Those Pesky Bankers

I caught by chance a snippet of a Jeff Randall interview with a slippery bank boss earlier this week.  He seemed smug that he was part of a bank that had managed to make decent profits.  He was also intent on following his own agenda, rather than reinforce Jeff’s prejudices.  Whilst there’s nothing wrong with those two traits, unsurprisingly suggesting a strong sense of ‘self’, the narrowness with which it constrained the conversation didn’t make for the hottest of tv.

Then, Bob Diamond the chief at Barclays Capital, passed on the three things he believes every organisation of their type should be constantly asking themselves.  I sense there are intriguing parallels for b2b solution sales teams:

  • how are you managing your costs?
  • how are you managing risk?
  • how close to your clients are you?

Looking at each in the framing a salesforce would see them, costs can be a function of campaign length, close ratio and margin maintained.  Managing risk could involve stoking the funnel and not losing out to competitor traps.  And keeping close to clients is self-explanatory throughout all stages of the selling relationship.

If these three areas of focus are what enables a £6bn profit, then they’re clearly worth thinking about.

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