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Patrick Hughes, Insurance Dialogue
Patrick Hughes, Insurance Dialogue
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Patching the Leaky Sales Pipeline with Data Analytics

Implementing data analytics software could be the glue needed to ensure that no stellar sales leads fall through the cracks.

Insurers employing outbound marketing programs must effectively manage lead generation costs to successfully maintain consistent profitability. In the past, insurance companies utilizing outbound lead generation and customer management programs often found themselves lacking the level of real-time data required to strategically determine the next steps for their business. Sales should flow around real-time data analytics based on conversion rates – by product, representative, source, day and time – as well as team and individual agent execution. To answer that need, insurance companies should implement an analytical system to create the actionable intelligence that can increase lead conversion.

Today, insurance companies can arm their sales team with conversion and agent performance statistics that can increase the speed and success of the entire sales pipeline. Implementing data analytics software could be the glue needed to ensure that no stellar sales leads fall through the cracks.

Collect Data to Build the Strongest Pipeline

By implementing data analytics into their current customer management programs, insurers can easily capture valuable customer data, such as date of birth, home ownership status, etc., and combine with historical call data such as attempts, outcomes and feedback to effectively manage lead acquisition, potential new business opportunities and determine how best to execute on them.

Once the carrier gains the customer data it needs, the lead information can be used to compile historical reports and analyze current customers and/or potential sales leads. In order to maximize conversions, the data is utilized to develop strategic business rules, or intelligent routing algorithms, specifically created to analyze the insurance carrier’s contact database for the highest-valued prospects and pair the best agent or team of agents with each individual lead. For example, if a potential new customer is interested in their options for Medicare insurance, the business rules put in place would route the opportunity to an agent or team of agents that specialize in Medicare insurance to ensure they are able to answer any and all questions the customer may have.

Lastly, insurance companies can create a data store to maintain all opportunities and leads, as well as agent, team, program and campaign definitions. This prevents the company from needing to go to multiple outlets to retrieve information and cuts down on the time it takes assign teams or individual agents to specific jobs. In order to meet the unique needs of customers, the data store should be flexible and allow fields to be customized to fit any and all situations.

Together, these tools create a bundle of actionable intelligence that removes any apprehension from the daily sales management process.

Leverage Data to Maximize Lead Pipeline Value

Adding data analytics to the sales toolbox is only the first step to managing lead cost. Insurance companies need to know how to apply the information gathered to repair their leaky pipelines. Consider the following guidelines:

Use data as the backbone of program management:Increase efficiency by using data analytics software to manage lead activity alerts and performance at every level, from complete campaigns to individual sales agents.

Build the strongest sales team: Utilize data to understand where your team excels and where improvements need to be made. Data analytics can show who is performing the best, when agents are at their strongest and in which campaigns they have previously succeeded.

Increase lead values by identifying top sources: Fill the sales pipeline with sources based on best conversion rates and lowest costs per lead.

Prioritize leads: Manage leads based on probability of conversion, which should be prioritized using data. Each lead should be coordinated with the agent, script and product that is most likely to turn a lead into a sale.

Improve the call attempt/contact ratio: Effective dialing strategies, which consist of the most successful times and channels used to contact leads, can be identified using data.

Track each lead interaction: Data analytics software can allow insurance companies to fully understand what customers are thinking during each step of the sales process. Recording the number of calls placed, how often the customer was successfully contacted, what was discussed on the call, the outcome and any feedback can allow insurance companies to continuously improve their customer experience.

Insurance companies should leverage data analytics software to fill their outbound sales pipelines with solid opportunities based data. Focusing efforts on lead opportunities born from real-time actionable intelligence increases conversion rates and sales team performance. In the end, these tools will generate more revenue for the carrier and ensure that every sale flows smoothly through the pipeline from source to conversion.

About the Author: Patrick Hughes is president for the Financial & Insurance Group of Dialogue Marketing, provider of Inteleclose, the company’s data analytics software. For more information, please visit www.insurance-dialogue.com..

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