5 Strategies to Follow when Selling Tech to the Banking Industry
With over 12,000 financial technology start-ups all over the world, emerging players find selling their products to the banks the most challenging considering their complex functioning. Their products may be top-notch, but selling it to a bank requires a result-driven approach.
Every bank works on a different scale and different ideology, and the same model of services does not satisfy them all. Each and every selling attempt must be customized based on the prospect’s challenges. Unless you have a detailed understanding of the factors that affect the big organizations, sales to the financial sector can be an immediate failure.
Here are 5 effective strategies that will enhance your perspective with regard to your sales efforts and drive success.
1. Your product must be an instant relief to their long-drawn challenges
Apart from the list achieving the sales target, banks face several challenges both technologically and vocationally. However, none of them are similar in nature. This means you can’t expect two banks to bid for the same product, in the same intensity (unless of course, there’s one common obstacle that the entire industry is trying to solve!). If you want to drive to the pathway of success, your product or service must be an attempt to solve these challenges.
Must do first-hand research:
Here’s how you can do it: Carry a first-hand research about banking challenges. When you interact with your prospect, make sure you pay attention to the bottom line of their problem. Offer them a comprehensive solution to their difficulty. From basic working to profits, from customer care to operation control, don’t give them a chance to find a loophole in your proposal. The procurement team of the banks will expect you to have everything they need on the tips of your fingers, so jumping into the puddle without proper knowledge will put you in a tough place.
Your solution must appear to them as a savior in disguise. When you talk about the challenges and its solutions, it must radiate an ‘I-know-about-banking’ impression to your prospects. This will give not only help you connect with them at the human level but will also establish an edge amongst the other players in the market.
Monese a mobile-only bank in the UK restricted its users from sending payments all around the world because of technical challenges and high costs. Thus, when CurrencyCloud offered them a solution in the form of their own payment network via an API, it was a done deal almost immediately. Further, it also resulted in lower forex fees and the digital bank saw an unparalleled increase in consumers.
2. Your credibility must speak louder than your words
Banks don’t trust easily. A successful deal with financial institutions will demand an incredible track record and a thorough understanding of their regulatory process. Furthermore, they will also want detailed explanations of your product with an articulate Proof of Concept.
Make your strategy defect-free. Bring yourself up as a company that takes responsibility for any loss caused by their products because 88% of legacy banking organizations fear losing revenue to FinTech companies through operations. For example, if you are a tech firm trying to sell your technology, they might perform initial tests to break through your systems.
Remember, banks prefer on-premise solutions because of 360-degree control and tight security. Thus, if your proposal talks about cloud solutions, make sure your credibility overrules the pros of the former. Banks and other financial institutions will expect you to comply with banking security standards as specified in ISO 27001 and have IT, security and legal teams ready in case of an impasse.
Try to first sell yourself with your detailed knowledge about the industry, followed by your company with its credibility and then finally your product with its problem-solving motive. This is the most rewarding order to sell to Banks.
Sell Yourself >Sell your Company >Sell your Product.
3. Pick a ‘banking’ person from your team who can demonstrate sincerity
A banking person here does not mean the one who belongs to the banking industry but an expert from your team who is fascinated about the core structure of banking and is already aware of its basic functioning.
Apart from that, while trying to sell to banks, very often you may find yourself in a position where you do not know whom to impress in order to secure a deal. You might just end up wasting your time trying to sell to people who don’t have any power or money within the organization.
It is hence imperative to find those visionaries in the prospective company who will be more eager to adopt the services you offer, wield some power in the board and are among the 82% of traditional financial organizations that say they will collaborate more with the technology industry in the next three to five years.
This will be easier when you pick the right advocate from your team. Sit with your sales staff and conduct strategy discussions regularly. Focus your efforts into that one individual who knows your product inside out. Allow them to present fresh intel and demonstrations on the meeting table to strike on the right person, and you are sure to emerge successful.
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4. Create a ‘Set-Them-Thinking’ Pitch with a distinctive value proposition
Sales representative, tend to cross the line between selling and over-selling in a flash. You certainly don’t want to miss out on the deal because you appeared peckish. Thus, a sales pitch that highlights the organization’s challenges customized after detailed research on their industry holding, articulates your solution to the problem and communicates your USP clearly is the only way forward.
In the long cycle of a sales pitch, initially, the benefits of your services are considered, moving onto the price and at last, the risk involved in undertaking the contract. Although exhausting, you must work on a sales pitch that defines all your proposals in a simple manner and demonstrates how your approach to the issue is different than the others in just a few minutes.
Being risk-conscious institutions dealing in megabucks every day, banks have a number of requirements that need to be fulfilled before they finalize the deal. Their procurement teams exist just to reveal these requirements and in turn, the sales cycle ranges from 10 months to 3 whole years. The only way to get out of this painful sequence is to address all the aforementioned points in your pitch and filling all the loopholes.
Taking all the three factors into consideration, make your prospects believe that your model is the best solution for them and it has higher RoI than any other players in the market. This will not require any extra effort if the pitch so delivered is on-point.
5. Partner with experienced banking generalists
The most important aspect that is inter-linked with all the mentioned points is the understanding of the finance industry and the nitty-gritty of the domain. General knowledge is one thing, and the custom priorities, culture, and trends is another.
Working with veterans and people reputed in this industry will educate you on the prospective company, relating your products with the problems, know-how of the sphere you are venturing in, decision-making processes and vital learning on sidelined matters like operation and testing.
ICICI Bank, India’s largest private bank partnered with Paytm, India’s largest digital payments platform to launch a digital credit account on the platform. It made microcredit more easily available for ICICI Bank users and Paytm was able to grow its consumer base with the expert information of ICICI. Thus, a win-win for both!
Most successful B2B firms are ones that have partnered with banking specialists. It is now easier to win a partnership as 60% of financial institutions view FinTechs as potential partners.With360-degree know-how of your services along with detailed industry knowledge will help you swiftly advance on the ladder of success.
The Last Word
The net increase in the global FinTech market 2018 was 120% more as compared to 2017, and the future definitely holds more. Successful selling to banks is a brainteaser. It might seem that you will never reach the end of the sales cycle without losing your sanity, but only if you show some patience and determination, you will reach your destination.
You can reach out to expert B2B sales and Marketing consulting firms to help you on this tiresome journey. Banks like to work with people who have proven their mettle in the industry and if you are backed by result-driven strategies from a B2B sales firm, there are high chances you will emerge out with a signed contract!