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How Banks Can Use Intent Data to Boost Cross-Selling Opportunities

3 min
Salesperson closing deals faster through account-based selling and communication with the right account contacts

Customer acquisition is always a top goal for financial institutions. But the importance and challenges of keeping those customers can dramatically increase over time. Customer churn can reach as high as 30% in the finanial services industry for customers without contracts, and 7% for customers with annual contracts.

Banks can combat this churn — and deliver even more value to customers — by upselling and cross-selling their solutions and services.

However, the process of identifying likely upsell and cross-sell opportunities has historically had its own unique challenges. After all, banks rarely knew with certainty when customers were looking at other solutions … and by the time they did, those customers had usually leaped into the open arms of the competition.

However, the game is changing — and for the better. Something called intent data can illuminate this under-the-radar activity and alert banks when customers are exploring additional products or services.

Put another way: When you can observe and analyze your customers’ behaviors, upselling and cross-selling becomes much easier. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Intent Data for Banking?

Intent data is made up of signals that people create when they conduct online research. Think of these signals as a virtual “breadcrumb trail” that customers leave behind as they bebop around the internet.

Curious customers aren’t the only ones who generate intent data. You create it, too. If you’ve ever searched for information about a vacation destination and then start seeing digital ads about flights to that destination, that’s because of intent data.

Similarly, when business banking customers start searching for terms like “business loans” or “credit card processing fees,” they leave a digital trail that indicates their interest in those services. Normally, that data is anonymous and you only find out about those customers if they happen to visit your site and fill out a form requesting more information.

But if you use an account-based marketing platform capable of detecting those signals and tying them to specific accounts, you can spot when a potential customer or existing customer is shopping for service.

Unlock the Benefits of Cross-Selling

As a bank, you have many ways to serve customers, such as:

  • Business & consumer deposits
  • Business & Consumer lending
  • Merchant services (e.g., CC processing & ACH services)
  • Treasury services (e.g., payroll services & cash management)
  • Advisory (e.g., wealth management)
  • And more (e.g., business insurance)

But many of your existing customers may only use one or two of these services. By listening for intent signals from your existing customers, you can spot when they’re showing interest in other services you offer, such as:

  • Cross-selling loans to deposits customers
  • Identifying personal banking customers who are starting their own businesses so you can offer commercial products 

Similarly, you may have a commercial relationship that you’d like to expand.

For instance: You may offer banking services to a large business, but not its subsidiaries (or vice versa). 

For instance: You may have already earned the trust of a sales department. Now that same customer’s human resources department is trying to address another challenge that you’re poised to solve. Wouldn’t it be great to know that the HR department is looking — especially when you have an internal champion who can make introductions and sing your praises? 

By cross-selling additional services, you position yourself as the single financial institution to fulfill the customer’s comprehensive needs. It’s more convenient for the customer, as it increases the value of your business relationship.

And it’s great for your organization, because it generates more revenue. 

Intent Data Powers Better Cross-Selling

Cross-selling and upselling are valuable strategies for growing revenue, but that doesn’t mean you should continually pester customers with these opportunities. Just like with prospects and leads, this will only push people away.

Instead, develop a deliberate cross-selling approach using deeper insights. Intent data captures buying signals like keyword research that indicate a customer is looking for the products and services you offer.

With intent data, you know:

  • Which customers are looking for additional products or services
  • Which personas are engaged
  • How close they are to deciding
  • The best timing for different types of outreach

These details help you target outreach to customers who are already interested in what you offer. When you contact them, you can show them more relevant content because you know what they’re interested in.

Intent Data Helps Improve Customer Experience

The deeper your relationship is with a customer, the less likely they are to leave. That’s one advantage of upselling and cross-selling.

But intent data can also serve as an early warning system that a customer is at risk. When you see that an existing customer is starting to research your competitors, you can be alerted. That way, you can reach out, talk with the customer, and re-strengthen the relationship. This boosts customer satiusfaction and the bottom line.


By using intent data, banks can anticipate customer needs and identify quality cross-selling opportunities. A more strategic approach means a higher likelihood of success — with more satisfied customers as a bonus.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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