Yesterday, on July 29th Wednesday, Prime Minister Mr. Modi held a meeting with stakeholders from top Banks and NBFCs. The purpose of the meeting was to ‘discuss and deliberate the vision and roadmap for the future.’ as stated in the official release by the PMO. A few hours after the meeting, it was announced that he will also be meeting heads of financial regulators, like RBI, SEBI at 4 PM today. 

While the economic stress produced by Covid-19 has already been acknowledged, these meetings are encouraging as they point towards the government’s public acceptance of the fact that the problem cannot be solved by ‘throwing money’. With the moratorium ending on August 31st, the real impact and severity of the economic situation will unfold in the coming months.

It was emphasised that the Government is firmly behind the banking system. The government is ready to take any steps necessary to support it and promote its growth.

While there aren’t many details out yet on what has been discussed at the meeting on Wednesday with Banks and NBFCs, the official release can be distilled down to 3 points –

1. Digitize Operations

“Banks should adopt fintech like centralised data platforms, digital documentation and collaborative use of information to move towards digital acquisition of customers  to increase credit penetration and lower costs – PMO

The message here is loud and clear. Prime Minister Modi is highlighting a fact that banks and NBFCs have known for some time now. They cannot continue to be slow, asset heavy, and operationally inefficient. You can’t afford to be a dinosaur in the age of Olas and Flipkarts. Being able to open a savings account or applying and receiving a loan must be as hassle free as ordering your favorite food and technology will drive this. 

This is not purely to drive a better consumer experience, but to also drive down costs. High cost of customer acquisition due to lack of digitisation and low ticket size while serving SHGs and rural makes it unviable for many institutions to lend. Companies must look at how digitisation can help drive down these costs so as to make rural lending viable. 

Fix your leaky bottomline.

But to do all of this, Banks and NBFCs need to partner with the right tech companies who can help digitise the entire loan journey end-to-end.

With video KYC and digital document collection, onboarding customers has never been simpler. Omnichannel customer acquisition, data driven up-selling and cross-selling to existing customers and driving a digital-first collection process is essential to reduce costs and increase efficiency in the system.

The handoffs between various teams, customer conversations and interactions with agents, be it call center or field sales must be seamless and digital to reduce leakage and time lag.

Optimise your processes using tech and build a digital journey for the entire lending cycle.

2. Ensure timely credit support for scheme beneficiaries.

“While it was noted that significant progress has been made in most schemes, banks need to be proactive and actively engage with the intended beneficiaries to ensure that the credit support reaches them in a timely manner”

While acknowledging that most schemes like emergency credit line for MSME, additional KCC cards, liquidity window for NBFC and MFI have progressed it is clear that the government expects banks and NBFCs to work towards ensuring that credit disbursal makes its way through to ones who need it. 

This is purely a matter of principle and ability to execute. While we can only hope and believe, as bystanders that these fine organizations do right by the people, ability to execute is again a challenge that is operational in nature. 

Having the right tools and digital systems in place to pre-screen, prioritise and disburse the loan with minimal intervention so as to fast-track this whole process is of utmost importance.  

The ability to integrate with various core banking systems, process information faster, reduce lag between teams and ultimately disburse loans faster is going to be essential.

Tech can help reduce loan disbursal cycle and ensure right customer communication to ensure schemes reach the needy.

3. Encourage institutional credit for working class

“It was noted that the small entrepreneurs, SHGs, farmers should be motivated to use institutional credit to meet their credit needs and grow.”

Don’t use past NPAs to turn down deserving credit proposals. With various projections on how NPAs are set to rise, lenders are increasingly wary while looking for new borrowers.

However, institutions, cannot in the name of ‘credit worthiness’, bet against the economy.

India will bounce back and it will be on the backs of small businesses and entrepreneurs and the foot soldiers of the Indian economy – farmers, labourers and the rest of the working class.

In the process of building a conservative or healthy credit spread, organisations cannot solely look at customer behaviour in the last few months to deny credit. In cases with limited credit history, banks and NBFCs must revise their parameters to judge credit-worthiness. 

Using data to then analyse performance and risk, to then feed it back into the system and correct appraisal parameters will help identify ‘right borrowers’. To implement this organisations need to be agile enough to adapt to changing processes. 

Powerful, yet flexible process automation is an absolute necessity to ensure speedy changes and zero bottlenecks from a tech standpoint. So if you’re a bank or an NBFC looking to digitise your lending journey, ensuring your vendor comes packed with a powerful process designer is a must.

New parameters to judge credit worthiness and disburse loans must be adopted and systems must be flexible to support process changes

Want to learn how you can adopt digital tools to digitise your lending operations?

