Training and reinforcement
Training focused on creating member loyalty and was broken down into core sales strategies and referral training for sales employees; call center sales strategies for call center employees; and advanced sales training and sales leadership strategies training for managers.
Creative internal programs reinforced training and created options for short- and long-term follow-up, including:
• Rockin’ the Referrals was a follow-up training class that helped employees recognize common referral cues and then promote the benefits of using credit union products and services.
• Building Everlasting Relationship as a Team (BERT) created a sales blog on Red Canoe’s intranet (known as ERNIE), where managers could post sales challenges and successes, and staff members could ask questions and seek advice.
• Mystery shop planning guidelines used case studies drawn from mystery shopper reports to provide examples of how tellers can increase sales effectiveness. Staff recognition highlighted tellers who successfully used sales strategies when mystery shoppers later visited the branch.
• Creative sales promotions rewarded employees for reaching specific targets. Themes included creating “Loyalty Royalty” by achieving sales goals and using the “Little Riddler” to teach sales staff to ask the right questions.
Reinventing sales at every level of the credit union has delivered measureable results. As of June 2010:
- The closed referral ratio was 20.54%, or 205% of the credit union’s goal;
- More than $7 million was brought in through buyouts of competitor loans; and
- Loan protection was added to 59.61% of consumer loans, compared to a goal of 40%, and on 49% of home equity line of credit loans, compared to a goal of 25%.
At Red Canoe Credit Union, learning to live the sales culture is a best practice that pays off.