Universal Sales Process

Universal Sales Process

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Sales is central to every commercial organisation. Every organisation requires its sales to be process driven rather than the sales being hunch backed. Reputed organisations follow a sales process which is universally implementable and institutionalised. Such a sales process is objective and does not vary from their sales person to sales person or from their office to office. Universal Sales Process is important for getting the right customer, increasing productivity and arriving at the stickiness for the client.

Such sales process is known as Universal Sales Process. This has the following components:


  1. Identification of the Customer: This is invariably the first step towards completing the Universal Sales Process. Such a customer generally not a first-time bank user though it may be New to Bank (NTB). It has an existing relationship with some or the other bank and as a result has complete KYC compliance with that bank. However, it is mandatory to have an independent KYC check on the customer. As a result, this first leg, the Identification of the Customer also requires Customer Acceptance Process to complete. It is very much possible that the existing bank of such identified customer has incomplete KYC and depending upon the existing KYC would not only be unprofessional but also dangerous. Hence, an independent KYC check of the identified customer is the first important step in the direction of Universal Sales Process. This step is also known as Prospecting in some companies.
  2. Wallet Sizing: Every customer has a quantifiable amount surplus / required funds. To correctly pinpoint at this amount is like determining the size of the client’s wallet. This part of the Universal Sales Process is known as Wallet Sizing. It is important to have the wallet sized correctly. If not so, the end result would be embarrassing. The customer should be asked honest questions about his / her financial needs. If not possible to directly speak to the customer, at least it should be seen that the compiled information is authenticated. Wallet Sizing determines as to how the bank can help the prospective customer earn more money on its investments / save money on the borrowing availed by it.
  3. First Client Call: Generally, such calls are over phone and not face to face. Hence, it is very important for the frontline sales teams to be well trained in phone etiquette. The call is to be kept deliberately short, to the point and cheerful. The impression that must go to the prospect is that the bank has done sufficient homework on the customer. No need to be unduly inquisitive during this first phone call. The prospect interest need be doubled during the first telephonic call. During this first phone call, time for a face-to-face appointment need be sought. Our Universal Sales Process starts becoming ‘real’ and more serious from this point onwards. 
  4. The First Meeting: The Relationship Manager (RM) has to sincerely prepare for this face-to-face meeting. The preparation should include these points: 
    1. The business details of the prospect (basically the source of income)
    2. Number of family members and source of income of each person
    3. Are the needs of the prospect and the family members interlinked?
    4. The current banking arrangement for the prospect and the family members
    5. The banking requirements of the prospect
    6. How the bank is going to meet the customer needs?
    7. Will there be a need for a new hybrid product to meet its banking needs?
    8. Time frame to deliver the banking solutions fitting the need
  5. The customer communication: Customer communication is a key element of the Universal Sales Process. The prospect has to be communicated properly about the minutes of the meeting (MOM). The MOM mail to be addressed to the prospect and has to include:
    1. An immediate phone call to the customer after reaching office thanking him
    2. Followed by a formal thank you message for giving an opportunity to meet them
    3. Appreciating the hospitality and importance of the line of their activity 
    4. The bank’s understanding of the needs of the customer
    5. Bank’s method of devising the product to suit the exact needs of the prospect
    6. Cost and time frame associated with the above
    7. Commitment of the bank to add value (save time or energy or the money or all for the customer)
    8. Seeking the concurrence / advise / instructions of the prospect
  6. The Customer Confirmation Meeting: A milestone in the Universal Sales Process. It is often seen that the customer requires a minimum of two meetings before signing the mandate in favour of the bank. This second meeting is called for keeping some or all the points in mind as given below:
    1. The customer wants to see the intensity and sincerity as was displayed during the initial meeting
    2. Whether the same set of person(s) visit him giving a sense of continuity, consistency and commitment on part of the bank
    3. The prospect gets time for a comparative analysis of the competing banks’ solutions
    4. The prospect has subsequent doubts and seeks some explanations
    5. Seeks changes in terms and conditions offered by the bank
    6. Seeks longer term commitment, looking forward to Non-Disclosure Agreement
    7. Wants to modify the scope of services
  7. Onboarding and Delivery of the Product: At this stage of Universal Sales Process, the Relationship Manager has to exercise utmost caution. Many a deal slip away at this stage. Some irritant may crop in, some rude or unacceptable behaviour by any functionary of any department of the bank may spoil weeks’ hard work. The Relationship Manager has to ensure that the implementation of the deal is exactly as per the written and committed terms, that there is no ambiguity in the documentation and the customer time is respected.
  8. Cross Sell and Seeking of References: This is the final stage of the Universal Sales Process. This is always more profitable for the bank to sell as many products to an acceptable customer. The cost of acquisition of a customer is high and it makes more sense to give eight products to one customer rather than to eight different customers. Multiple products used by a customer also provide stickiness and make it less possible for the customer to exit. Some product offerings to the same customer are as follows:
    1. Principal (entry) product: CA or SA
    2. Next One: Fixed Deposit or Recurring Deposit
    3. Next: Credit Card
    4. Then: Locker
    5. Further: Demand Drafts of Remittances
    6. Subsequently: Foreign Currency
    7. Third Party Products such as Insurance (life / general), Mutual Funds
    8. Plus, Dematerialised (Demat) accounts plus share trading facility

