SMALL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP AND RETENTION STRATEGIES (Nov 2015)

Onboarding and Cross-Selling

Rewards and Relationship Pricing

Relationship Managers

Key Finding from a Previous SYNERGISTICS Report:

Results from SYNERGISTICS 2013 study, Maximizing Small Business Relationships, revealed that a significant proportion of small businesses find cross-selling efforts on the part of their provider to be acceptable – both in terms of services for the business and their household.   To what extent have cross-selling efforts been successful among small businesses?

F237 Prop Graphic

Highlights of the Study

This study examines the business and personal financial needs of small business owners.  It explores issues concerning cross-selling, relationship managers, provider competition, and relationship pricing and packages.

National Internet Survey – 600 owners/executives of small businesses with annual sales of $50K-$5M. Industry categories include manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and services.

Key Dates

August 28, 2015 — Charter fee/Intro pricing ends.

August 28, 2015 — Final acceptance of comments on questionnaire.

November 2015 — Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • How important is the main provider relationship in terms of multiple account and service relationships with small business customers? Is relationship pricing an important aspect of this customer profile?  What are the important factors to small businesses in selecting a financial provider?
  • How prevalent is overlap between business and household financial provider relationships among small businesses? Which specific types of providers and accounts or services does this overlap involve?  What are the motivations or perceived benefits of overlapping business/household relationships?
  • To what extent do small business customers participate in relationship reward programs linked to their financial accounts and services – both for their business and their household? How valuable are these programs? Is there responsiveness to reward programs linking both sides of the relationship?
  • What has been the experience of small business customers with onboarding contacts from their main checking providers? Has this been effective in selling additional accounts and services?   What other experiences have small businesses had with cross-selling from their financial providers?  Are formal packages a factor in the small business market?
  • How do small businesses’ channel preferences for banking activities impact channel mix strategies? Can social media be used to meet the needs of small business customers?
  • Can providers expand personal relationships with small business customers via specialized services – such as wealth management, retirement plans, special credit services, or succession planning? Does the overlap of advisory services represent an opportunity?
  • Which small business identifiers or descriptors – such as annual sales volume, business sector, number of employees, or years in business – should financial providers focus on in developing strategies for expanding relationships?

Research Issues

  • Financial institutions understand that small businesses can be a relationship goldmine.  There are opportunities for acquiring both the company and personal business of small business owners.  Small business owners are typically some of a financial institution’s most lucrative customers as they tend to be more affluent and use more products and services than average customers.
  • Competition for this important segment can be quite fierce, with many regional or community banks making small businesses their primary target.  Onboarding and cross-selling programs can be highly important strategies for expanding and cementing these relationships.  What is the entry point for expanding relationships with small business owners – the business or personal side?
  • Institutions are also competing with packages or bundled services, as well as relationship pricing that may include business and personal banking services.  How do small businesses respond to reward programs?  Relationship managers or personal bankers can also be employed to enhance the small business banking experience.  Is the relationship manager valued by the small business and how critical are they in cross-selling efforts?  Tremendous opportunities exist for providers willing to maximize relationships with small business owners. [F237].