A health insurance company’s sales were declining year after year partly due to the sales strategy and associated tactics. With all resources dedicated to field sales, the infrastructure did not support an inside sales team and therefore acquisition targets were missed.
Our client had been ill-advised to sell Medicare almost exclusively through field sales agents. This recommendation halted growth and put their Medicare business in great peril. Their vast geographic scope made it nearly impossible to reach consumers solely using face-to-face selling methods. The proven approach to combining digital and direct response marketing with selling over the telephone had been almost completely abandoned. With close to 50% of sales occurring in the eight-week Annual Enrollment Period, we needed to assist the client in leveraging an expert, healthcare-focused, outsource contact center who would handle the demand.
SBR initiated a Rapid Ethnography assessment of the company’s sales and customer service division quickly learning that the structure was built following the prescription from a consulting firm that reported higher close rates of in-person sales. With field sales being the singular sales method, scalability was impacted. SBR mapped a custom inside sales strategy that included an outsourced contact center vendor to handle annual call surges. A competitive bid was engaged and a vendor selected following a thorough assessment of the vendors’ processes, procedures, cultural dynamics, metrics, automation, compliance, adherence reporting, quality and staffing models. SBR managed the transition so that the outsourcer would serve as a seamless “arm” of the health insurer’s organization. Working alongside SBR, the health insurance company was also given the SBR method of working with an outsourced partner to derive optimal results in the long-term.
SBR’s selection and integration management led to a fully functional outsourced vendor operation with a full agent group able and equipped to sell within just six weeks. An additional 35 agents were seamlessly added to handle calls during the height of the open enrollment period. First-year sales results showed that the outsourced vendor partner was responsible for a full 75% of total sales.