The Connected Commercial Tech Experience

This Thursday, PrecisionLender will hold a webinar, called “Connecting Commercial Bank Technology.” It’ll be hosted by Tim Shanahan and will feature a first-hand story from in the trenches by Nathan Dube of Silicon Valley Bank. 
Last week, Tim came on The Purposeful Banker podcast to preview the webinar. You can listen to that conversation here. But if you absorb more through the written word, we’ve boiled that podcast down into this FAQ below:  

Q: When we say “Connecting Commercial Bank Technology, what are we talking about exactly? What sorts of technology? 

A: We’re really speaking to the three primary technologies used in commercial banking: 

  • The CRM – like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 
  • The deal structuring and pricing platform – PrecisionLender, obviously 
  • The loan origination system, or LOS.  

That’s what makes up the end-to-end lending experience, from when you're first considering talking about an opportunity with the prospective client through structuring that opportunity, and then all the way through underwriting and onboarding that specific deal or opportunity. 

Q: This concept isn’t a new one, so what’s the reason for discussing it in this upcoming webinar? 

A: Because commercial banks are further along with their digital transformation. They've been working with CRM platforms, they've been implementing PrecisionLender, they've been investing in their loan origination systems, and really they're just kind of further along now. 

The consumer part of the bank has had a lot of the focus of digital transformation, as consumers were driving that. But that's made its way into the commercial banks over the last few years and it’s become a welcome topic there. 

Q: So banks are further along? How much then?  Where would you say most of them are on the tech timeline, in terms of the different technologies and what they're trying to do? 

A: It depends on the bank. The ones that previously didn’t have CRMs now have implemented them. The ones that have had CRMs, have invested in them. They’ve cleaned them up and are more sophisticated in how they’re using them. The same progressions have occurred with loan origination systems.  
So now, for banks that are also using PrecisionLender, they’re at a point where they have those other pieces in place. But some of them haven’t taken that step to connect all the pieces. Thus, the reason for this week’s webinar.  

Q: I would imagine when you're having conversations with banks that you're probably not getting a whole lot of bankers saying, "No, we don't want to do this," or, "We don't think it's a good idea." Not to be glib, but, why haven’t they done this already? Or rather, what’s holding them back?  

A: I think it's because they've been focusing on each individual piece. We hear, “We need to get our  Salesforce instance set up better," or, "We need to get through this loan origination system implementation before we start even thinking about connecting these different technologies."  

And that's frankly, a very good practice. Get these things stood up and working appropriately, and then come back through and actually link them all together.  

Everyone thinks connecting the systems is a great idea. They just haven't been in the position to be able to take advantage of it. But now more and more banks are. 

Q: Without giving away too much of the webinar, can you take us through what the commercial experience is like when a banks has the tech and has have it connected? What's happening with each step? 

A: We talk about it all the way through in terms of the digital experience for the banker.

The CRM is to log sales calls; PrecisionLender, to structure and price the different opportunities that are out there; and then the LOS is there for underwriting and onboarding. When you have PrecisionLender connected to the CRM platform, PrecisionLender is really essentially filling out the CRM for the banker. All those rich details of the opportunity, the loans, the deposits, the cross-sell, all the associated economics, all that information is written back into the CRM. 

There's no rekeying. It’s much more efficient, so bankers love it. And all of a sudden, now you have really beefed up information within your CRM, which also helps for things like reporting and pipeline management. So that's on the CRM piece.  

It’s a similar story with the LOS piece. The details of the customer, as well as all the loans, all that rich information is pushed directly from PrecisionLender into the LOS, which really helps drive that efficiency and also helps that user experience. 

Q: A lot of this is about delivering that better experience to the client, because when this end-to-end solution is in place, you're getting quicker answers to the loan questions that clients have. But what's the experience like now for the end user, the banker? 

A: When the connections are in place, it changes the experience for the banker with each piece of technology. 
Take the CRM. It’s kind of a table stakes system. You have to have it, but often banks feel they have to use more stick than carrot to get bankers to use it. But when you connect it to PrecisionLender, the story changes.  

We had a client go from 1.4 logins per banker per month into their CRM - obviously forced adoption - to 1.4 logins per day. That's a 30X improvement. And the reason was that, once the systems were connected, they needed to go into their CRM to get to PrecisionLender. They wanted to go there and structure their deals, win their transactions, win the opportunities.

Then, as we mentioned before, all that deal data gets pushed back into the CRM. So bankers were able to have better customer conversations, which led more deals being priced in PrecisionLender. All of it was made possible by connecting  the two systems.

And as you create that better user experience, it has a downstream impact on the customer experience.  The better you treat your bankers, the better your bankers can treat your customers. 

Q: Finally, can you share a little bit from your perspective about what the experience has been like for banks that you've worked with recently that have gone through and made these connections? 

A: Out clients that have actually connected their CRM to PrecisionLender and to their LOS have achieved financial performance that is significantly better than our clients that have not connected them. You end up getting more efficient bankers, with higher levels of productivity, who deliver overall better financial performance. In the webinar, we’re looking forward to speaking to one of the bankers who has done that. Sean Dube, now the Director of Corporate Finance at Silicon Valley Bank, previously put this system together and connected all the pieces at Boston Private.  


About the Author

Jim Young

Jim Young, Director of Content at PrecisionLender, is an award-winning writer with experience in a range of positions in media and marketing, from reporter to website editor to content marketer. Throughout his career Jim has focused on the story – how to find it, how to understand it, and how best to share it with others. At PrecisionLender, he manages the many ways in which the company shares its philosophy on banking and the power of relationships. Jim graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University and holds a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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