enriching the new client during the onboarding experience. This AML process is called “Know Your Customer” or KYC.
Technology can enrich any part of a sales cycle and when correctly implemented, can provide your team with the opportunity to focus on what is important, the client. In short, living in the digital age affords us a unique opportunity to gain useful insights – you can now Know Your Customer before you Know Your Customer.
Managing Client Relationships in The Digital Age
Today, it has never been easier to build a profile for a potential client. Exciting advances in technology have immensely enriched all parts of the sales cycle; from targeting, meeting, through to follow-up and conversion.
Fortune used to favour the brave in Sales. Teams would need to ask multiple open-ended questions to find the right target within an organisation before they could even present a case as to why they should be a client. Now, we know exactly why a potential client is relevant, we know exactly who within that organisation will be our key target and, from this, we can build a tailored, personal message. It is not unrealistic to expect higher conversions in the modern day, but you need to be willing to sacrifice the “old school” numbers game of cold calling for digital savvy researchers. If you Know Your Customer before you Know Your Customer, you can develop a strong business case before your even lift the phone, attend that trade show or sit down 1-2-1.
However, technology should not replace the Sales Process. On the contrary, it should enhance it and it should focus on improving customer experience. Anyone that has read the classic, but still incredibly relevant, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” will know that personal relationships play a big part in human behaviour and decision making. Your sales team should always be looking to create a relationship and prove that themselves as an asset to your potential customer.
Being personable is great, but through social media platforms such as LinkedIn we now have tools at our disposal that Dale Carnegie could only dream of! You can find out a potential customer’s professional background from the click of a button – it has never been easier to find common ground with a complete stranger. I still find it amazing that before meeting with a new contact that LinkedIn research is ignored. Connections are lasting, and finding common ground is imperative to successful business development. Research your target because the person you are speaking with may share an interest, may have attended your college, commented on a relevant blog or you may have a mutual connection that can make that first interaction much smoother.
After you have created the connection and started to build the relationship record the conversation, this used to be in a little black notebook but is more likely now to be floating in the cloud created by a CRM provider, such as SalesForce. Follow up (a thank you note, summarise the conversation, provide some more information and set out your next talk time request) and start to earn trust.
There may not be an immediate opportunity but the “New Age” tools at your disposal, mean that when the time does arrive, you have a head start. Sign up for (& always create time in a week to read) online news alerts, company news & other relevant sources because when something relevant happens it comes straight to your inbox and you can immediately reconnect with your contact and spark that conversation. Now that you Know Your Customer you are more likely to gain success. Instead of the age-old struggles in getting over the first hurdle of the sales cycle, digital research allows us to be one step ahead.