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Case Study: Banking on Success

Learn how a top ten financial institution used Tele Business USA to dramatically increase its commercial business

Our client, a top ten U.S. financial institution, sought to capture a greater percentage of the small- and middle-market commercial banking business—companies with revenues of $1M to $100M dollars—in the eight-state area it served.

The bank’s traditional business lead sources—advertising and direct mail—were hampered by inaccurate databases. This forced its 130 relationship managers to perform their own phone prospecting—a process that cost valuable time better spent in front of qualified prospects, making presentations and closing business. The problem drove the bank’s decision to hire Tele Business USA to generate, qualify, and set new business appointments for the bank’s relationship managers. To make this program more cost-effective, Tele Business USA elected to use its Virtual Teleservices Division (VTD).

Setting goals

The bank provided specific goals for the program:

  • Increase the conversion rate of their relationship managers by providing more qualified leads
  • Increase their new customer base by 5 percent over prior years
  • Increase overall revenue generated per relationship manager by 7 percent
  • Generate a return on investment of greater than 10 to 1
  • Generate a clean, accurate marketing database that could be used for future promotions

The immediate goal of the initial five-month pilot program was to generate five to ten pre-qualified appointments per week for each selected relationship manager. This required two Virtual Teleservices Representatives (VTRs) to devote 30 to 40 telemarketing hours per week on behalf of each relationship manager in a single geographic market.

The countdown to teleservices

Because one-third of the supplied contact information was inaccurate, we performed a database scrub—a “tele-verification” call made to check each record before the actual lead generation call. Various direct mail programs were conducted at different times in specific geographic markets.

Meanwhile, our account managers, working with the bank, wrote call guides to give prospective customers an overview of the breadth of the bank’s services, capture all relevant banking information from the prospect and, ultimately, set an appointment with interested prospects.

The two Virtual Teleservices Representatives selected for the pilot program had a strong background in appointment-setting programs. Their experience with financial products and services allowed them to quickly assimilate the training covering the bank’s history, position in the market, typical client profiles, Industry specializations, product offerings, and corporate structure. The VTRs were also given an overview of the bank’s long-term corporate goals and the specific goals of the telemarketing pilot program. Two days of training were followed by a full day of role-playing with bank representatives, our corporate trainer, and account manager. Once the VTRs had perfected their presentation, the live calls began.

Program growth

After a one-year review the bank dramatically broadened the teleservices program by expanding the program into the rest of the bank’s geographic territories, escalating the call volume and increasing the number of VTRs to 20. The current goal is to provide relationship managers with five to ten appointments per week. To accomplish this goal, Tele Business USA’s VTRs are devoting more than 700 hours per week to the bank’s program.

Setting the appointment

The bank’s relationship managers email their calendars to the Corporate Communication Representatives two weeks in advance of the program, and adjustments are sent on a daily basis. Specific VTRs are assigned to each geographic territory and relationship manager. (Most VTRs handle more than one territory.) Our IT department integrates these daily calendar updates into the system so that the VTRs can access the current calendar on screen when setting an appointment. Thus, appointments are scheduled two weeks in advance, only during times when relationship managers are available. When an appointment is scheduled, our quality control department verifies that all necessary customer information was captured.

Tracking of leads

To track the outcome of each and every appointment, we developed a “close-ended tracking system” that allows the bank to gauge the real and potential return for the program.

Monitoring and reporting

At the program’s outset, the bank conducted pre-scheduled monitoring sessions three times a week to evaluate the VTRs, fine-tune the program, and gather first-hand feedback on the needs of their market. After three weeks the bank reduced its monitoring to once a week. Currently, digitally recorded calls are sent to the bank over the Internet. Daily statistics on the status of all contacts and other call activity allows the bank to accurately assess the program and analyze its most productive territories. We also provide the bank with customer comments and qualitative feedback.

Concrete results

This Tele Business USA program proves that a traditional professional service organization, such as a bank, can effectively use teleservices to increase its commercial business.

Since the program’s inception, relationship managers have generated 10 percent more revenue in their respective territories, with a 7 percent increase in new clients. They also have more proposals and pending new business than ever before, meaning that teleservices are keeping their “pipeline” full. They average 28.5 percent more pending new business than in years prior to using teleservices.

An appointment is scheduled through telemarketing once every 2.6 billable hours. Thus, the cost per appointment, including tele-verifying, averages approximately $135.00. This is approximately 32 percent less than the cost of a direct mail lead, which had averaged about $200.00 per direct mail lead over the two years prior to using teleservices.

The bank’s ROI was dramatic and exceeded its expectations. Initially, the bank was seeking a 10 to 1 return. However, the program resulted in returns of 100 to 1. While most of the deals average in the tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars, there have been many deals valued at more than $10 million dollars. The largest was $25 million.


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