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Connecting the Commercial Banking Tech Stack

In this episode of The Purposeful Banker, Tim Shanahan joins us to preview his upcoming webinar, "Connecting Commercial Banking Technology." We talk with Tim about why banks are focusing on building end-to-end commercial tech stacks and how PrecisionLender connects the key pieces.


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Jim Young: Hi, and welcome to the Purposeful Banker, the podcast brought to you by PrecisionLender. We discuss the big topics in the minds of today's best bankers. I'm your host, Jim Young, director of content at PrecisionLender, joined again today by Tim Shanahan. Tim is VP of client strategy and partnership at PrecisionLender, and he's made several previous appearances on the podcast talking about a variety of topics, including the launch of the PrecisionLender Insights Suite earlier this year. But today, Tim is here in advance of his July 29th webinar, Connecting Commercial Bank Technology. Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim Shanahan: Thanks for having me, Jim.

Jim Young: So Tim, let's start off with the basics. When we say Connecting Commercial Bank Technology, what are we talking about exactly? What sorts of technology?

Tim Shanahan: Sure. The three kind of primary technologies used in a commercial bank are really what we're speaking to. The CRM system, things like or Microsoft Dynamics or PrecisionLender, certainly near and dear to our hearts, as well as the loan origination system, or the LOS. Those are really the three primary things we're speaking to here.

Jim Young: Gotcha. And so what we're talking about here is sort of the end-to-end lending experience. Do I have that right?

Tim Shanahan: That's exactly right. That's right. Starting 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 specifically at the bank.

Jim Young: Okay. Got it. Now that's something I know within the halls of PrecisionLender that is not new, but what's the reason for discussing it in this upcoming webinar?

Tim Shanahan: Sure. I think it's more because I think commercial banks are farther along with their digital transformation. I think 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 farther along. I think that the consumer part of the bank had a lot of the focus of digital transformation as consumers were kind of driving that, but it's kind of made its way into the commercial banks over the last few years and banks are farther along. And so it certainly becomes just a welcome topic, frankly.

Jim Young: So yeah, and I know that Dallas Wells and I have talked about it in the past, last year, the PPP rollout and a lot of that sort of stuff really pushed some banks forward in terms of digitization. Where would you say most of them are on this tech timeline in terms of the different technologies and what they're trying to do?

Tim Shanahan: Sure. And I think banks have done a lot, and certainly the PPP program really leapfrogged a lot of folks or forced them to invest more in some of their digital transformation, but I think folks that hadn't had CRM platforms, a good amount of banks have implemented them. The folks that did have CRM platforms, I think they've invested in them in ways to kind of clean them up because I think they had differing levels of sophistication and how they were using their CRM platforms, and then also lots of investment in the loan origination systems. So I think in terms of the different banks that are out there that are using PrecisionLender, the ability to connect them now to other kind of meaningful technologies is really there. It wasn't necessarily always there for all banks before, I think just because banks are farther along on the digital transformation, it's a timely topic.

Jim Young: So the pieces are in place, they just might not quite be connected yet.

Tim Shanahan: That's right.

Jim Young: Okay. I would imagine when you're having conversations with banks that you're probably not getting a whole lot of, "No, we don't want to do this," or, "We don't think it's a good idea." So I guess maybe ask the glib question, why haven't they done this already, or maybe what's holding them back?

Tim Shanahan: Yeah. And I think it's because they've been focusing on each one on its own. It's one where, "Hey, Tim, 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. To your point, Jim, it's not like banks have said, "Hey, we don't want to do this," or, "We don't think this is a good idea." Everyone thinks it's a great idea, they just haven't been in the position to be able to take advantage of it, and now more and more banks are.

Jim Young: Okay. All right. Well, without giving away too much of the webinar, can you kind of take me through what the commercial experience is like when you have the tech and you have it connected? What's happening with each step?

