Courting Corporate Relationships

by Jacob Jegher, April 6, 2006


Boston, MA, USA April 6, 2006

Celent examines two banks that have grown and nurtured corporate banking relationships.

Corporate banking has long been based on relationships. As such, numerous financial institutions have directed their efforts at this market by assigning relationship managers to specific accounts. While the need for person-to-person contact is important and necessary, many banks have neglected to apply a technological component to the corporate relationship. In order to successfully court corporate clients, banks need to execute a plan that effectively encompasses business processes, people, and technology.

In a new report, , Celent explores two banks' forays into this segment and provides an overview of wholesale customer relationship strategy.

In order for relationship managers to efficiently and effectively serve their market, they need to be armed with critical customer information. Without the full details of the relationship and the products owned by the customer, relationship managers are poorly positioned to grow and further the union. Painting a complete picture of wholesale clients should be a requirement, not an option.

"Banks need to invest in building corporate customer profiles and work on improving their understanding of client requirements," says Jacob Jegher, senior analyst in Celent's banking group and author of the report. "This initial step is key to approaching the goals of improving cross-selling, product marketing, customer service, and the overall relationship. The use of sales force automation systems as well as product marketing tools, decision support tools, and analytics will help relationship managers to effectively and strategically grow the bank's business."

The report presents case studies on the Bank of New York and LaSalle Bank, both of which have successfully implemented solutions that improve customer-centricity and cross-selling.

The Bank of New York. This fast-growing bank is a prime example of a bank that has successfully augmented cross-selling, relationships, productivity, and efficiency. The senior managers selected Siebel and Headstrong as their vendors of choice. The bank's goal was to provide a globally accessible, customized Web-based sales force automation (SFA) system, foster the sharing of information, increase cross-selling and grow bank revenues, improve the customer experience, and reduce the costs of maintaining numerous CRM/tracking systems. Overall, the project has been a resounding success: adoption of the system by customer-facing staff has been extremely high. The bank has managed to increase cross-selling, improve employee productivity and efficiency, enhance planning of sales efforts, increase overall customer satisfaction, and reduce IT maintenance costs.

LaSalle Bank. This innovative bank engaged the Savo Group to design a solution that would provide relationship managers with a plethora of easily accessed electronic product and solution information. LaSalle Bank set out to develop a system with the following objectives: provide relationship managers with a faster and more effective method of transmitting information to clients; increase cross-selling of commercial and small business banking products; and decrease the printing and storage costs associated with printed materials. The bank has succeeded in evolving sales support into an efficient and integrated process that assists relationship managers in strategically growing and nurturing relationships. In addition to solid adoption statistics, the bank has realized numerous benefits including efficient and convenient access to product information for relationship managers, reduced printing and storage costs, and increased cross-selling.

This 25-page report contains six figures and three tables.

A table of contents is available online.


Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Boston, MA, USA April 6, 2006


Executive Summary 3
Market Snapshot 6
  Effectively Growing and Nurturing Corporate Relationships 6
  Critical Success Factors 8
  IT Spending on Customer Relationship Strategy 9
Case Study: The Bank of New York 10
  Background 10
  Decision-Making Process and Objectives 11
  Solution Overview and Implementation Milestones 13
  Benefits 15
Case Study: LaSalle Bank 17
  Background 18
  Decision-Making Process and Objectives 18
  Solution Overview and Implementation Milestones 19
  Benefits 22
Conclusion 23
Objectivity & Methodology 24

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