Earlier this month, a second article by Incentive Solutions’ President and CEO, Mark Herbert, was published in ThinkAdvisor. While our first article in the series provides an overview of how insurance brokerages can use incentive travel to advance their goals, this article is a deep dive into exactly what KPIs insurance incentive programs should incentivize in order to create sustainable results.
For the full scoop, you should check out the article. But I’ll be doing a quick summary of the main points:
Insurance Incentive Programs: The Problem with Lagging Indicators
Every organization wants to increase sales and improve client satisfaction. However, life insurance brokerages need to be careful about how they go about motivating that outcome. After all, their clients look to them to be trusted advisors. There are two potential issues to take into account:
- Strictly incentivizing sales metrics can lead agents to be too pushy, to cut corners, or to focus only on policies that are easy sales, rather than focusing on what will truly benefit their clients.
- While most life insurance agents would love to leave their clients satisfied, they may not know exactly how to achieve that. It’s up to you to align incentives to show them measurable steps they can take to increase customer satisfaction.
Strictly offering incentives for these lagging indicators can damage both your brand and your relationship with your life insurance agents.
Using Incentives to Motivate the Right Leading Indicators
However, there are leading indicators that insurance incentive programs can be used to promote, which will improve sales and client satisfaction without leading to unintended consequences.
- Use insurance incentives to increase product knowledge – The more life insurance agents know about the policies your brokerage provides, the better able they will be to recommend the right policies to their clients. Offering incentives for performance on interactive quizzes and trivia will let your agents know what they need to study and make the process of learning more fun and engaging. Plus, it will help them convey the value your brokerage’s offering more effectively, increasing sales and making clients feel that they are well-informed.
- Offer incentives to promote improved response time – For clients or prospects, few things are more frustrating than being put on hold or forgotten about entirely. Especially when it comes to financial investments like insurance policies, where the stakes are high. However, agents are usually paid on commission. Incoming emails and voicemails may seem lower priority than converting promising leads. Slow response times are not a good look for your brokerage. Plus, if you don’t consistently strike while the iron’s hot, you’re letting a lot of potential leads get away. Providing incentives for agents who consistently do the heavy lifting when it comes to answering calls and emails will improve response times across the organization.
- Provide rewards for client follow-up – Encouraging client follow-up is another way to offset the effects of a commission-based pay structure. Oftentimes, life insurance agents have financial motivation to focus on near-term payoff instead of looking at the bigger picture. However, consistently following up with clients builds trust and customer satisfaction, increasing the chances that they’ll buy additional policies or provide quality referrals. Client follow-up is another KPI that can be incentivized to help brokerages increase sales, while improving customer satisfaction.
Follow Through with Great Rewards
Finally, in order for an insurance incentive program to be a sustainable solution that leads to long-term changes in agent behavior, you have to make sure your agents feel like their effort was worth it. Otherwise, they will fall back into old habits or, even worse, resentment could start to build. That’s why we back up all of our insurance incentive programs with phenomenal reward experiences.
Make sure to be on the lookout for Part III in the series, which will be appearing in ThinkAdvisor in the coming months!