MADISON, Wis. (8/9/13)--A growing number of credit unions are integrating a sales culture where members achieve their financial goals in lockstep with the credit union philosophy, according to a new white paper from the CUNA Operations Sales and Services Councils.
"Recipes for a Sales Culture: How Credit Unions Blend Sales and Service" presents a variety of examples of how credit unions structure their frontline sales and service operations, implement incentive pay and other rewards and recognition programs, and identify sales goals and metrics.
The paper draws three conclusions for credit unions that seek to employ a sales-as-service culture:
Credit unions must maintain their commitment to extraordinary service as they develop their sales cultures. "You won't have sales if you don't have good service--or the volume will be short-lived," said Nicol Morris, chief operating officer at Charlotte (N.C.) Metro CU.
Members' needs must drive sales. "Sales and service are about defining the type of interactions you're going to have with your members and what type of outcomes you're looking for--managing the relationship versus approaching member interactions as an order taker," said Carla Schrinner, implementation manager and senior master trainer of CUNA Creating Member Loyalty. "It's about understanding what members need--and a need is not a product. Members don't come in for a loan. They come to you because they need to borrow money to buy something. What is that something? How important is that something to them? And how can the credit union help them meet that need?"
An effective sales culture requires all hands on deck--at all levels of the organization and from all departments. To develop a sales culture that is consistent with the "people helping people" mantra, credit unions need to explore all aspects of their organization and nurture their ability to support sales from the back office to the frontlines before launching into a sales culture, the paper said.
To download the white paper, use the link.