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Jane Smith used to enjoy stopping in at her local bank branch. She knew some of the associates by name, and they knew her, too. In recent years, however, Jane has been dismayed to see that personal touch removed. She now must make an appointment at her branch to ask questions or get a replacement debit card, and she is often told to use the kiosk instead of a teller for some transactions. Worse, Jane constantly receives offers and deals that are irrelevant to her. Although she has a twenty-year relationship with her bank, she is considering moving her account to a different bank or credit union.

Jane isn’t alone. Only 24% of consumers believe that their bank understands their current goals and just 8% of millennials trust financial institutions to be a partner in their financial objectives.

How did this happen and what’s the remedy? Over the last several years, the pressures financial institutions face to be productive and scale led to the use of impersonal marketing tactics such as telesales, role specialization, and self-service tools. Those practices have negatively impacted financial institutions’ level of consumer trust. In these market conditions, an intelligent, personalized customer experience will serve as a key differentiator for banks—humanizing the financial services industry.

Personalized customer experiences start with machine learning and predictive analytics

Predictive analytics, the process of using customer data and machine learning to determine the next best step as part of the sales process, is a key enabler of customer-first engagement. Financial institutions incorporating predictive analytics into their sales process are winning big. Banks that have deployed predictive analytics powered by machine learning capabilities have experienced increases of up to 20% of new sales, with a 20 times better response rate to pitches for a long-term lending product. Additionally, these capabilities drive customer engagement across channels resulting in a 25% increase in online form completion rate for some banks.
Omnichannel management is an important component of a broader relationship-based sales strategy. It places the focus on the interaction between the customer and seller rather than the price or details of the product and enables advisors to deliver exceptional client value through timely, personalized interactions. This capability empowers employees to meet the growing expectations of today’s digital savvy customer. Modern customers expect convenient, personalized, easy-to-access, and easy-to-use tools and they don’t want to receive marketing spam. By unifying social data with CRM systems and productivity tools, relationship managers gain the insights and streamlined workflows they need to provide personalized recommendations—the right information, about the right products, at the right time.

Introducing Intelligent Sales Advisor from Microsoft

The Intelligent Sales Advisor from Microsoft integrates and streamlines core CRM capabilities with AI and productivity tools to enrich client relationships at scale. Unifying these capabilities empowers advisors to deliver exceptional client value with timely, personalized interactions, create stronger connections, reach more customers, and drive sales.

In addition to identifying cross and upsell opportunities and recommending next best offers, Intelligent Sales Advisor enables advisors to identify the right customers at an organization through predictive analytics and generate entry points into an individual’s business network. With the solution, advisors are empowered to see the best path to reach a high-value buyer and leverage their network to ensure a warm reception.

Finally, by synchronizing relevant customer data across the organization with a single, consistent interface, the solution enables advisors to personally engage, at scale. The solution streamlines sales processes to increase user adoption and minimize training with an intelligent, event-driven sales system that guides sellers to optimal outcomes. Plus, with fully-embedded AI assisted workflows, advisors achieve regulatory compliance without having to log into a separate system—enabling them to save time and focus on delivering next-generation customer service to clients.

A customer-centric relationship-based sales strategy powered by the Intelligent Sales Advisor increases seller productivity while simultaneously humanizing the advisor-client engagement.

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