Sterling Resources Inc. and CoreStates Financial Corp. have developed an information system meant to help customer service representatives cross- sell cash management products.
Len Caldwell, a former executive vice president with CoreStates and now a consultant with Sterling, said the system puts crucial information about the bank and its products at customer representatives' fingertips.
In addition, he said, it spares senior bankers from sales reps' often rudimentary queries about bank procedures and cash management products.
These field managers "generally feel overloaded," said Mr. Caldwell, who was still with CoreStates when the project was launched last year. "One of their greatest frustrations is they have so many different components of the job."
To alleviate the problem, CoreStates engaged Paramus, N.J.-based Sterling to design a system for easy access to specific bank product information, procedural direction, and decision-making support.
"We looked at how we could apply that type of information management system to keep our delivery system basically up-to-date," he said.
The system, called Cash Management Coach, offers "best practices" information for pricing strategies and for judging what products may be appropriate.
Officials said the system will help CoreStates employees adjust as support systems are scaled back as part of reengineering and downsizing efforts at the bank.
Mr. Caldwell said the bank has tried to acquaint its sales reps with cash management products. However, the employees, who are most familiar with selling credit products, did not fare well in selling cash management services before the installation of the new system.
The reps "were not used to selling cash management products," said to Andy Zolper, a managing director with Sterling. "Relationship managers may have opportunities to cross-sell to an existing client," he said, but "they are not going to remember all of the specific product information they learned in training."
Since the bank's cash management product information changes constantly, "there was no way we could keep up using the traditional training methods," he said.
CoreStates has 500 account managers using Coach. This is about half of the number expected to eventually use the system.
Sterling also plans to offer Credit Coach, which will be used for underwriting property or equipment loans, Trust Coach for investment management and corporate trust advisement, and International Coach to help bankers in letter of credit deals, futures contracts, and foreign exchange wires.
Sterling is an alliance between banking advisers Demmer-Fleming Consulting Group and CES Training, a developer of computer-based training programs.