How sales productivity helps increase revenue

Before we talk about sales productivity, let’s talk about Usain Bolt. Since 2008, he has won every race he took part in, except one where he had a false start.

So, what’s his secret. Why is he the fastest runner in the history of mankind?

Does he move his legs faster than anyone else? Scientists say no

Research confirms the reason is longer and stronger strides. Top runners spend less time on the ground and more time moving forward in the air owing to their muscle power.

It means repetition may not always yield to higher efficiency. Right footing and propulsion are equally (or more) important, at least in this case.

Does it hold for salespeople as well? Does the output depend upon the number of leads entered in the system, or the number of calls made, or emails sent – I guess not!

So how can you equip your sales team to take stronger and powerful strides forward? How do you ensure that they are always doing the right thing without micro-managing? Sales execution software may be the answer.

What is a sales execution platform?

In simple terms, a sales execution platform helps you get sales-centric actions done easily.

It ensures no missed opportunities, helping you stay on top of both the parties – leads and sales. Let’s go deeper.

How does it improve sales productivity?

tips to increase sales productivity.

These are a few tips that can help plug the gaps in sales performance and increase productivity:

1. Create a seamless lead capture process:

Okay, you run a marketing campaign, and it’s a success. But, are you sure that you captured all the leads? Or was there a leak somewhere?

The most important step while prospecting is undoubtedly lead capture from all the channels with zero lead leakage. This can be through social media channels, APIs, landing pages, marketplace integrations, webhooks, call captures, webinars, offline campaigns, web forms, or any other source. 

Instead of investing in multiple channels or paying individually, you can have an integrated marketing tool that captures leads from all Social Media applications, lead generation websites, chatbot inquiries, telephony services for inbound leads, and all other sources.

Capturing leads across channels in the lead funnel enhances sales productivity

Speaking of forms, when was the last time you visited a website that did not include a form of some kind? I’m talking about registration form, customer feedback form, billing or shipping form, survey, or even simple email sign up form.  

Forms are implemented on the organization’s websites to provide visitors with a way to sign up for an account, purchase a product, pay for an item, and more. The main objective is to capture the lead details and that is why its design matters so much.

— without an easy to use, user-friendly, aesthetically appealing form, how are you supposed to attract your visitors to take the time to provide you with all of that personal information?

Well, you really can’t

That is where a website Form Designer feature helps you create attractive web forms and landing pages to capture lead data that are relevant to their departments, products, or processes.

You can also make self serve applications easy by creating a self serve application form and portal. This would increase your application completion ratio without any sales intervention, ensuring that sales agents only intervene here when needed (Increasing their overall efficiency).

2. Reduce your turn-around time with lead distribution

Once the leads are captured from all channels, the next step is to divide them logically among your sales agents. You might want to distribute leads by two-different kinds of attributes: the lead’s attributes, or the agent’s attributes:

Lead Attributes:

  • Lead location
  • Products they are interested in
  • The languages they speak
  • Other demographic attributes

Agent Attributes

  • Languages they speak
  • Availability (based on their off days, or shift timings)
  • Seniority and expertise
  • Performance
  • Or more….

Leads can be quickly assigned to the best-fit agents, based on agent-criteria, like seniority, performance, because it is all about the first impression so you might want to consider assigning it to the right sales agent. You can further consider potential deal size, preferred language of communication, and other parameters to set your distribution criteria.

An important factor while distributing leads is to make sure your sales agents do not have too much on their plate at a time. While it is important to maximize follow-ups, it should never be at the cost of quality. The process can be automated ensuring that agents aren’t assigned more leads than they can handle without compromising on call quality. For example – if your agents can handle 10 prospects daily, you should refrain from assigning beyond that number. 

Distribute your leads automatically to all your sales agents

All leads can be organized and categorized under different lead buckets, for example – new leads, active leads, dormant leads, etc.

Allow the reps to view the leads on a single dashboard without switching screens, ensuring high task efficiency. Make the sales rep’s life easy by making them focus on the most important task buckets at a time.

3. Identify and prioritize a “Sales Ready” lead

Ideally, this is a lead that’s highly involved with you. Lead scoring plays an important role here. You can assign scores based on the lead’s involvement level towards your offering. (A high involvement level is usually when a lead frequently checks your emails, spends time on your website or interacts with your content).

You can thus differentiate between a high and a low priority lead and reach out to them accordingly based on urgency. A high priority lead is usually the one to reach out to first.

Once the leads are prioritized and bucketed into different stages – prospects, targets, opportunity, customers – your sales agents would know what conversations to make.