Tim Shanahan: Sure. Well, and we talk about it kind of just all the way through in terms of that digital transformation and digital experience for the banker. Again, a CRM is to log sales calls, PrecisionLender, to structure it and price the different opportunities that are out there, and then the LOS 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, 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. And certainly with the LOS piece, it's a similar story. 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.

Jim Young: Yeah. You touched on that because a lot of this is about delivering that better experience to the client. Obviously if this thing moves smoothly and it goes through there, you're getting quicker answers to the loan questions that clients have. But can you talk a little bit about what that experience is like now when it's connected for the end user, the banker?

Tim Shanahan: Sure. And to your point, Jim, it definitely does help improve the customer experience. And you're right in that the banker experience has also improved. And I think there's really kind of two things to consider here. One is that we help drive efficiency. We're also improving the ROI of other tech investments. I think CRM platforms are notorious for trying to achieve a solid return on investment. It's a difficult thing to do. It's one of those things that's kind of table stakes. You kind of have to have it, but it's a little bit more stick than it is carrot. When all of a sudden you connect to PrecisionLender to the CRM, it becomes a different story. PrecisionLender is there to help bankers do the foundation of their job. It helps them be more effective at working with their customers and structuring deals and pricing them, et cetera.

So really kind of helping the bankers and really improving that ROI from other technologies. 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 they needed to get to PrecisionLender. They wanted to go there and structure their deals, kind of win their transactions, win the opportunities. So that's one piece. The second piece, I think it actually goes back to the customer experience. I think it's one of those things, as you drive a better user experience, it has a downstream impact on the customer experience. So the better you treat your bankers, the better your bankers can treat your customers.

Jim Young: Yeah. That's a really good point. I remember something else from that story is, kind of the way it feeds both ways with it, is that because they had much richer data in the CRM going in, as you could tell. Once of month is sort of, "I am doing this because my boss tells me I need to update stuff," versus once a day, which is, "I'm doing this because it's now part of my daily what I'm doing." And that richer CRM data, they were having better conversations then with customers, and that actually led to more deals being priced in PrecisionLender.

Tim Shanahan: Absolutely true, Jim.

Jim Young: All right. And finally, Tim, this is a concept we've been calling Brain of the Bank for several years now. We're going to have a banker on the webinar as well. Just can you share a little bit though about sort of from your perspective what the experience has been like for banks that you've worked with recently that have gone through and made these connections?

Tim Shanahan: Sure. And I think Jim too, you're absolutely right. We've always been believers in terms of connecting these different pieces of technology. The banks that have actually connected their CRM to PrecisionLender and their LOS have actually achieved financial performance that is significantly better than the customers that we have that have not connected them. And so, it's one of those, is that you end up getting more efficient bankers, you end up having higher levels of productivity, they deliver overall better financial performance. I think that the banks that have connected these platforms together have really just outperformed the people that haven't, and certainly being able to speak one of the bankers to kind of talk us through their experience will be very helpful there on the webinar, so looking forward to that.

Jim Young: Yeah, and really, there's nothing better to sort of drive forth a conversation about doing something than to be able to point out that, "Hey, your peers are doing this and they're doing pretty well with it."

Tim Shanahan: That's right.

Jim Young: Well, we'll stop there because we don't want to give away the store again before Tim's webinar. Tim, thanks for coming on the show.

Tim Shanahan: Thank you very much for having me, Jim. It's always good to chat.

Jim Young: And a reminder again that the webinar Connecting Commercial Bank Technology will be on July 29th at 2:00 PM Eastern. We'll have registration links in the show notes, and also be on the lookout for invites if you're on our email list or if you follow PrecisionLender on social media. Thanks so much for listening, and now for a few friendly reminders. If you want to listen to more podcasts or check out more of our content, you can visit the resource page at, or you can head over to our homepage to learn more about the company behind the content.

If you like what you've been hearing, make sure to subscribe to the feed in Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Stitcher. We love to get ratings and feedback on any of those platforms. Until next time, this is Jim Young, Tim Shanahan, and you've been listening to Purposeful Banker.