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How are banks becoming digital sales engines? “Intelligent Sales”

David Villaseca Morales
Global Head of CX - Marketing & Sales

In the era of “Intelligent Banking”, banks like BBVA and Citi are applying AI and autonomous solutions to grow margin and revenue using the most effective channels. Leveraging their data, they hyper-personalize communications and systematically maximize sales conversion. “Intelligent Sales” is not just about business growth, but also about being relevant to their customers and meeting their needs at moments that matter. What should banks do to become more "intelligent"?

When sales meets customer experience

According to The Economist: “The banking revolution is great for customers. Finally, banks are giving people what they need”. From the customer's perspective, the digital evolution means personalized, meaningful recommendations. From the bank’s perspective, digital is a key source of growth. Pure digital neobanks are proud to use algorithms to orchestrate actions and cross-sell in real time. For retail banks such as BBVA, digital sales already account for more than 50% of total sales - overtaking the share of sales from physical branches.

Building an engine of growth requires mastering with intelligence the customer experience across the whole sales funnel: from awareness until the final purchase. This is a key element for an “Intelligent Bank”.

  1. Better leads and more meaningful conversations through hyper-personalized marketing

Being a customer of a retail bank and a digital strategy professional, I was concerned in the past when I received mortgage ads from my bank - a mortgage that I already had! Nowadays, banks leverage data to drive meaningful conversations in real time with customers, whether in digital advertising or online channels. 

Orchestrating both internal and external data properly is key for generating qualified traffic and maximizing ROI. Banks are hyper-personalizing communications with potential customers across media and advertising platforms. This way they can boost KPIs such as Click Through Rate, thus reducing Cost per Lead. An interesting tool is the Data Management Platform (DMP): a cloud-based platform that enables personalized campaigns and addresses targeted audiences, combining internal and external data. 

Moneyfarm, an online investment advisor and one of the largest digital wealth management companies in Europe, combined Oracle BlueKai DMP with Oracle Eloqua to increase their sales by 30% and reduce Cost Per Acquisition by 15%. With these solutions, Moneyfarm targeted the right customers, with the right content, and at the right time. The implementation of DMP in search and display channels with third-party data allowed Moneyfarm to personalize conversations with their audience.

A key element for customer acquisition is external data. For example, Visa and the communications group Publicis used Oracle Data Cloud and Oracle Contextual Intelligence to focus their programmatic conversations on a specific target audience: millennials, who are interested in food, music, travel and sports. The personalization for this audience led to a 75% increase in viewability rate, and a 150% higher Click Through Ratio than the industry standard.

  1. Enhancing conversion to sales, maximizing the customer purchase path

In order to get higher conversions, autonomous applications with adaptive intelligence help to create the best personalized offer for each customer across channels in real time, which impact KPIs such as Conversion and overall Digital Sales ratios. Based on behavioral data, applications such as Oracle Responsys allow businesses to orchestrate and optimize all customer interactions. 

A key process for banks before rolling out a new program is Test & Learn. With the support of data, agile teams can iterate thousands of actions, and automate the delivery of the best personalized combination for each customer: from cross-device campaigns, to visual design or pricing. Testing and personalization tools, as Oracle Maximizer, allow to personalize the online and mobile customer experience, automatically uncovering customer preferences using predictive insights.

For example, Mercury Insurance, one of USA’s most trusted insurers, implemented a testing and personalization program with Oracle Maximizer. With advanced testing of visitor behavior, they could offer insurance packages that resonate with each individual visitor. Mercury Insurance optimized the quote funnel to increase conversions and profit margins, achieving between 44% and 56% conversion rate uplift across micro-segments. 

  1. Orchestrating all customer data and experiences

According to Forbes, one of the Top 5 priorities for CMOs is connecting data across channels, and recognizing that a customer is the same person across devices, channels and locations. Customer data is at the core of these different stages of the "Intelligent Sales" funnel. From the customer perspective, this is not a linear journey, but flexible across the web, apps, social networks, branches, chatbots and contact centers. Many organizations suffer from silos around internal and external data, as well as diverse customer experience tools that require unified orchestration. 

The new solution for this data orchestration across channels and applications is a “customer intelligence platform”. Oracle CX Unity creates a single view of the customer profile, applying AI and machine learning to online, offline and third-party data sources. This "intelligent" customer profile can include first-party data (demographic, behavioral, transactional, etc.) as well as external data, and connects with DMP / data partners (such as Oracle Data Cloud) to offer even deeper insights of customers and prospects. The power of embedded AI algorithms allows businesses to analyze the evolution of thousands of leads in real time, and orchestrate the best personalized actions to convert  leads into sales across multiple interactions.


Data, technology and AI together are already accelerating the digital sales engines of banks, which are evolving to “intelligent sales”, improving the ROI of their sales and marketing campaigns. Personalized conversations make the banks' communications and interactions with customers and prospects more relevant. How is your business boosting digital sales?   

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