This is a followup to the insurance survey results we published earlier this month about digital channels and the role of the agent. In that post, we explored the top 5 channels that carriers have on their website, and how the agent’s role has changed into that of an advisor focused on the stage where you can sell or cross-sell your more profitable products.
In this post, I want to look into it a bit deeper, in terms of insurance sales enablement by channel. What are all the insurance distribution channels, and how can we enable insurance agents and brokers to better engage with the leads they’re getting in each channel, and increase both number of policies sold as well as the total sum assured.
1. Website queries
This is the most important insurance distribution channel now. Once you’re on a carrier’s site, you’ll typically see one of the top 5 CTAs (calls to action) – online insurance quote, toll free number, find an expert, phone call, and website form.
All five are intended to a) Let you buy insurance online; and/or b) Put you in touch with the agent or an expert advisor who can help you through the insurance purchase process.
Insurance sales enablement for this channel requires the lead distribution to be fast and effective. The initial quote is the lead qualification process. Anyone who makes use of the above mentioned five CTAs must be responded to instantly.
Enable your agents with an instant lead notification and response tool, so that they’ll be able to talk to buyers, pitch the most profitable products, and close a higher number of policies with a larger sum assured.
2. Insurance sales on Facebook
How many of your customers are visiting your Facebook page, and getting your updates? How can you increase your reach on Facebook? Should you be spending any money on Facebook ads? What is the ROI on social media?
Start using Facebook Lead Ads. It’s part of Facebook’s offering for businesses that want direct leads. These are targeted leads out of a pool of Facebook users, selected based on a user profile provided by you. It’s a qualified inbound lead, since they will have filled in a form stating that they are interested in a specific product.
It’s easy to use – just make use of our Facebook Lead Ads user guide. The sales enablement part is where you integrate Lucep with your ad campaign, so that your agents get leads on their phone, straight from Facebook, as soon as someone fills up a form.
3. Call center
Is it a call center or a cost center? Want to eliminate your call center costs and route inbound calls straight through to the right agent who is available to take the call? Call us now and we’ll have Lucep up and running as a Call Center distributing customer queries instantly, with no delay and without putting your customer on hold.
Here’s a case study of a bank that made use of Lucep. They’ve got 50,000 visitors weekly on their site, and they’re getting more calls now than before, calling back customers instantly, and have improved their customer satisfaction levels too.
Enable your insurance agents with detailed lead information, while cutting one of your major cost centers.
4. Direct mail
As an insurance distribution channel that has to be physical, direct mail stands apart from all your other digital channels. Sending postcards in the post may be old-fashioned and expensive, but it still works just as well.
It gets you the brand name recognition you need as an insurance company, so that it’s still fresh in their minds when a customer goes online to research and compare quotes.
Enable your agents by putting their name, address and contact details whenever you target their area for a direct mail campaign. They’ll get some of that name recognition, and calls from direct leads generated from the campaign.
Ask your agents to get in touch with us, so that we can help them respond instantly to such leads from their own personal website or blog, social media, emails, etc.
5. Email marketing and EDMs
Unlike direct mail, the lack of costs associated with email marketing makes it a channel you cannot ignore. The problem is the low rate of response. There’s virtually no branding element here, and the response you can expect drops rapidly with the delivery rate, open rate, click rate, and then the lead engagement, qualification and conversion process. By the time you actually get any sales done on email, the conversion rate will have dropped down to less than a tenth of one percent.
The solution – make use of callback links that can be customized to include the name and number of the email recipient. See our EDM guide here, and make use of the free templates to create your next mailing campaign.
6. Managing General Agents (MGAs)
A Managing General Agent (MGA) is a specialized type of insurance agency that is vested by insurers with the authority to underwrite contracts brought to them by the insurer’s agents and through other distribution channels. So they have to process leads from agents of different insurers, while coordinating the whole thing with the insurers.
All this is done using insurance underwriting software that is developed for MGAs. This complicated lead management system needs some more automation to ensure that leads don’t slip through the cracks.
Make use of our lead distribution system to notify the right agents about leads, and pipe the leads into your MGA software by integrating it with Lucep. It’s easy because Lucep’s API connects with all your existing systems and software, and you don’t need to go through a massive digital transformation process to change the way you work. Just continue doing what you do, and we’ll make it faster and more efficient.
Bancassurance is a partnership between banks and insurance companies under which the bank sells insurance products and services as a reward or value added offering to banking customers. For example, the bank may offer cobranded cards which allows card holders to get insurance by redeeming reward points. They could also simply advertise and sell insurance products directly, without linking it to a banking product.
Under this arrangement, the bank provides advisory services and the forms, and collects documentation from its customers who purchase insurance. The approval or rejection, and underwriting, is still done only by the carrier.
Lucep can enable bancassurance by connecting leads instantly to the agent handling it at your bank, along with distribution of mortgage leads, investment banking inquiries, and other high-priority banking calls to the right person who is available.
8. Cobranding partners
This is the same as bancassurance, applied to any other vertical. Air carriers and hospitality companies have partnerships with insurance carriers, offering cobranded cards and other discounts on insurance services and products for premium customers who are part of their loyalty programs.
Travel providers and automobile companies likewise may tie up with insurers to provide their customers with insurance as a part of their “all inclusive” package deals. Want to make it easy to sell insurance as one of the features in a mobile app? Use the Lucep push notification. One tap on a button sends you a notification with lead data of a customer who wants to buy insurance as part of a package deal from one of your partners.
9. On-demand micro insurance sales
This is the kind of insurance distribution that you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the near future. It’s explored in detail in this post about insurance as a thing on the IoT. Insurers will be able to track and monitor the insureds and the other “things” they are underwriting. For example, Micromile has an app that monitors the health of your car, and you can buy car insurance by the mile.
This on-demand pay per mile micro insurance option opens up a lot of flexibility in leveraging technology to make the entire insurance process function more efficiently.