Tuesday, February 18, 2020 Stamford, CT USA — Speculation that machines will replace commercial banks’ relationship managers misses the mark and overlooks a tremendous opportunity for the industry.

However, to survive and thrive in the modern banking marketplace, RMs will have to change the way they do business by embracing data analytics and other technology that can exponentially increase their effectiveness within their own organizations and their value to clients. A new report from Greenwich Associates, Increasing Relationship Manager Productivity: It’s Less About Who You Know and More About What You Know, explains why banks and RMs need to make that leap.

Despite major changes in the industry, RMs remain the most important element of a commercial banking relationship—but the nature of the relationship is changing. According to the companies participating in a recent Greenwich Associates U.S. Commercial Banking Study, the most valuable RMs provide client-specific knowledge, industry-specific expertise and targeted, bank-provided solutions—all delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

“There is a huge opportunity for banks that can equip their RMs with the right data to ensure specific, immediate and constructive value is delivered to clients and prospects in a fraction of the time,” says Greenwich Associates Vice President of Business Development Jen Paterson, author of the new report.

New Technology Tools = Exponential Efficiency Gains
High-powered analytics let banks equip their RMs with exactly the kind of knowledge, insights and solutions that clients and prospects want. Sophisticated IT systems allow banks to deliver this information to RMs quickly and at just the right time—namely, just prior to a sales call or meeting. Top-performing banks are also acquiring external data feeds with useful data on companies’ current satisfaction and loyalty rates to current providers to allow their RMs to pinpoint the highest value targets and focus their efforts on their best opportunities.

In addition, the adoption of an effective analytics process can increase the number of RM “at bats” from a handful per week to dozens per week. Even with below-average estimated close rates, the analytics-driven process launches the sales team to a potential win tally multiples above the traditional process.

“These improvements are also highly scalable and sustainable,” says Jen Paterson. “Because these capabilities are system-driven, they are not at risk of disappearing along with a departing RM.”