Magazine article American Banker

Bank Brokerage Needs a Strong Sales Team

Magazine article American Banker

Bank Brokerage Needs a Strong Sales Team

Article excerpt

As the bank brokerage industry grows, there is a critical area that is often downplayed - the need for skilled professionals.

Though some banks have tried to build investment programs with staff made up of less costly and less experienced employees, others are now awakening to the need for people of much higher accomplishments.

These banks understand that as products have become more complicated, competition has intensified and the attractive high-net-worth consumer market requires more sophisticated and professional sales staffs.

The needs of financial institutions span the spectrum of the securities

and insurance industries: from investment bankers to traders to management.

At this point, however, the most critical need is in sales and sales management. Since most large banks are expanding their sales forces and brokerage firms are also looking to strengthen their sales teams, demand has never been stronger.

Though mainstream securities firms have extensive experience in hiring and managing sales professionals, banks and other new players are just beginning to understand their own needs and what it will take to build and

maintain a strong sales force.

For new and experienced banks offering investment services, the task of

building a strong sales team involves three primary stages:

Needs analysis. Too often someone who on paper seemed highly qualified turns out to be a bad fit.

Before hiring, a bank must clearly understand what specific skills and talents will best meet its objectives.

How important is outside prospecting? Must the individual have marketing

expertise, or will sales be the only job function?

And since interpersonal skills are so important in a financial institution environment, is the candidate a lone-wolf type so common in traditional brokerage firms?

Recruitment and evaluation. There is no magic formula for recruiting sales talent. …

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