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fanning the f lame with industry exposure and promoting some services. It’s no wonder that a Microsoft executive said that the combination with LinkedIn could create “the ultimate selling tool, the ultimate customer support tool.” In addition, it was no surprise that Salesforce fought the acquisition tooth and nail as Salesforce envisions tight (read: anticompetitive) Microsoft-LinkedIn integration. 4. The “cat is out of the bag” stage. CEOs and other senior leaders outside Human Resources got into the action with personal recruiting of management and specialized talent. Banks realized the power of personal over corporate LinkedIn dialogue. This is the reason why the Microsoft-LinkedIn combination has so much potential. It’s not just LinkedIn’s unique data and network. It’s that the combination can tie a historic commercial banking strength (the human energy of lenders driving community connections to banking relationships) to a historic commercial banking weakness (engineering the revenue generation process in a scalable way to leverage talent).

New 5th stage: Social/CRM mash-up?

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will bring a new, potential fifth stage. The development is as much about business impact as technology impact, and it should have the attention of every CEO, CFO, and CLO—not to mention the CIOs or CMOs already reading the tea leaves. The driver is the growing connection between social networking and customer relationship management. Increasingly, business and consumer relationships are initiated or proliferated in social media. More and more purchases are being influenced by social interactions, social connections, reviews, and endorsements. And more and more critical communication is reaching decision-makers in opt-in social networks versus opt-out, f iltered and blocked email or the open internet. Not just consumers, but businesses.

In a recent review of similar banks that are stronger and weaker users of LinkedIn in Cornerstone Advisor’s GonzoBanker blog (, the stronger use was tied to three-times higher return on assets driven by fivetimes higher loan growth. It was clear that senior management recruiting of lenders using LinkedIn was a key driver of the difference. Tying that strength into engineered relationship management is the logical next step. Beyond Microsoft’s move to expand its value proposition in data and the cloud, the company has a stated aim to better integrate social (LinkedIn) with automation, including relationship management (Dynamics CRM). While both Microsoft and Salesforce have acquired some social management capabilities, the value of LinkedIn’s network and data is unique. CRM by itself (and especially without good data and integration) has turned out to have limited proof points, especially in the banking industry.

A recent study of midsize banks in the Cornerstone Performance Report found that while there is a small growing list of banks deploying Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, around half are deploying nothing and the majority deploying CRM are doing so with lowercost solutions integrated from their core system vendors. The uniqueness of LinkedIn’s data clearly drove the acquisition bidding war between Microsoft and Salesforce because it increases its own integration strengths outside of banking systems— specifically integration to social data. So how will relationship management technology and social technology work together to create real business impact? The jury is still out. Most industry best practices on CRM don’t involve social yet. However, the growing information technolog y and marketing partnership is unmistakable. At a recent roundtable of industry CIOs, the number one technology app on the 0.4

Engineering for Revenue Growth Planned System Replacement 25%






Online Account Opening


Online Banking




Source: What’s Going On 2016, Cornerstone Advisors; Loan Origination, Online Banking and Payments are category averages

December 2016/January 2017



December 2016 January 2017 Banking Exchange  
December 2016 January 2017 Banking Exchange