Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Brock's Bank Sales Software Taking off / Now Used in 30 States by Financial Institutions, Including Citicorp

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Brock's Bank Sales Software Taking off / Now Used in 30 States by Financial Institutions, Including Citicorp

Article excerpt

While everyone was talking about bank deregulation changes a couple of years ago, Lawrence Brock started thinking about the needs of banks to manage sales.

Bank sales?

That's right - sales of bank products.

"We used to think of banks strictly in terms of services - checks, loans and deposits," said Brock, who has 24 years of experience in bank marketing. "However, with deregulation, banks now have more than 100 products - such as IRAs, insurance, Keogh accounts, CDs, securities."

With products, came sales. With sales came the need for people who can sell products and for sales managers to keep track of sales and the performance of sales officers.

"However, bank officers don't think of themselves as sales managers," said Brock, whose Oklahoma City firm is called Brock Marketing Services. "The idea is new to them, and some banks are now hiring officers with sales backgrounds."

Brock had just the right background to fit this situation. He has handled numerous market studies for new banks, and he continues to study the market for the changes that have come with branches, automatic tellers and deregulation.

As a result, he developed a computer software for banks and savings and loans to use in managing sales calls. It is now in its second version, called Micro Officer Call II. It amounts to a softwarefor reporting the results of bank sales calls.

That software is now beginning to take off. More than 130 financial institutions in more than 30 states have purchased the software, and that is just part of the story.

Citicorp of New York, the largest bank in the country, has decided to use Micro Officer Call II. Citicorp is considering the use of the software in its west coast, Chicago and Florida offices.

Society Banks of Ohio and Key Bank NA of Albany, N.Y., also have purchased the software.

Beyond that, the software has been translated into Spanish for a Pennsylvania distributor, who has sold seven packages to banks in Colombia. That same distributor is now marketing Micro Officer Call II in Venezuela, Spain, Portugal and other countries in western Europe.

"Jack Whittle and Doug Hanks of Chicago have reviewed our software and are recommending it for their clients," said Brock. "Whittle Hanks is nationally known as a bank marketing firm."

While Brock's gross sales of Micro Officer Call II so far have reached about $150,000, the potential is extensive. Brock is projecting a break-even point of about 1,000 software packages this year.

"There are more than 14,000 banks in this country alone," he said. "Some large banks could use up to 100 packages. Numerous others can use separate packages for departments or branches.

"We developed the software for the IBM-PC computer, and more than 80 percent of the banks use the IBM-PC now."

The first version of Micro Officer Call was developed in 1983, and it was marketed to about 25 banks. However, Brock had to adjust his approach. …

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