We recently hosted the first of two fall webinars focused on how our customers are using Vertical IQ. The seven highly experienced bankers who were highlighted shared a bevy of useful insights into how they leverage Industry Intelligence in their respective roles. BUT, even if you aren’t a banker, there are still lots of valuable things you can learn from listening to how they use Industry Intelligence to win more business and expand existing relationships. Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways from the webinar …

Lesson 1: Sharing Industry Intelligence from Vertical IQ is a valuable touchpoint with clients as well as prospects.

Sales professionals share pieces of Industry Intelligence in a number of ways, but most agree that it is all about staying top-of-mind with key contacts and communicating at regular intervals with value-added content.

Geoff Karr, Treasury Sales Officer at Bank of Missouri, says he and his team share Industry Intelligence, such as Financial Benchmark numbers, on a quarterly basis. He explains that by using those benchmarks to look at a business’s Accounts Receivable Days, Accounts Payable Days, and Inventory Days compared to their industry, “We’re able to work backwards and help them understand, hey, if we can collect quickly, pay slowly, this is how you would have more working capital to sustain in your business.”

An Area Manager at Lakeland Bank (New Jersey), Giuseppe Cascio prepares for his cold calls using Industry Intelligence, and he shares the Industry Overview (i.e., Industry Snapshot) when meeting a prospect for the first time. “I like to see if anything rings true to their type of business and if they see the same trends that are shown on Vertical IQ,” he says.

Once they establish some rapport with the prospect/customer, Cascio then likes to send a monthly or quarterly Industry News article from Vertical IQ. “It basically keeps us engaged so that they understand that we are not there just to gather the deposits or the loans — we are actually interested in and invested in the relationship.”

Jodi MacDonald, a dual Branch Manager with Banner Bank (Washington/Oregon), takes the Industry Trends on calls to share with the business owner. She also has another effective tactic she employs: sharing the Quarterly Insight for a business owner’s industry. “I send out easily 50 of those every quarter to various businesses, and along with my email to them, I’ll write questions like, ‘Hey, have you noticed this in your industry? What have you done?’” MacDonald frequently gets responses back saying how much they appreciate the information. “I know that it keeps me top-of-mind,” she notes.

Lesson 2: Even the most experienced sales professional can still benefit from using Vertical IQ.

No matter how long you have been in sales, there is always something new you can learn about your client’s or prospect’s industry to add value to the relationship, and Vertical IQ makes it simple. Save time and stand out from your competition by incorporating Industry Intelligence into your sales processes and communications.

Dennis Claros is an Assistant Branch Manager with Cambridge Trust (greater Boston area). He believes that even for people who have experience working with a particular niche, it’s important to stay attuned to what’s happening in that industry so you can relate to the business owner. Industry Intelligence from Vertical IQ “really gives you the edge,” Claros says. When it comes to sales, “A lot of it is overcoming objections,” he continues, “and having that little bit of an advantage — 2% more of a chance — can seal a deal.”

Additionally, Industry Intelligence from Vertical IQ is a great time-saver for prospecting efforts, says Jon Miller, a Community Business Development Officer at Banner Bank (Washington/Oregon). “I’ve been using [the Industry Snapshot in the SalesKit] where I can type my name and all my contact information, and it prints out [on the cover]. It’s such a great one-page sheet that gives them the information on their industry and that nice graphic information on the back.”

Industry Intelligence is especially valuable for sales pros who call on multiple businesses in different industries and markets, Miller notes. “Some of this information you may know if you’ve been in the industry a long time,” he says, “ but there’s always updates and always something new. And a lot of the business owners unfortunately don’t know a lot of this stuff, which they should. … So I think that giving them that tool is very valuable.”

“Give [Vertical IQ] a shot. Pick one feature, find a way to use it, challenge yourselves. … Try to include it in your day-to-day, and you’re going to find value, you’re going to start using it more.”

– Dennis Claros, assistant branch manager, Cambridge Trust

Lesson 3: The content on Vertical IQ is relevant for your prospects as well as your existing clients, enabling you to set yourself apart from the competition.

Business owners are looking for trusted advisors who can help their business succeed. To that end, the actionable Industry Intelligence you’ll find on Vertical IQ offers that business owner value throughout your sales cycle – from meeting with a prospect for the first time to touching base with a long-time client. Why? Because the content is always being updated with the latest data and trends, providing valuable, industry-specific insights to business owners.

Small Business Lender Jerry Bazata with Cambridge Trust (greater Boston area) knows that positioning yourself as a trusted advisor is key. Preparing for calls by using Industry Intelligence can help solidify relationships, especially when the competition comes knocking.
Bazata explains: “If I bring a business owner some additional information that helps them understand their industry, that’s a real plus — that’s going to continue to entrench me as a trusted advisor. More importantly, I should be preparing [for conversations] by looking at what’s happening in the industry so I can have an open dialogue about how I can meet their needs going forward.”

Dennis Claros with Cambridge Trust leans on Industry Intelligence for his prospecting and relationship management alike. “I use it for everything,” says Claros. “For my current clients, I like having a touchpoint. I like being able to remind them, ‘I’m here. I know what your pain points are. I know what you need.’ … It’s always good to have that ability to touch base without coming off as annoying. And for my first appointments [with prospects], I always use it.”

Jennifer Jackson is a Financial Solutions Center Manager with First Commonwealth Bank (Pennsylvania/Ohio), and she too utilizes Industry Intelligence from Vertical IQ to add value throughout the sales cycle. “When I go to see a prospect, and I’m building out an agenda, that’s when I’m using those Call Prep Questions,” she explains, “and when I’m dealing with my current customers, I am looking at the Industry News articles, and I’m asking them, ‘Is this affecting you? This is something that we’re seeing in the industry, but is it affecting you, and how can I help?’ And it just keeps me as that trusted advisor.”

Many thanks to these Vertical IQ customers for sharing their personal experiences! Do you have a success story to share? Want to be featured on one of our 2024 panels? Or maybe you’re ready to get your team access to the Industry Intelligence that saves time and moves the needle with clients and prospects?
Contact us today for a free demo!

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