Our ‘Age of AI’ series, authored by Aparna Kalle, Group Product Manager at Vymo, offers an in-depth exploration of the future of AI-powered Multi-Channel Sales Teams. In Part I, she presents an overview of AI-driven sales team structures within insurance companies and emphasizes the importance of a well-defined distribution strategy.
In a multi-channel distribution setup within an insurance company, sales teams are structured in a way that optimizes their performance across different distribution channels. The structure may vary depending on the company’s size, the product portfolio’s complexity, and the target market.
How do insurance companies sell?
For insurance companies, a well-defined distribution strategy is critical to achieving market success and maximizing outreach. This strategy involves determining the most effective channels through which insurance products and services are offered to customers.
These distribution channels can include agency sales, bancassurance, direct sales, digital platforms, and more, each catering to distinct customer segments and market preferences
Sales team setup
Here’s a general overview of how sales teams are typically organized in a multi-channel distribution of an insurance company:
Channel-Specific Sales Teams:
- Each distribution channel (agency sales, bancassurance, direct sales, digital platforms, etc.) may have dedicated sales teams specializing in that specific channel.
- Sales representatives within these teams are trained and equipped to handle the unique challenges and opportunities their respective channels present.
- These teams focus on building relationships and sales strategies specific to their target market and customer base.
Regional Sales Teams:
- In large insurance companies with a nationwide or global presence, sales teams may be organized regionally or geographically.
- Each region or territory may have its sales team responsible for managing sales activities across multiple channels within that specific area.
- Regional sales managers oversee sales teams’ performance in their territories and report to higher-level sales leadership.
Product-Specific Sales Teams:
- Product-specific sales teams for insurance companies may offer a wide range of products (e.g., life insurance, health insurance, property insurance).
- These teams specialize in selling a particular type of insurance product across all distribution channels to ensure expertise in that specific product category.
Key Account Management Teams:
-Dedicated key account management teams may be formed for channels like bancassurance or affinity group sales, often involving strategic partnerships with key accounts.
-These teams focus on nurturing and expanding relationships with significant accounts, such as banks, corporations, or affinity groups.
The multi-channel sales team structure aims to leverage the strengths of each channel while ensuring efficient coordination, consistent branding, and cohesive sales efforts across the insurance company. Effective communication, training, and data sharing are essential to success in this complex distribution landscape.
Top 5 Challenges of Channel Managers and Sales Leaders in a complex multi-channel sales distribution
- Performance Tracking and Reporting: Aligning the sales team’s efforts with broader business goals and strategies is crucial. Identifying the right performance metrics across different channels and groups can be complex. Ensuring accurate and timely tracking and reporting of sales team performance can be demanding, especially when dealing with a large team across different locations and channels.
- Coaching and Training: Providing effective coaching and training to sales representatives requires personalized approaches based on individual strengths and weaknesses. Finding the time and resources for consistent coaching can be difficult.
- Motivation and Retention: Sales managers must constantly motivate their team to maintain performance. Additionally, retaining top-performing sales representatives in a competitive market is a constant challenge.
- Effective Communication & Team Collaboration: Communication is vital to successful sales operations. Sales managers must ensure transparent and efficient communication within the team, across channels, and with other departments. A high-performing sales force must encourage collaboration among sales team members and foster a cohesive team spirit.
- Handling Rejections and Objections: Dealing with customer rejections and objections can emotionally drain the sales team. Sales managers must support their team in managing rejection effectively and maintaining motivation.
Sales managers face challenges in optimizing resource allocation, conducting competitor analysis, managing customer expectations, adopting new technologies, and handling customer complaints.
Lastly, the insurance industry faces market fluctuations and evolving regulatory requirements. Sales managers must adapt quickly and guide their teams through changing conditions
Unraveling the Challenges:
Each of the above challenges requires strategic thinking, adaptability, and strong leadership skills from sales managers to drive the success of their sales teams and achieve their targets in the competitive landscape of the insurance industry.
- Performance Tracking and Reporting: In a multi-channel distribution setup of an insurance company, sales teams have specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are essential for measuring their performance and success. These KPIs help track the effectiveness of each sales team and the overall distribution strategy.
Here are some key KPIs for sales teams in the above setup:
- Sales Revenue by Channel: This KPI measures the total revenue generated by each sales team within their respective channels, providing insights into the contribution of each channel to the company’s overall revenue.
- Customer Acquisition Rate: This metric assesses the number of new customers acquired by each sales team, reflecting their ability to attract and convert prospects within their designated channels.
- Customer Retention Rate: This KPI measures the percentage of existing customers retained by each sales team within their channels, indicating their success in fostering long-term relationships and customer loyalty.
- Conversion Rate: The conversion rate represents the percentage of leads or prospects that each sales team successfully converts into paying customers, highlighting their sales effectiveness.
- Average Policy Value: This metric tracks the average value of insurance policies sold by each sales team, which helps gauge the team’s success in selling high-value products.
- Channel Contribution to Profit: This KPI evaluates each channel’s profitability by measuring each sales team’s contribution to the company’s overall profit.
- Channel Market Share: This metric compares the market share of each channel against competitors in the same distribution channel, indicating the team’s performance relative to the market.
- Lead Response Time: The lead response time measures how quickly each sales team responds to incoming leads or inquiries, which is crucial for lead conversion and customer satisfaction.
- Customer Feedback and Satisfaction: Gathering customer feedback and measuring satisfaction scores provide insights into each sales team’s ability to meet customer needs and expectations.
- Cross-Selling and Upselling: This KPI evaluates each sales team’s success in cross-selling and upselling additional insurance products or services to existing customers.
- Channel Efficiency: This metric assesses the cost-effectiveness of each channel by comparing the cost of sales operations to the revenue generated.
- Sales Cycle Length: The average time taken for each sales team to close a deal from the initial contact with a prospect to the final sale.
- Sales Pipeline and Conversion Rates: Tracking the progress of leads through the sales pipeline and analyzing conversion rates at each stage helps identify potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
- Training and Development Metrics: Evaluating the performance improvement of sales representatives after training initiatives and development programs.
- Digital Engagement Metrics: For digital channels, metrics such as website traffic, click-through rates, and online lead generation can be crucial to measure digital engagement and sales performance.
In Part II of the ‘Age of AI Series, ‘ we will further explore strategies and AI-powered solutions to overcome these challenges, including using technology and platforms like Vymo Coach.