Company: Zions First National Bank
Company Description: Zions Bank, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation, operates 133 full-service offices in Utah and Idaho. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah and Idaho for the past 18 and 10 consecutive years, respectively.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Department of the Year - Financial Services
Nomination Title: Zions Bank Commercial Sales Team
Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
With Failure rates for banks reaching all time highs since the Great Depression
and the S&L Crisis, many banks defined success in 2011 as simply keeping their
Rather than waiting for the storm to pass, Zions Bank chose to make their own
weather. The culprit for many of the challenges facing banking came from non-
performing Commercial Loans. The pool of "Bankable" businesses had shrunk
dramatically, & competitive financial institutions became increasingly
cutthroat in their pricing of lending products to these most desired
companies. Zions found itself playing defense as it tried to protect its
existing client base, & was faced with the challenge of how to achieve
significant growth goals.
Zions turned to non-interest income as a way to improve profitability & reduce
risk. Zions' revenue mix of interest vs. non-interest income was significantly
weighted towards interest-income revenue. The goal was to increase loans by 5%,
but non-interest income by 15% and try to approach the 50%/50% blend of
interest/non-interest income types. This created a challenge as 300 commercial
relationship officers needed change how they engaged clients & prospects.
Rather than focus on the non-interest products & how to sell them, Zions chose
to focus on the key financial problems every business must solve simply by
virtue of being in business. Zions found that there were 6 key financial
problems that any business had to solve in order to be an ongoing concern, and
none of them included having a loan:
- Information Reporting
- Employee Mgt.
- Risk Mgt.
By overlaying the products sold to its business customers into these
core "buckets" Zions found that only 12 of their 53,000 business clients were
having all 6 core problems solved by Zions.
The bad news for Zions was that the challenge was bigger than they had ever
imagined. The good news was that their opportunity was significant...huge
amounts of non-interest income could be generated simply by meeting more of the
core business challenges their current customer base were dealing with.
Commercial Officers were trained to change what they looked for. They were
taught how to have meaningful conversations with clients that identified core
business problems, diagnosed the impact of changing how these problems were
solved, and then ask to help. Officers learned to be adept in having these
conversations & matching problems to products. The incentive plan changed to
reward % of portfolio with all 6 problems accounted for.
Results have been impressive:
- Treasury Management income is at 126% of goal with 12,357 new products
having been sold YTD on an annual goal of 11,200 (6 weeks left in the FY)
- Loan growth is up 6%. (New opps found with new dialogue)
- Ave # of products/business: 7 (up from 3)
- Clients with all 6 problems met: 1057 (up from 12)
- Clients with 5 of 6 problems met: over 4000 (up from 1000)
- Non-interest income exceeds interest income for FY.
- Zions returned to profitability in each FQ of 2011.
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
3rd Quarter Earnings Release
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated sales organization:
Rob Jeppsen is the SVP of Commercial Sales for Zions Bank. With 16 years of
direct sales and sales leadership experience, Rob has worked in publicly-traded
organizations, privately-held organizations, & has successfully led sales teams
in the Technology, Pharmaceutical, and Financial Services sectors.
Rob speaks at conferences nationwide and at universities in the Western US. He
is the creator of the Zions Bank Business Performance Series, offered to Zions'
clients interested in building a world-class sales system. The course has been
taken by over 400 businesses in 2010 and 2011.