The challenges

In the highly competitive world of corporate banking, Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking sees itself as a “challenger,” and that approach to the market fuels all of its efforts, including business development. As Steve Nichols, Divisional Head of Business Development for London and Southeast England, says, “Traditionally, trying to get a business to move their banking in the UK market can be an arduous, long-term proposition. Cold-calling or constantly sending unsolicited emails is ineffective. We want to contact new business prospects when our services are most appropriate and useful to them, but that can be difficult to determine without the right information.”

The solution: Sales Navigator

To support this sales strategy and increase its market share, Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking began partnering with LinkedIn in 2013, providing Sales Navigator licenses to its business development teams.

While the traditional world of corporate banking might once have clashed with the modern concept of a social networking platform, LinkedIn and Sales Navigator were the perfect fit for Santander. Following a successful rollout with the business development team at Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking, Sales Navigator is now the team’s primary business development tool.

Today, the business development team uses Sales Navigator to identify decision-makers, gather intelligence about people and markets, and build rapport with potential customers. “I log into Sales Navigator on a daily basis,” says Dave Sherrington, Business Development Director for Thames Valley. “I’m sharing content and links, and I’m looking for people who make updates I can comment on. When I see something a prospect has shared, it gives me a timely, relevant opportunity to build upon an existing, developing relationship or initiate a new one.”

Building relationships, growing revenue

Sales Navigator has helped transform Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking's business development efforts, allowing them to move away from volume-driven prospecting to a more focused operation that can better identify those ambitious businesses that can be most helped by Santander.

Instead of low-converting cold calls, the business development team is now converting upward of 20 percent of their Sales Navigator prospecting efforts – with nearly 80 percent of the team securing a meeting through Sales Navigator. As a result, Sales Navigator has helped the team a work toward 6X increase in their revenue goals in the past year.

Today, thanks to Sales Navigator, Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking is growing its market share and changing its target audience’s perceptions about its brand. As Mike Davies, UK Head of Business Development, observes, “The market sees using LinkedIn as a differentiator. Using unique solutions like LinkedIn gives us an entry point that our audience hasn’t seen before, and it helps us stand out.” He adds, "Sales Navigator is well worth the investment. In fact, we’ve had a 171X return on investment, which is practically unheard of.”

Whether initiating a conversation with a new target, or striking up a dialogue with a prospect who has been on the list for months (or years!), the Santander team is confident in its ability to effectively start and build relationships with prospective customers. Thanks to Sales Navigator, the Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking Business Development team now has a powerful solution that’s making prospecting efforts much, much warmer.


About Santander

Santander UK Corporate and Commercial Banking helps connect ambitious businesses with the bespoke banking services they need to achieve their goals – offering established, localized relationship teams backed by the resources of the Santander Group, one of the world’s largest banks.

INDUSTRY: Financial Services
HQ LOCATION: London, England, UK

In their own words


“Sales Navigator helps my Business Development Directors make constructive contact with their targets. It creates the opportunity for our team to confidently identify and engage with prospects.”

Mike Davies, UK Head of Business Development


“We train our salespeople on Sales Navigator because it’s essential to our operation, and I share my successes with it to motivate my team.”

Steve Nichols Divisional, Head of Business Development for London and Southeast England


“Our conversion rate is increasing, and our ability to promote ourselves in the right way to the right target audience is enhanced considerably with Sales Navigator.”

Dave Sherrington, Business Development Director