Sales Performance Tool Seeks To Consolidate Info

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A new sales performance tool for the MEMBERS Financial Services program moves beyond static data reporting and allows credit unions to consolidate information and analyze trends, according to CUNA Mutual Group.

The tool, CU Navigator, is a "tremendous step forward" from prefabricated, Adobe PDF-file sales reports, to a web-based application from which CUs can download detailed data, said John Fritsche, senior vice president of financial services at Richardson, Texas-based Texans CU.

Texans started testing Navigator in August to monitor its investment and insurance products sales and five sales representatives under the MEMBERS Financial Services program. The 150,000-member CU offers MEMBERS products to 5,600 clients, representing $328 million in assets under management, via its CUSO, Texans Financial.

More than 450 credit unions offer MEMBERS Financial Services through a CU-based MEMBERS representative.

Navigator, officially released in September, monitors month-by-month actual results to plan, growth of assets under management, members served, and trends, said CUNA Mutual. Downloaded data can be customized in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

The tool gives Fritsche month-by-month detailed data about each representative's and product's success. "As a program manager, Navigator allows me to look at Texans' data at a macro-level for the board at review time," he explained. "In addition, I can look at the data at a micro-level to discuss individual situations with representatives."

"We can look at representatives versus products at the same time," Fritsche continued. "If we see particular success with a product line under one representative, for example, we can go directly to that representative and discuss the situation."

Navigator helps Fritsche guide board members through reports. For example, Texans Financial manages $300 million in assets, up from $256 million in January. "As assets under management have grown during the year, I can tell the board how much of that growth is coming from representatives who are collecting new funds, versus how much of that growth is from market appreciation."

Previously, when Fritsche wanted to take a closer look at his sales data, he had to print out the PDF reports and reenter the data into spreadsheets by hand. "Navigator is saving us hours and hours on a monthly and quarterly basis," he said.

CUNA Mutual collaborated with Texans and other credit unions to incorporate their business needs into Navigator's development, said Brad Buss, CUNA Mutual's assistant vice president of Brokerage Technology and Support Operations.

"We wanted to find out what credit unions needed to better service their MEMBERS Financial Services program," Buss said.

Off The Sidelines

Fritsche explained that Navigator is CUNA Mutual's answer to the current state of financial services programs in the industry. "In the late 90s, financial services programs were a sideline for most credit unions, and there wasn't much need for detailed information. As the importance of these programs grew, the next format of information came out, such as PDF reports.

"The current level of reporting, such as what Navigator offers, is specifically devoted to making financial services programs work," he said.

Navigator is just one part of Texans' efforts towards targeted marketing. The $1.4-billion CU combines the performance data tool with membership analysis, also provided by CUNA Mutual.

Fritsche thinks Navigator may be just the first in a line of management tools from CUNA Mutual, including a tool that could dissect property and casualty product performance.

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