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Blog Feature

By: Meredith Olmstead

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November 9th, 2016

Is Your Credit Union Having a Sales and Marketing Love Story?

Credit Union Marketing | Marketing & Sales Strategy

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Today I'm attending one of my favorite events of the year, INBOUND in Boston, and I attended a session that inspired to me to write a blog about how to better connect Sales and Marketing in your Credit Unions.

Melissa Miller, Marketing Team Operations Leader from HubSpot, presented on how to set up a Service Level Agreement to better connect your marketing leads with your sales/member service team. This tends to be a huge challenge we see many of our Credit Union clients facing.

Here are some great highlights from the presentation you might find useful:

Think of the relationship between Sales and Marketing as a marriage. It takes constant communication, compromise, and give and take.

What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a formal commitment between a service provider and the end user. An SLA defines exactly what the end user will receive.

In the case of HubSpot marketing and sales, the SLA agreement focuses on the marketing department delivering a set number of leads for sales to pursue AND a set sales process that follows-up with those leads to meet their sales goal. When companies surveyed by HubSpot had a formal SLA in place, 82% said their marketing efforts were effective.

Why Would You Want an SLA at Your Credit Union?

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There is often a natural tension between marketing and sales in lots of companies. This can come to the surface more when bottom line revenue isn't meeting larger sales goals and objectives. Sales blames marketing and marketing is forced to switch and shift on the fly!

A defined and well developed SLA can help facilitate constructive conversations between team members about what areas are unperforming if numbers for the CU are off for the month, quarter or year.

We also find that some senior managers at CUs can be reactive with regard to marketing campaigns. For example, if deposits are down in August, the CFO or VP of retail banking may demand that the marketing department change focus immediately. This can potentially throw the entire department into a tail spin!

If you have a clear SLA in place, this will help better determine why numbers aren't meeting expectations. Then your marketing and sales teams will be able to adapt or change more successfully, and focus where they will see the biggest positive impact.

How Would an SLA Work for a Credit Union?

CUs coordinating between departments can be tricky. A realistic SLA must have clear goals and also communicate what is measured, how it's measured and why a particular metric is the focus. This approach will in turn help staff have a starting point for positive collaboration.

It's also very important that the leaders of this cross-department collaboration meet on a regular basis, and that they share expectations with all the players in the mix.

Your Credit Union SLA should back out the assumed annual value of a new member or product, and then make some data driven calculations about how many leads your marketing department will need to drive to sales in order to close a lead. Then you can calculate how many total leads you will need in order to impact your revenue or member growth as desired.

And the nice thing about an SLA between marketing and sales is if numbers aren't reaching your goals, but leads are coming in the door, you will know that sales made need to adjust their follow up strategy to better convert new members or sales. Or conversely, if sales are down and marketing leads aren't coming in the door, you will know that perhaps a strategy shift in the marketing campaigns are in order.

Related Post: Why We are Fired Up About Credit Union Marketing & Sales

12 Steps to Grow Your Credit Union 

About Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead is the Founding Partner of Social Stairway, LLC, which provides Digital Marketing services to Credit Unions and Affiliates. As an experienced Director of Online Marketing, she has implemented marketing strategies for various industries and as a Marketing Consultant she has worked with Credit Unions, taking staff step-by-step through the process of launching all of their Digital Marketing efforts. Meredith recommends a very clear and measureable strategy to all of her CU clients, and then works with them to re-evaluate the success of these efforts on a continuing basis, all with an eye on moving toward a clear return on your online marketing investment.

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