Santander Bank sought a total change management program that would create consistency and uniformity in their Commercial Banking Division, better enabling them to acquire new business and expand existing accounts.
Janek Performance Group, over the course of three years, implemented and delivered a wholly customized multiphase sales performance and change management program that aligned with Santander’s objectives, needs, and business situation.
About Santander Bank
Santander Bank North America, formerly Sovereign Bank, was founded in 1902 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The company was fully purchased by Banco Santander, a Spanish firm, in 2008, although the name change from Sovereign to Santander did not occur until 2013.
Since 2008, Santander Bank North America has been headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The company has approximately 9,800 employees, 650 banking locations and over 2,000 ATMs in the American Northeast, and over $3.3 billion in annual revenue.
The Commercial Banking division has four subsidiary departments – Mid-Market, Large Corporate, Specialty Lending, and Real Estate – and specializes in commercial and business banking services.
Santander’s Commercial Banking Division determined they wanted to have a total culture transformation to develop a consistent sales approach across all departments – a methodology that was built on strong, values-based connections and relationships between bankers and clients.
A project of this scope would be a significant undertaking and so Santander sought a sales performance partner who could understand their ambitions and business situation and had the capacity to deliver such a large-scale project.
Upon selection, the first thing Janek recognized was the need for a change management assessment that would determine Santander’s Commercial Banking Division’s readiness for change and put in place a marketing plan that could communicate the message and rationale for the project.
This was carried out, the program marketed to the organization through items such as videos with various Santander sales leaders and marketing content and collateral distributed to the organization.
Janek also engaged in deep discovery and research to thoroughly and completely understand the company’s business situation, industry language, and target markets. This information was used as a basis for tailoring each phase of the change management project’s content and curriculum, customizing it to Santander’s situation, needs, and objectives. A three-phase sales performance plan was also devised that would roll out over three years. Each year would have a different training point of emphasis and program.
Year 1 laid the foundation for the later phases, using a fully customized Critical Selling Skills series of workshops that were delivered to all banking professionals within Santander’s Commercial Banking Division. The emphasis here was on establishing a universal language to be used throughout the company and the training program, a consistent sales approach and methodology, and relationship-building skills with clients – with a focus on values-based communication and connections.
Year 2 shifted from foundational knowledge to expanding existing client relationships. The customized Critical Account Planning workshops taught participants how to maximize the relationship with current customers by developing greater depth and breadth in the relationship. Cross-selling skills were a key part of the curriculum – tied into the needs-based, consultative sales methodology taught in Year 1 in Critical Selling Skills.
Year 3 was a capstone experience targeted at new customer acquisition. Wholly tailored Critical Prospecting Skills taught and built prospecting and business development skills related to the commercial banking industry. Some topics covered included how to secure meetings, locate leads, and build new relationships.
Every phase was accompanied by reinforcement and sustainment strategies. TOPS Reinforcement and Coaching provided management tools, observation sheets, skills, and strategies to coach to and reinforce the knowledge, skills, and behaviors taught in Critical Selling Skills, Critical Account Planning, and Critical Prospecting Skills.
Ultimately, the training accomplished the total cultural transformation Santander’s Commercial Banking Division desired – providing the universal language and enhanced, value-based selling and relationship-building skills the organization hoped for. Participants also gained the flexibility in selling to identify, meet, and solve the needs of both existing clientele and new leads and customers.
Quantitatively, the total training program generated an average sales performance improvement of 24% across all departments, a 306% return on investment, a 4:1 benefits to cost ratio, and each phase was paid back in an average of just under three months.