The above are classified as income earning liability accounts or simply Income Product Holding (IPH). The other set of such IPH comprise of Asset Products. As we are aware, assets (loans) earn interest income for the bank. Hence, needs of   customers are assessed (RBI instructions are clear here, no customer can be granted a loan by a banker if the need cannot be established, meaning a loan cannot be granted for speculative purposes) is also offered some or all of the below facilities: 

  1. Personal Loans (generally unsecured & with the highest slabs of interest rate). Are sanctioned to individuals, especially to salaried class with a ceiling of Rs. 20 lacs.
  2. Educational Loan (secured as well as unsecured, falls under priority sector lending or PSL)
  3. Automobile Loans. Could be two-wheeler loans, car loans or commercial vehicle loans. Tractor loans and 2-wheeler loans fall under PSL. Low interest rate product.
  4. Home Loans: lowest interest rate product. Below a certain amount, Home Loans or HL are categorised as PSL. Sanctioned to individuals.
  5. Credit Cards: these are hybrid product. If a cardholder pays all the dues on or before the due date, no interest is ever charged. Exorbitant interest rates are charged on overdue amounts. Can be issued to individuals as well as to businesses.
  6. Gold Loans: Against gold ornaments and to individuals. 
  7. Consumer Loans: For purchase of consumer durables. Loans are given to individuals. At a comparatively higher rate of interest.
  8. Business Loans: Loans for small businesses. 
  9. Loan Against Property: To individual, loans are given at around 50% of the property’s market value (LTV). Both, commercial and residential properties are accepted. But not the factories and manufacturing outfits.
  10. Apart from this, the customer requirement towards larger amounts of loans such as falling under Business Banking, Corporate Banking, Trade Finance or Merchant Banking are also handled.


All such loans as mentioned above are classified as Income Product Holding (IPH). Then there are facilities which the bank offers to the customers for reducing its cost of operations, saving time and energy. A few of such Non-Interest Product Holding amenities are:

  1. Internet Banking (or net banking or mobile banking)
  2. Cheque Collection Facility
  3. Telephone Banking
  4. Short Messaging Services
  5. Home delivery of cash / cash collection from doorstep 


You must now be comfortable with the fact that a customer can certainly be offered 8 or more Income Earning Products and at least one Non-Income Earning product. 

Universal Sales Process is not complete yet. 

  1. Referrals: A satisfied customer is the best advertisement for a commercial business. Once made genuinely happy with the services of the bank, a customer is often requested to provide references of its family members, friends or the members of its business circle. Then the whole process, from the above point 1 to 9 is repeated. And that brings our Universal Sales Process to a close here. 

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