Technology could help standardize the selling process. If you had a PC-based selling tool where you profile a customer and determine investment objectives, it could help you make product suggestions.

There would be more uniformity in what investment representatives were saying to customers. Few reps would be just "winging it." Profiling the customer will also make the documenting process more efficient. A representative could transfer -- on-line -- their profile information to account opening forms. Less time would be spent dealing with paperwork and filling out forms.

One way we help banks sell investment products is with a PC-based customer information file that lets bankers look at their account base by household penetration.

By combining that information with other third-party data, they can look at their client base in terms of income, lifestyle, and credit risk. They can analyze investment patterns or see when a CD is maturing.

This way a banker can quickly determine target markets and then initiate direct mail and advertising campaigns. We also offer a sales manager tool that allows bankers to track all of the new account activity by customer service representative.

There are two ways technology helps bank sell investment products. First, technology is critical to managing the cost of delivering investment services.

With the appropriate technology, an administrator or salesperson can manage or service large numbers of accounts.

For example, we have a software product that allows a bank staff member to construct a model portfolio of mutual funds and then change every account that is set up within that portfolio to reflect the model.

Second, our research shows that a lot of people don't just want product, they want advice. With the right technology, the bankers can provide the kind of advice that allows them to sell investment products in a packaged approach.

It plays a crucial role.

Technology is something we've recently spent a lot of time with as we unfold a new branch licensing program.

We are licensing two people in every one of First Union's 1,400 branches.

The way we are going to do it is through technology and developing front-end systems for our sales force so they can tap into data bases and more efficiently process transactions.

Information on our proprietary funds and other products will be available on-line.

Statistics show that's what sales people want.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.