WAYNE, Pa. -- Cross selling investment and insurance services appears to be making some strides as financial institutions have stepped up the integration of both programs.
The Bank Insurance & Securities Association and Truebridge Inc. surveyed 375 senior managers, marketing managers, branch managers, frontline branch employees and insurance and investment representative from more than 120 financial institutions.
Approximately twice as many participants reported that their firms were satisfied or somewhat satisfied (58%) rather than unsatisfied or somewhat unsatisfied (26%) with cross selling efforts. Managers had a marginally higher perception of cross selling investment and insurance products as a core strategy. Over half (52%) of managers versus 38% of sales people stated that their institution rated it "high" and "very high."
When asked what did participants feel were the most important factors for successful cross selling, having chemistry and a trusted relationship ranked highest. Branch referrals, the financial institution's image, Web site and mail and statement stuffers rounded out the list.
Overall, while respondents felt that their investment and insurance program integration was generally positive, most agreed that was still room for improvement, the data showed. When comparing the importance of success factors to the financial institution's ability to deliver, the ability to deliver was lower across the board.
There were, however, some particularly wide gaps that draw attention, according to the survey. There were, however, some particularly wide gaps that drew attention, according to the survey. The ability of a financial institution to deliver branch referrals (37.6%) was not as important as an actual success factor (70.2%). The image of the financial institution as a place to go for more that deposits and loans had an importance of (68.2%), but only (35.3%) on ability to deliver. Also, the Web site as a lead generator had an importance of (29.3%) and delivery score of only (10.8%).
Branch referrals presented the biggest opportunity for improving referrals. The most important factor for improving branch referrals was personal chemistry (84.8%), which ranked above as the most important factor.Referral training (80.1%) was second, but the wide gap noted above suggests that some new direction may be needed here, the research noted.
Other factors that could help increase referrals were a commitment from management (72.8%), followed by stability (low turnover) of branch staff (72.3%), sufficiency (numbers) of branch staff (70.2%), employee incentives (56%), product training (55.1%), educational marketing materials (48.1%) and finally product marketing materials (35.5%).