Applying Channel Incentives To The Insurance Industry
Insurance companies so often have to deal with a wide range of agencies, brokers and agents, it can be tough to maintain high levels of communication and employee motivation through these channels. There is a sense of being slightly removed from these people, who are in effect, a part of your business.
This sales distribution network brings with it many challenges. Not least being the challenge of effectively tracking any incentives put in place. Competition is fierce in the industry and traditional commission structures simply aren’t sufficient to get you in front of the agencies or brokers that you are seeking out.
In such an aggressively competitive environment, commission or fee-based incentives can be difficult to increase given budget constraints - there is a limit to even the most successful of brands! To break through the noise, a properly-structured and attractive incentive scheme, in addition to a fair commission structure, will set you apart from competitors.
Increasing Positive Behaviours
A good employee incentive scheme would look at promoting the kinds of behaviours that lead to good customer loyalty, retention and improved sales. The same applies to channel incentives. The scheme should be coordinated using the company values and behaviours that you want to instil in your channel partners.
Even as far back as 2013, the idea of omni-channel sales was being explored within the insurance industry. In an article by Kathy Hutson on the IBM Insurance Industry blog , she explores the idea of omni-channel across different brokers. In it, she mentions “I do not have control over my experience with my insurance company for about 50% of the interactions I want to have with an insurance company.” She goes on to suggest that appropriate commissions and incentives would help to shape a more omni-channel style experience.
For this reason, it is even more imperative to communicate the way that you want your products and services represented and sold. Even though there will inevitably be more touch-points than many customers are used to these days, you can do your best to make sure they have a positive experience.
The key to all of this is communication.
Branding any channel incentive scheme is vital. You want to be at the forefront of each insurance broker’s mind. Yes, you can buy in some branded mugs, but for true brand awareness you need each channel partner to remember more than simply your brand name. You want them to know your products, your ethos, your USPs. You need an accessible, branded online portal which effectively communicates new products, daily competitions/quizzes to earn more points, performance data, and to reinforce your brand’s key differentiators. The facility for feedback from the broker is also incredibly useful for promoting a two-way conversation with your channels.
Let’s assume that your channels are varied and diverse and you are hoping to appeal to a great number of people; you naturally want to be able to offer incentive choices that will appeal to all, regardless of age, gender, culture… Offer your channels a choice of cash or Universal Vouchers - redeemable against a huge range of digital and physical vouchers from really appealing retailers/restaurants/experiences and sent out in real-time.
Above all, you don’t want to have to police this all day. For a truly successful incentive program, rewards should be immediate. Therefore, the ability to verify a sale and reward the broker or agent as quickly as possible will drive them to sell more. You’ll need a system that allows for this to be done directly. Ideally you want integration with your channel performance data, live updates on sales status and being able to track performance by agent, channel and region.
Case Study - iprism
Due to a highly competitive market for insurance comparison websites, iprism wanted to ensure that brokers using its platform were incentivised to continue doing so through an engaging platform. A points-based rewards programme, PRISM points, existed but was outdated and did not provide brokers with an ongoing summary of sales rewarded.
How It Worked:
vation offered an improvement to iprism’s existing rewards programme by developing an online account based platform to incentivise brokers for qualifying quotes and new business generated. The new system enabled iprism to use a built-in communication suite to communicate directly to its agents with targeted material.
Within 10 months, 36% more new users started to use the updated PRISM rewards platform. The average number of logins per user was 12 times throughout the programme with an increase of 523% in reward value issued in 11 months.
To find out how Ovation Incentives can help you to get ahead with your various channels and create a custom incentive scheme that will drive the results you are looking for, call today or get in touch via email