I recently made a trip out to a credit union to consult with their Outbound Sales Department, also known as an Outbound Call Center, and offer my suggestions and feedback on their strategies and processes.  It was a great trip and we had some great breakthroughs.  This credit union is doing amazing things for its membership through its outbound sales team as well as its outbound sales initiatives in the branch network.  Most notably the credit union experienced a respectable 11% loan growth with 40% coming from recaptured loans through outbound and branch sales efforts.

Credit Unions across the country, just like this one have realized the opportunity available to them and the importance that an Outbound Sales Team plays in capturing it.  Here are 3 reasons why they have an Outbound Sales Team why your credit union should seriously consider starting one too.

Reason #1: Loan Recapture and Missed Sales Opportunities

Your Outbound Sales Team is going to help you identify and recapture loan volume at a high level.  Credit unions currently hold roughly $3,100 in credit card and auto debt per member*.  Nationally that number is closer to $6,000 per US Citizen** which means your members have nearly half their unsecured and auto debt with a bank or captive lender.  There is a potential for your credit union to double their unsecured and auto loan portfolios by simply reaching out and recapturing it.  And this is just the beginning.

Your credit union is likely missing other product and service sales opportunities because of delivery gaps in your branch, phone and online offerings.  The Outbound Sales Team can draw leads from other missed sales opportunities such as GAP, overdraft protection, life insurance and investments, and other profitable products and services.  In fact these missed opportunities sold to your members through an Outbound Sales Team can be just as productive and profitable as are your loan leads.

Reason #2: Capture the Sales Opportunities Now

Traditionally credit unions have relied on their branch and service center employees to capture all the opportunity their members present, but this creates the gaps mentioned above namely due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of time due to high foot traffic or call volumes
  • Lack of ability due to a lack of experience, skills, motivation, or sales culture
  • A focus only on those member who are engaging your credit union for new products and services

An Outbound Sales Team is the answer to each of these gaps.  They are a dedicated sales team with no other functional responsibility other than engaging members over the phone to sell and close additional products and services.  They will be a separate department from your branch and service center which means you can hire specifically for the skills and experience you need to create a powerful sales culture.  And lastly, your Outbound Team can specifically target members who are not engaging your credit union to create the loan and product growth you are looking for and reengage those members in the credit union.

Reason #3: Your Members Love It

Lastly, your members came to you because they needed an expert to manage their money and debt, and an advocate to advise them how to utilize the products and services best to help them reach their goals and dreams.  They appreciate it when you call to thank them and let them know how you can help.

A number of years ago the credit union I was working for at the time was falling short on our products and services per household goal.  We needed to be there by the end of November at it was nearly October.  To reach the goal our executive team launched a credit union wide, outbound initiative, giving branches and even corporate departments lead lists to call out on.  The goal was to contact as many members to discuss and close additional products and services that would benefit them.  The push lasted for two months and we reached the goal.

A few months’ later 4th quarter numbers came out for the credit unions member satisfaction and net promoter scores.  Surprisingly, and completely unexpectedly the percentages had shot through the roof to their highest levels ever.  This happened again a little over a year later when the new ODP Opt-In regulations went into effect and we contacted every checking account holder to get them opted in.  We realized a powerful correlation between our members satisfaction an our outreach efforts.

A consistent outreach effort from an Outbound Sales Team is not only going to proactively grow your organization and create profitability but it will also engage your members in your organization so they think of your first for all future needs.  Need I say more?

*US Credit Union Profile, Year End 2014: CUNA Economics and Statistics

**247 Wall St: Total Household Debt Now Has US Auto Loans Over $1 Trillion,John C Ogg, Aug 13, 2015 and Nerd Wallet: American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2015, Tim Chen

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