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Why You Should Start Your Banking Career With Sales?


By NIIT Editorial

Published on 01/03/2020

6 minutes

“Sales” is the backbone of any business. Also referred to as Business Development, if individuals didn’t rise to the challenge of selling goods/services, a business wouldn’t even get up from the ground, let alone run. Those of us who work for a monthly paycheque, do so without realizing there is a designated department embroiled in selling products/services, the revenues of which translate into our salaries.

The ubiquity of this principle manifests in all industries and Banking is no exception.

In India, a Banking job is considered one of the safest options for a consistent source of income, and therefore directly linked to societal acceptance. No matter the dearth of vacancies, students graduating out of college logjam common written examinations. In addition to the aspect of job security, a bank job is equated to a white-collar job. In other words, people assume all that a bank employee does is operate from behind their desktop under the clinking sounds of keyboards. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sales Built into Banking Front Desk Jobs

In a country as elaborate as ours, the first aim of a bank is to establish the maximum number of touchpoints with their customers. The primary touchpoint is a retail branch where the opportunities for customer interaction are the highest. A customer stepping into the branch has the priority to resolve their needs such as updating passbook, depositing/withdrawing money etc.

There are separate counters for each operation, such as for general inquiries, KYC, cashiers etc. Representatives at each counter are tasked with engaging the customer in conversation. Such conversations could be of nature:

“Sir, I can see that your savings account balance is quite high and you have not withdrawn any money for the last 6 months. If this money is likely to sit idle for the next 2 years, why don’t you create a Fixed Deposit for the same and earn a 7% interest rate instead of just 4%.”

The dialogue may seem a passing thought, but that has initiated a Sales Funnel which would unfurl in the following manner:

  1. Prospecting – The customer account was quickly prospected by the bank employee and if possible their computer might have qualified the same for the Fixed Deposit. This is how they were notified to pitch the product best suited to customer needs.

 

  1. Need Assessment – Consumers could be unaware of such investment opportunities where their savings bring home better dividends. Considering the value addition, there is a likelihood people would keep a note of such money-making schemes, go home, perform research and come back with their doubts in hand the next time. As per a statistic, 80% of the buyers say NO four times before saying a YES.

 

  1. Sales Pitch – The customer may take a couple of rounds ebbing and flowing towards the bank to gain clearance on his/her reservations. All through such discussion, bank representatives keep sharing their facts and figures to encourage customers for the final purchase order. This could either happen in person or telephonically. Study into the subject suggests that 92% of all customer interaction happens over the phone.

 

  1. Closing the Lead – Once satisfied, some if not all of the consumers could buy into the fixed deposit scheme.

As far the client-facing bank representatives are concerned, they already have their targets fixed. Those with better communication abilities than others could be asked to increase total savings account tally of the bank. Others might be assigned with the task of sharing informational brochures or clarifying public enquiries about financial products like mutual funds, ETFs etc.

The fundamental is simple. Banks hire a dedicated SalesForce for Business-to-Business channelling. But when it comes to a customer relationship management process, it banks on the employees stationed in the retail branches.

Earn Maximum Incentives

Sales & Relationship Management is not the only pillar in the banking value chain. Banking is a business which needs its supports functions such as administration, logistics, operations, and finance but Sales & Relationship supersedes them all. Such profiles always have an incentive structure attached to their base salaries, as an appreciation to value the immeasurable energy and time that go into converting a lead successfully. This portion of their income falls under a variable basket. The best part is once an individual crack the code of bagging higher sales, this incentive portion of their salary gravitates under control and dances to their tune.

Banking professionals employed in back-office disciplines have fixed incomes with minute appraisals every year. Hence their life-style choices are restricted. On the other hand, a dedicated Sales professional, given the incentives and yearly bonuses they earn, realize their financial goals rather earlier in life. The formula is straight-forward, work hard and live life king size.

Be Your Boss

Reporting managers are assigned to supervise and see the progression of their subordinates while ensuring business requirements are tendered to. Client facing roles such as sales and relationship management schedule you to interact with business heads. It involves you to create an impressive exterior factoring in communication skills, negotiating power, and relationship building. Psychological traits such as reading body language, and impressing others by your product knowledge come in handy.    

Relentless Skill Development

The sheer possibility of meeting new people every day offloads a toll of skill-sets to catch up with. Each customer is unique and prefers to work on a specific set of tools and technologies. Add to that the evolving nature of tech-trends and you have your work cut out. Professionals have to keep themselves future-ready along with staying relevant to the present. If walk-in clients of a bank feel prevailing knowledge gaps between the parties, they would chalk-off the deal. By staying up to date with technology, you’ll gradually gain a competency-advantage that’ll soon translate into higher revenues and better incentives. Such pieces of the puzzle will fit perfectly together to complete the full-circle of both personal and professional development.   

Enter Corporate Grandeur

As indicated above, since banks cannot outspokenly employee a sales representative at their branch, they resort to passing responsibilities on to other client-facing roles. As people are promoted up the banking hierarchy, their day-to-day responsibilities attract more product development and market capitalization initiatives. Those who have had a taste of sales at the beginning of their career will successfully lift the burden of such KRAs. Their mind would be conditioned to meet tight deadlines and scaling challenging revenues while staying positive and motivated.    



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