For instance: a prospect (a lead with low involvement, higher up in the sales funnel) may not have much idea of your offerings as compared to an opportunity (a lead with deeper involvement and towards the bottom of the sales funnel). So, while your agents would try and educate prospects about what you offer, they would have sales-centric conversations like competitor comparison with opportunities.

prioritize all leads according to their involvement level and accordingly get in touch with them as soon as possible to enhance sales productivity

Having a proper lead qualification mechanism would help your teams reach high-priority leads faster, enhancing their productivity.

4. Never miss a sales follow-up

As your lead volume grows, you’ll start getting leads from referrals, social media, organic search, and other channels. It’s almost impossible to keep tabs on the leads and follow-ups when the lead volume is high, and you might end up losing several good opportunities.

Irrespective of your vertical, be it Real Estate, Automotive Sales, Insurance, Healthcare, IT, etc. leads are precious and a proper follow-up is required. 

Never miss out on follow up calls by allotting leads to all sales agents in a round robin manner, ensuring high sales efficiency

This is where a sales follow-up software comes into the picture. Task reminders will ensure you complete an assigned task, and only then move on to the next one. This way you never miss out on a call. Sounds more efficient right?  

5. Intervene when necessary: 

You have a client call scheduled and you miss it for some unfortunate reason, while your client waits endlessly. Does not sound like a happy ending, does it? 

But what if you can track the daily sales operations for your teams – calls made, emails sent, follow-ups missed, etc – and intervene when necessary? 

Here is what you would be able to track with a sales escalation tool

  • Emails sent by your sales team as well as the click and open rates.
  • Call volume, connect rate, and successful conversation numbers. 
  • The number of leads in each stage of the sales pipeline.
  • The meetings your field teams have every day, week, or month.
  • The deals your reps close or commit to the pipeline.
  • The revenue contributed by the sales rep vs. the activities performed by them.
Have a transparent view of all sales activities. Escalate issues to managers and other sales agents in the team in case leads have not been worked upon within a stipulated time.

You can closely monitor your teams and tasks. If something seems off, escalate it to managers or other sales agents.

6. Out of sight not out of mind:

This is how your typical sales funnel might look like: You call 10 people, 6 seem interested in knowing more, 3 check out your product, and finally 2 convert.

But does this mean you forget about the other 8 as they do not have an immediate requirement? No way!

If not today, these prospects might require your offering later and these cold/dormant leads need nurturing so that they do not forget about you!

You can achieve this through a marketing automation tool. You can design communication flows for your leads based on their activities, interests, and more, to move dormant leads to active stages, and ready for another conversation.

So there you have it!

Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas on ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of your sales agents. Remember that the process is fairly simple, but it takes a little bit of thought:

  • Create a seamless lead capture system
  • Reduce the turn-around time 
  • Qualify and prioritize
  • Never miss a follow-up
  • Build transparent systems, and escalate where necessary 
  • Nurture your leads to reactivate dormant leads.

It is not just the selling skills that define sales efficiency – the tools that you use play an equally important role. A skilled salesperson and a great sales management tool are two sides of the same coin.

You probably already have a sales team in place, try LeadSquared to make high sales efficiency a norm in your operations.

Key Discussion Points:

  • Insurance Sales – how it is different in a different context?
  • Data – old oil in a new bottle (especially why from insurance parlance?)
  • The world of data (structured/unstructured) – how data drives the world & why there is a need to embrace data in selling insurance?
  • Tools to rely upon at no cost technically to enable data driven sales
  • Importance of reducing closure cycles, complaints, frauds driven by data
  • Mind modeling of Data without data scientists


Speaker

Dr. Jayaprakash
Co-Founder & Vice-President, Nanobi Analytics

Dr. S. Jayaprakash has had exposure to the insurance sector for more than 27 years. He started his career in LIC of India in the early 90s and has worked in both core insurance companies and MNC IT companies in insurance projects. He has exposure to various insurance markets from the USA to Australia and across life, non-life, pension, reinsurance, etc. Currently, he is the co-founder at Nanobi Data and Analytics, Bangalore (a product startup) that has won several awards for its innovative technology in analytics. He has also co-authored textbooks for the Insurance Institute of India for Associate Diploma courses and has published more than 50 articles in eminent publications like Geneva Association, Asia Insurance Review, Hindu BusinessLine, Live Mint, &Financial Express on various hot topics of Insurance from time to time. He has also completed his Ph.D. in Health Insurance. Prior to Nanobi, he worked with iFlex Solutions (now Oracle Financial Services) and MetLife India (as Head of Enterprise Risk Management portfolio).