Improve Your Insurance Sales Incentive Compensation Plan

by: Mark Herbert July 29, 2021

Whether you’re launching a new insurance sales incentive compensation plan or revamping an existing one, you have various options to plan up for future growth. Rather than a one-and-done effort, you could build a scaling sales asset that yields incremental sales growth, additional sales data, as well as sales trends and insights over time.

Typically, a sales incentive compensation plan is most effective within the first five years. These strategies will help you develop your plan beyond that, as a flexible sales aid that can help in multiple ways.

Collect more customer and sales data.

There’s more to influence sales rep behaviors than just increasing sales per rep. After all, salespeople are mere mortals, and there’s a limit to how many policies one individual can sell. Sales and customer data, however, is another story. The more you have, the better you understand your customers, your market position, your areas of opportunity, and potential challenges. With more data, you can develop proactive, not reactive sales strategies. Consider encouraging more data collection in the following ways:

Reward salespeople for increasing the value of sold policies by extending coverage or helping customers switch to better, safer policies.

Reward salespeople for the effort they put into relationships with policy-holders. Regular calls, meetings, and check-ins can lead to more trust-based relationships that help both parties learn more and gain greater benefits from the partnership. 

Know what your agents know (and what they don’t).

Most people need to repeatedly relearn information before they retain it. Add a learning management system or online learning platform to your incentive compensation plan in order to reward agents for brushing up on policy knowledge. This enables sales reps to engage customers with greater knowledge and confidence, which leads to better relationships grounded in trust.

What’s more, you can offer a training incentives platform that features instant feedback surveys and forms, so you can identify knowledge gaps and develop training plans accordingly, based on sales agents’ responses.

Enlist incentive marketing services.

If you’re considering incentive marketing services, congrats! You’ve already got a head start. What do I mean by that? Incentive marketing tends to be more effective than standard marketing campaigns. A case study of one incentive program showed that program-related email open and click-through rates were drastically higher than industry averages—by 268% and 780%, respectively. It makes sense; who wouldn’t rather get an email about an exclusive chance to earn rewards?

If you don’t have your own internal marketing talent to spare, I suggest outsourcing incentive marketing to incentive experts in order to:

  • Plan out an annual incentive marketing strategy designed to increase program awareness and enrollment, stimulate reward redemptions, and elevate participation.
  • Communicate with agent participants through multiple channels, including email, call campaigns, flyers/postcards, texts, and announcements on the program website.
  • Enhance incentive email marketing with professionally designed templates, automated scheduling, and a drag & drop editor.

Your incentive compensation plan is an extension of your business and impacts your relationships with your salespeople and customers. As your incentive plan matures and thrives, you should always feel entitled to ask “How can we make it even better?” The right strategies and expertise will answer you with long-term sales growth.


About Mark Herbert

Mark Herbert is President and CEO of Incentive Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience overseeing business operations within the incentives industry, helping companies increase channel sales, build customer loyalty, motivate employees, and grow their business.