How to Increase Insurance Sales with an Incentive Plan

by: Mark Herbert May 27, 2021

Top sales performers in every industry lose steam from time to time. Industry slow-downs, maxing out the current customer base, and burn-out can all lead to demotivated insurance sales agents. Even when you’re experiencing a period of growth, the question of how to increase insurance sales is always looming around the corner. Here are some ways you can keep insurance sales steadily on the rise:

Offer exciting, non-cash sales incentives.

online rewards
A sales incentive program is a great way to engage and motivate sales reps, promoting exciting reward-earning opportunities. I recommend using non-cash rewards in your incentive plan. Because sales agents eventually perceive cash as basically additional salary or commission, you have to keep increasing the reward amount in order to achieve the same level of excitement. This entitlement factor means cash is more costly than intangible rewards.

Non-cash incentive options include merchandise reward catalogs, event tickets, debit or gift card rewards, and travel experiences—all more effective and memorable than cash. You can choose rewards that fit your sales goals and your audience’s lifestyle, scaling your reward offering from attainable items like movie tickets to once-in-a-lifetime trips to bucket-list destinations.

Reward and recognize behaviors that lead to more effective selling.

Running sales promotions in the insurance industry is tricky. When considering how to increase insurance sales, you don’t want to emphasize quick, bottom-line sales boosts so much that your sales reps cut corners, don’t do their research, or sell policies that are a bad fit with the customer.

Rather than offering incentives and recognition purely for increasing sales, encourage actions that will increase the long-term quality of your sales reps’ performance. Reward them for:

  • expanding and elevating their product knowledge
  • quick client response turn-arounds
  • frequent, informative, or meaningful client follow-ups

These actions allow your agents to be better informed when advising customers, building strong relationships and earning long-term trust. These are the best ways to retain customers, as well as motivate them to buy more policies from you in the future or send quality referrals your way. The resulting increase in sales will be incremental, steady, and high-quality.

Make training fun and frequent with training incentives.

training incentives

It's not enough to just onboard new insurance sales agents. They also need to keep abreast of policy changes, buying trends, industry regulations, and more. They need to learn and relearn this information again and again in order to retain it. Training incentives help ensure they’re getting the right knowledge, and that it “sticks.”

Reward sales agents for completing full courses, passing quizzes, or even answering daily trivia questions to brush up on their policy knowledge. Repetitive but diversified training elements not only motivate your sales reps in the moment, they create positive associations with training, encouraging to continue expanding their knowledge and improving their long-game.

Segment your sales promotions with separate goals for each audience.

Segmenting your sales promotion audience into different groups based on territory, organization, or performance allows you to set diverse, strategic goals. You may want to offer your top VIP sales agents the chance to earn an exclusive incentive trip, for example, while offering merchandise rewards to your mid- and low-tier performers. Assign specific reward point values or reward pay-out so your sales promotions are structured to maximize the sales and behaviors that are most important to your success.

Tailoring multiple incentive promotions makes your program more relevant, personalized, and engaging for agents. At the same time, it grants you greater flexibility and specificity in targeting strategic initiatives.

Answering the question “How to increase insurance sales?” is never simple. It takes research, knowledge of the industry’s current state, familiarity with customers, as well as a deep understanding of your insurance sales force’s challenges and areas of growth opportunity. Rather than focusing purely on quick schemes to get more policies out the door, develop a comprehensive insurance sales incentive plan that targets both sales promotions and sales-empowering actions. Doing so will position you for sustainable, long-term sales growth, better customer relationships, and elevated sales performance standards.


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.