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By Ron Shevlin, Senior Analyst at Aite Group

Many firms have built online application capabilities assuming that it will drive the acquisition of new customers and members; but when the results are less than stellar, some firms question the value of the Web as a sales channel. The problem might not be the channel, but, instead, how firms are selling and whom they are targeting.

As Aite Group talks to banks and credit unions about their online selling efforts, we see several commonly missed growth opportunities:

1. Cross-sell to your existing base. Your best cross-sell prospects can be found within your existing base. Many firms are challenged with a base that owns a single product, a low-balance checking account. Rather than bringing in more single product customers/members, focus on cross-selling deposit and credit products to your current website users.

2. Prioritize demand generation and conversion. Implementing online account opening capabilities ahead of building capabilities around demand generation and demand conversion can produce frustration. If you don’t fill the pipeline, there will be few potential accounts to open. The reverse is true, as well. Filling the pipeline with prospects, and providing landing pages and comparison tools that persuade them to buy a product can produce less-than-satisfactory results if effective online account opening capabilities are lacking.

3. Sense-and-respond to online sales opportunities. When we talk to firms about their online marketing and sales capabilities, their plans often include integrating the online channel with enterprise-wide CRM efforts and using the website to deliver messages that would otherwise have been sent through direct mail and email. While this is good, it misses the key opportunity that the online channel provides: To sense-and-respond to opportunities as they come up. Today, few banks and credit unions mine online bill pay or card (debit or credit) purchase activity to identify marketing opportunities.

What stymies your online sales efforts? Is it channel competition with the branches, lack of targeted online marketing capabilities, the inability to instantly fund and open accounts? To join the conversation visit In:Volve.


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Compelling voices and contributed content from around the web

Andy Brown

Andy is marketing director for payments at NCR. He has nearly 30 years' experience in e-payment systems from the delivery and support of systems in the Far East and Europe, from both the product management and marketing perspectives. Based in the UK, Andy is responsible for marketing NCR payment solutions.

Dena Hamilton

Dena is NCR's Director of Enterprise Fraud & Security Software Solutions. She specializes in fraud, risk, compliance and security, with over 35 years of experience in the financial services space. Her focus is the development and deployment of enterprise financial crime solutions optimized in prevention, detection and back office efficiency.

James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Neill Harris

Neill Harris is product marketing director for ATM solutions at NCR. He travels extensively to many of the world's leading banks and financial institutions, articulating how self-service technology and innovation can inform and support strategies and solve challenges.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp

Cleopatra Mavredis

Cleopatra is NCR’s Global Marketing Manager for Channel Solutions and has more than 20 years of experience in the ATM industry. NCR’s channel solution portfolio is comprised of APTRA Vision, Inetco Insight and OptiSuite solutions.

Edward Wade

Edward is a freelance writer from Sheffield. Now living in London, he focuses on business and finance.