Customer Acquisition 101: Grading Insurance Carriers

Sponsored Content December 21, 2010

Internet leads have become an essential element of doing business for insurance companies in this day and age. However, despite working hard and spending considerable amounts of money on marketing to pull in these leads, most insurance companies don’t do enough of the basic legwork to ensure that they close as many of these leads as possible. Leads360 recently commissioned a secret shopper study where they tested ten different insurance companies on how their sales teams responded to leads in four Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. The results showed that even the best of these companies were failing to follow optimal practices while many were simply letting money slip away through shoddy sales techniques.

The study commissioned by Leads360 collected data on the consumer response strategies of ten different insurance companies via secret shoppers. Based on this data, the study graded each of these companies on how their responses compared to established best practices in four KPIs: speed-to-contact call, speed-to-contact e-mail, number of call attempts, and the sending of nurturing e-mails. The results were surprising. Only one company managed an overall grade higher than a B, six received an overall grade of C+ or lower, and all ten companies got a grade of C or lower on at least one of the four KPIs. Simply put, even the best of these ten companies is leaving money on the table by failing to adhere to best practices with their consumer response while the worst performers are letting business slip away because of their sales practices.

The primary focus of this study was to examine the response strategy of companies during the pre-contact period between when a lead makes an online inquiry and when they are contacted. Leads360’s data shows that this is a critical period for closing any lead and strong sales teams know not to lose a moment in jumping into action. Leads360‘s data has demonstrated that contacting a lead in the first minute after receiving a lead improves conversion rates by 391%, so there are few better ways to maximize ROI on a lead. Despite this simple way to get a jump on the competition and stand out in the mind of a potential customer, many companies spent hours and even days before making any attempt to contact their potential lead.

The number of contact attempts is also crucial to closing leads. Leads360‘s data indicates that calling a lead 6 times improves the chances of contact to 93% and that between two and four nurturing e-mails garners a 350% improvement in lead conversion rates. However, despite all this compelling data, most of the ten companies surveyed in the study weren’t following best practices. Once again, the secret shoppers revealed that none of these industry leaders was averaging five call attempts, let alone the optimal six, and the majority of them only sent a single e-mail.

It’s very clear that simply putting in a more focused, more meticulous effort from a sales perspective can bring in more business and ensure that your company is getting the most out of its marketing dollar. Leads close at a much faster rate for companies that contact leads sooner and make sure that they’re keeping after a lead until they make contact. However, despite all this, every single one of the ten companies in this study failed to meet best practices in at least one category with many companies failing in all four KPIs. Simply put, these companies are throwing money away. When it comes to sales, no one, no matter how big, can afford to be doing too-little-too-late.Is your company doing enough to close its leads? Based on this study, it’s clear that most of the industry has at least one major area where they could significantly improve and see immediate results in their lead conversion rate and ROI.

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