Consultative Selling Wins Imaging Business In Banking
By focusing on business processes rather than products, this integrator inked a contract to install multiple document imaging applications in 26 branches of a community bank.
Twelve to eighteen months is a long sales cycle, but not entirely uncommon by document imaging solution standards. In fact, this is the sales cycle Champion Workflow Systems, Inc., a New Jersey-based systems integrator, faced when working with Kearny Federal Savings Bank. In this case, Champion proved that you can use a long business courtship to earn sales over and above the original project opportunity by engaging in consultative selling.
Focus On Processes To Uncover Document Management Pains
When Champion's President Gary Loew first met Kearny's Senior VP of information technology at a New York/New Jersey chapter meeting of the Financial Managers Society (FMS), he uncovered that Kearny was interested in replacing its microfilm equipment with a digital imaging system for proof of deposit documentation. Loew convinced Kearny's VP to evaluate the solutions that Champion could offer and used the opportunity to initiate some consultative questioning.
"Our overall sales approach is to become familiar with our prospective client's business processes and understand all of their pain points," says Loew. "Rather than starting and ending with Kearny's expressed need to replace microfilm equipment, we strived to understand how paper processes impact every aspect of the bank's business. It's not just about solving a problem. It's about identifying where the worst paper problem is and implementing a document imaging solution in that area first, so the client gets the largest return on investment as possible."
To gain a full understanding of Kearny's paper processes, Loew identified all of the documents (e.g. proof of deposit documents, HR documents, loan applications, signature cards, etc.) that impact the bank's operations and tracked their flow through the enterprise. This exercise convinced Loew that Kearny's most pending paper problem wasn't its use of microfilm for proof of deposit documents — it was the bank's use of paper signature cards in their branch locations. A signature card is the document an individual signs when opening an account and is often referenced by a teller for proof of identification when a customer tries to cash a check. Kearny stored paper copies of these signature cards at each branch location, and tellers were forced to abandon the customer to access the filed signature card and verify the customer's identity. This process added several minutes to each teller transaction and negatively impacted customer service. Loew reported these findings as well as some paper bottlenecks he uncovered in the loan-processing department to Kearny executives. As a result, Kearny contracted Champion to install an enterprise-wide document imaging solution throughout all of the bank's 26 branches, beginning with the signature card application.
Scanning Services Offer A Compelling Differentiator
The solution Champion implemented consisted of Tokairo's TokOpen electronic document management software and fi-4120C, fi-4220C, and fi-5120C document scanners from Fujitsu Computer Products of America for each Kearny office. Champion also provided on-site scanning services to convert Kearny's backlog of signature cards into electronic images. "Our ability to provide on-site scanning services helped us win this deal," says Loew. "Other solutions providers could offer the software, but they required tellers to scan old signature cards into the system in their spare time. This was not an effective use of employee time from Kearny's perspective."
Using the new solution, Kearny's signature card images are now accessible directly from a teller's workstation through an integration with Kearny's account management system. Tellers no longer need to shuffle through file cabinets to access this information, and the solution helped Kearny eliminate one to three minutes from every teller transaction. Furthermore, once extended, the solution helped accelerate the speed with which Kearny could process loan documentation and served as a replacement for the bank's aging microfilm equipment. The install has also been successful for Champion. Not only did the integrator's efforts result in a contract more lucrative than originally projected, but Kearny continues to be a source of recurring revenue for Champion. The bank is currently working with Champion to extend its document imaging solution into the HR department and to upgrade the capabilities of the system to take advantage of check truncation capabilities made possible by Check 21 (The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act).