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What if you could easily call up all the deals in your commercial lending pipeline, see what types of credit they represent (e.g., CRE, C&I, Ag, etc.), where they are in the underwriting process, and how many are ready to sign? A digitized loan pipeline management system gives you these capabilities and more. You can use the system to identify what’s working, discover where resources may be needed, track fallout rates, and better manage the overall process of moving a lending opportunity into a funded loan. That’s why loan pipeline management software is the Chief Lending Officer’s (CLO) secret weapon – it enables CLOs to gain efficiencies and maximize healthy portfolio growth.

Would you benefit from a pipeline solution? Start with these questions:

If you’re wondering about the value of a pipeline management system for your bank or credit union, see how easily you can answer these questions:

  • Have we identified enough opportunities this month/quarter/year to meet our strategic goals?
  • Do we have too great a concentration of credit in a particular industry and not enough in another?
  • How much time, on average, does it take to reach a credit decision? For a deal to close?
  • Are too many deals languishing in underwriting/approval? If so, where are they getting stuck, and how can our management team help them move forward?
  • Do we know our projected portfolio balances based on current pipeline activity?

A pipeline management system provides the data you need to help answer these questions and make your people and processes more productive.

Solving typical problems with a pipeline management solution

Pipeline management software can support each step in the loan origination process and benefit a range of roles and responsibilities, from loan officers to credit analysts, underwriters, managers, and executives. Here are some advantages it can provide:

  • Enable loan officers to seamlessly submit an opportunity from your CRM system into the credit approval workflow, rather than manually entering data you already possess. This frees up their time to pursue new opportunities or follow up on existing ones.
  • Keep customers updated and engaged throughout the credit decision cycle by letting them know current and next steps for their application.
  • Prevent unwanted concentrations in certain categories of credit by spotting trends early on.
  • Ensure compliance with your credit policy.
  • Discover inefficiencies:
    • Look at the data for all deals and for each type of credit, including approval rates, fallout rates, and length of time to close.
    • When you find discrepancies, check the distribution of resources – could staffing shortages in certain departments be responsible for slowdowns? Or, are analysts and underwriters taking too much time on deals that are an obvious “yes” or a “no” and not enough time on more complex ones?
    • Determine the source of problems – e.g., are you targeting the wrong prospects; is underwriting taking so long that customers are going elsewhere; or are your terms not competitive?1
  • Identify success stories and share best practices to benefit the entire commercial lending team.

What to look for in loan pipeline management software

If you’re ready for a loan pipeline management solution, here are some features and functions to consider:

Pipeline snapshot –Your pipeline management solution should enable users to gain a snapshot of all deals as they move through your credit decision process. You’ll gain efficiencies and improve business alignment when employees in different departments see the same unified view of what’s happening at every stage.

Drill downs – Employees such as loan officers, credit analysts, underwriters, and compliance officers will need to drill down on specific deals. Make it easy for them to manage documents, notes, and tasks and see the latest updates and deal status.

Functionalities – Make sure your system includes secure document collection and workflow, task management, pipeline filtering, reporting, and audit trails.

Customization – As every financial institution is different, you may want to customize critical elements. These include:

  • Your pipeline dashboard – determine how and what you want to see.
  • Automating your workflow so it’s driven by your policies and covers each stage of your process.
  • Adding custom fields for unlimited data gathering and reporting.


Chief Lending Officers play a critical role in the success of their organization’s commercial lending business and the financial institution itself. Why not empower them with a new secret weapon – a digitized loan pipeline management system?

Enjoyed this blog? You may also want to view Streamlining Your Commercial Loan Pipeline.