How Banks Can Incite Employees to Track Referrals in the New CRM System

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A CRM system is only valuable if it is used.

It doesn’t matter which system you selected, or how much money you spent; if the information it contains is not updated, current, and trustworthy, it will do you no good. In fact, it can actually cause more harm than having no system at all. And if the information is there, but nobody looks at it, that also has no benefit.

There must be something management can do to motivate employees to use the new system. Sometimes a carrot works better than a stick, and sometimes the two are interchangeable.

The stick would be that if you don’t enter the information, you don’t get credit for the work you did.   Credit needs to be given only if employees are utilizing the tool. If your employees are neglecting to enter updates into your CRM system, there must be some motivator to change their behavior:  the carrot.


You have to provide an incentive for your employees. Make a policy that will be either part of their job performance review or have a company-wide or bank-wide incentive campaign.

For example, the people, or the branch, that have the most completed profiles will get some reward. Once the behavior is a pattern, it's easier to sustain. Or give $25.00 every time there is a qualified referral. Then if an account is opened, money goes into a pool of credit for their branch because they sent a good referral that actually led to new business.


Some banks tie the information entered into CRM to a referral bonus. If the employee does not put the referral into the CRM system, they do not get credit for it. That credit is a monetary referral payment (carrot!). They may make some insurance or investment referrals. And if they haven't put those into the CRM system, at the end of the month if an account was opened, they won’t be credited for the referral. That directly affects their pocket.

Updating your CRM is also a security measure because clients may move to other branches. Putting the referral into the CRM system is a way for your employee to claim it as theirs. Even if an account is opened at a different branch the original rep can say, "Nope, here are the notes, with timestamp in CRM, showing that I have been working with that customer for months."

Which Banker Gets Credit?

Here’s  a scenario that happened recently at one bank where one of the bankers was working on an investment relationship for a client.  She knew the mother had sold her house, and there was going to be investable dollars coming in. She had referred her to the investment department a year earlier, but the person she referred her to worked the lead but just didn't feel like it was going anywhere, so she marked it as "lost lead" in CRM.  However, the notes remained in the CRM system.

When the customer came back to the bank, she now had the cash, and she sat and waited for the banker who happened to be out sick that day. So she left intending to come back another day. Instead, on her way home, she stopped at a different branch just to throw the check into her account. The teller at that bank did a good job saying, "Hey, this is a lot of money, are you sure you don't want to do something more with this?" The customer said, "Well, actually I do." So, that teller referred her to someone at that branch. This interaction was also recorded in the CRM system. But now there was this conflict: who had referred the lead?

The teller didn't do anything wrong. The client didn't say to the teller that she was already working with somebody else. The teller did what she was trained to do, and we don't want to punish her now.

Because of the notes in the CRM system, the credit was split to create a fair outcome for everyone who had put work into this client.

This happens all the time; a client walks into a different branch, the bankers think they own the client. But the client thinks the bankers are all one big family, so it doesn’t matter who referred them.

Close the Loop

Even when referrals are entered, the loop still needs to be closed when the deal is done.

Some banks run a monthly report that shows closed investment relationships based off of referrals from the branch. And unless it's in the CRM system they don't get the credit. So, somebody in a position of a “data steward” is tasked to make sure the branches get their credit, and that the advisors have "flipped the switch" in the CRM system to confirm that the referral has become a relationship.

Before the end of the month they have to go in and turn the referral into an open account, pulling it from their active pipeline to their production pipeline. Then the report is run, and the dollars can be verified.

Crowe CRM for Banking

Crowe works with 1,800 financial services organizations across the country, including more than two-thirds of the top 100 U.S. banks. With Crowe CRM for Banking powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can get a true 360-degree view of the customer – with a single view into all communications, interactions, operations, and relationships.

Key features:

  • Activity management: Quickly capture call notes and schedule follow-up activities for efficient and timely follow-up. Efficient activity management increases revenue opportunity, accelerates lead conversion rates, and allows a proactive approach to customer communication.
  • Lead management: Automate your lead management and sales qualification process in one central location. Convert incoming leads from email messages and use-guided dialogues to streamline the qualification process.
  • Network management: Leverage built-in LinkedIn and other social media integrations to build network connections, drive new referral leads, and create leads and contacts in your CRM software without retyping.

Best of all, Crowe CRM for Banking has a familiar, easy-to-use interface, with familiar tools, such as Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word, easing user adoption and lowering the cost of learning. Remember, the most effective system is the one that your team will use.

For more information about Crowe CRM for Banking, contact us at +1 877 600 2253 or visit

By Ryan Plourde, Crowe, Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner,

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