I participate in many insurance industry meetings where the primary “pain” is the lack of new recruits for the field force. Just this week, one firm noted a 20 percent shortfall in year to date recruitment.
Recruitment has many facets; in addition to a wide range of impacts on the financial outcomes for our marketing campaigns. I will merely touch on three areas where I spend the majority of my time assisting
Business Intelligence from CRM system
The first flaw I normally observe is the lack of attention and effort to correctly build the audience for the insurance offering. Often, the responsibility is delegated to an individual agent—go get us a list of XXXX.
It is assumed that this is an easy and unimportant task. Wow, it is the item with the most impact on the campaign’s success.
Best practice audience creation requires:
-the determination of the significant data points that drive a decision. May require market research data and intensive modeling of large scale data aggregation
-the data collection, data integration and database to match the audience identified in step 1
Agents are very bright folks but they are not data or analytical experts. They may try to fulfill this role but they normally fail miserably and resent the firm that places them in that position.
And the impact is a multiplier not a percentage. Our DDG target audiences pull 3.5 to 10X compared to the in -house mailing list because we use propensity and predictive modeling.
Even though most firms operate in a silo fashion the consumer data needs to be organized in a single view scheme. Then when consumers engage with our brand we have the ability to recognize them and respond in a personalized fashion.
The consumer might:
Mail an inquiry
Email the customer service center
Search the website for a quote
Click a Facebook ad
Walk in a brick and mortar location
If she/he did walk right up to your desk, could you actually engage them:
- using real data about them—turning 66 today
-their current or previous policy ownership—term life with approval to convert to whole life,
-the trigger event that caused them to walk in—purchased a new home using a jumbo mortgage
Now normally, we are seeking to mail, email or call them as our system recognizes that a trigger such as birthday, marriage, move, child birth has occurred. Due to the scale of this effort we need automated campaign tools that implement our business rules on a 24/7 basis.
Again, if you are forcing the individual agent to select his campaign tool, set business rules and manage this process the effort is approximately 99 percent doomed.
The platform that DDG implements depends on your marketing scheme as they systems have very different strengths and weaknesses.
Closed Loop Marketing
I am purposefully using an old vernacular here. It is critical to build that an information process that tracks
Consumer engagement-date and request
Agent response-date and presentation
Meeting date—did we meet face to face
Sale details—closed for policy form with these premium dollars
Many CRM tools exist today.
The key for recruitment is the presence of a system to help agent time management. The ability to view the outcomes in business intelligence dashboards maintains the agent focus and morale.
In addition, if the customer service center is utilizing the same system then you reduce churn and increase customer satisfaction.
An insurance firm that generates a constant flow of interested to buy/qualified to buy prospects, maintains a continuous stream of communication with those consumers and assists the agent in sales time management will not suffer a recruitment shortage.