Does Cross-Sell Promised = Cross-Sell Achieved for Commercial Banks?

As part of the analysis for our annual State of Commercial Banking webinar and report, we took a look at cross-selling, but from a different angle. We wanted to examine the truly lucrative cross-sell that comes from bringing over accounts from the competition – such as cash management, foreign exchange, and merchant services.

Specifically though, we wanted to look at the tail end of that process. After getting agreement from the customer to bring over accounts, how were banks faring in the arduous process of ensuring that promised business was actually delivered? 

The short answer? Not well. 

We had heard for years during our conversations with banks that their RMs were willing to bet on the come, and that the banks really didn’t have a good mechanism to track the promises made. But we didn’t realize the magnitude of the disconnect between the initial promise and the actual end results, until we looked at the data. It was striking enough that we had to go back and double- and triple-check to make sure it was right. 

We found that promise business is only achieved 36% of the time, even when the window of opportunity is moved out to two years after the initial deal.

Cross-sell is an incredibly important area for commercial banks, even moreso during the current era of margin compression. Yet the data tells us that banks are leaving an enormous amount of revenue unclaimed simply by failing to close the loop on deals they’ve already made. 

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom, and the aggregate numbers don’t tell the whole story. When we drilled down a level and looked at this issue on an individual bank level, we found that some of them were doing an outstanding job. 


That chart shows us that ensuring delivery of promised business is a formidable challenge, it can be done – by banks that are holding their RMs accountable and have invested in internal reporting and communication structures. 

That was just one of the interesting findings that surfaced during our dive into 2020 commercial banking data. To learn more, make sure to register for our upcoming webinar, the State of Commercial Banking: 2021 Market Analysis.


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