OK so the title may be a little brash, especially when we know some people in the tech arena getting this VERY right… but the point is that we still meet huge numbers of people underestimating the gritty work involved in such a long and complex sell. The topic of selling to banks is always one to raise an eyebrow. Those outside of the industry claim it must be the same as selling to any large conglomerate. But one glance at the regulated nature, complex infrastructure & you might think again.
At an event hosted by Illuminate Financial, we delved into the intricacies & contentions. We have put together a list of tips for FinTechs that resonated strongly:
Innovation needs to flip inside out:
So much innovation seems to be contorted to the founder’s own very niche vision, rather than a pointed & ruthless obsession over the market problem. This is a pertinent reminder to founders to focus their perspective externally & founders not to blindly back optimistic tech solutions for problems the Financial Services world is yet to find.
Seek out the pain & create pressure from within:
Regulation is the current pain point – suddenly all tech with a tenuous tie to MiFID II is desirable. This is not something to shy away from – if you can link you technology to something high up on the agenda then hone the solution around that & use it to drive traction.
It is also important to find a senior evangelist who relates to the problem you are solving & would experience the tangible impact of your solution sufficiently to champion it from within. What will make them shift gears? Why should they care?
Don’t be fooled by a thin veneer:
It may appear that the person you are selling to understands and is adept in the technological space, but their tech knowledge “front end” still has many fooled. There is often no common domain model & this can be an issue when you are trying to find a way into banks.
Obsess over hopes, dreams & fears:
Technology is only a part of the story when selling, pitching to investors & positioning oneself in the market. With 97% of our brain activity in the subconscious, the emotions of the stakeholders must not be forgotten. The positioning should tie in with the emotions that lie behind a decision.
Turkeys voting for Christmas:
Ultimately technologies are created to increase efficiency. However, for many, this word has become synonymous with disintermediation & redundancy. Though the key stakeholder may not be affected, s/he may have personal connections with those who feel the threat. It may seem obvious & an emotional point but this quells the dreams of adoption for many a tech company. Therefore, it is essential to highlight & prove that people can coexist with the technology. Though part of their role may be subsumed by the solution, it means the the role will adapt rather than die out & skills can be deployed to more effective use elsewhere.
“Illuminate bridges the gap between innovative capital markets tech and financial institutions. Through our strategic partnerships and by hosting events like this, we help to enable adoption of relevant tech solutions within financial institutions that can be hard to navigate” says Alexander Ross at Illuminate Financial