Zions First National Bank - Sales Department

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Zions First National Bank
Company Description: Zions Bank, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION), 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 20 and 12 consecutive years, respectively.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Department of the Year - Financial Services

Nomination Title: What We Signed Up For: Setting Records with the Zions Bank Commercial Banking Team

Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July 2013 (up to 650 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:

Entering 2014, Zions Bank had double digit growth goals. Coming off a slow 2013 where sales were down 8.6%, growth of 12% in a slow economic & regulatory environment was daunting & seemed like a longshot. The brunt of this goal fell to the Zions Commercial Banking Team. They were asked to sell more with fewer resources...no new FTE would be granted, and budgets would be smaller...but 12% growth was a non-negotiable.

Tactics:

-MINDSET: Since 2007, the Commercial Team has had tremendous success. The team had not missed a production goal in this time frame until 2013. 2012 had been a record year, and the team was used to being responsible for generating the most income for the Bank. Rather than apologize for the aggressive goals, the C&I team adopted a mindset of "This is what we signed up for...," an attitude of being on the team primarily so they COULD be the team that carried the bank...and as a result, aggressive goals were necessary and something to expect. This mindset helped them accept the 12% goal as a minimum target...not the expected outcome. The first battle to win was winning the minds of each salesperson. This attitude of "What We Signed Up For" became contagious a throughout the team and led to a winning work ethic.

-CADENCE: There are 9 regions in the Zions footprint. These regional directors each are responsible for 10-15 salespeople. Each region director received a regional target in Dec2013. These directors met with their teams individually and asked them what they could "sign up for" relative to the goal. Each region set their own target...the combined target was significantly larger than the 12% bank quota. This created a goal that the directors would work towards each month with every salesperson. Having a team of officers chasing their OWN goal rather than a bank-dictated goal was a huge step in creating a cadence of weekly activities. The directors met with each salesperson on a monthly basis to "Self Correct" and set a 30 day plan. These current 30 day plans were crucial to creating cadence and maintaining success all year long. Sales were never the focus point. Cadence came through an understanding of the activities tied to accomplishment. The team used activity management as a predictive indicator for sales success. This approach led to consistency, which created remarkable success.

-COACHING: Directors were given tools to help them separate process from outcomes. Most sales coaching centers around closings and pipeline reviews. "Flogging the Forecast" like this doesn't create ongoing success. The Commercial Directors and Salespeople coached to the process & activities. New indicators were created that provided predictive insights. The team bought into the fact that when process was on point, success became inevitable. They also learned that when process was off, success was un-achievable. This created a sense of urgency around 4 specific process points that were indisputably predictive. This led to significant changes in salesperson behaviors and outcomes.

- RESULTS: 2014 was the best year in the history of the Bank. Results included:

- Closings of $1,733,178,005 on a goal of $1,463,000,000 (Growth of 32%!)
- Products per business of 16.2 (up from 15.3)
- Double-digit growth in both interest AND non-interest income - 9 of 9 regions accomplished their goal
- 73% of salespeople achieved goal (national average is 45%) - Beat the Quarterly target in every quarter of FY2014

Salesforce.com awarded this team the ABC (Always Be Closing) award for the team that best uses technology to close business.

Many nominations for this Stevie will show growth, but to achieve double digit growth at the Billion dollar level is a different kind of achievement. With every region achieving goal and 73% of the team surpassing goal, this nomination is unique. Please recognize Zions Commercial B as the top Financial Services Sales team. They have earned it.

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