5 Outbound Sales Cadence Insights Every Insurance Agent Should Know

5 Outbound Sales Cadence Insights Every Insurance Agent Should Know

Sales cadences are about more than just the frequency and content of your emails, they’re about engaging your prospects enough to begin a valuable conversation. How you interact with your leads should vary from segment to segment to maximize effectiveness. A good sales cadence filters out any undesirable prospects, but a great sales cadence will get meetings. One of the biggest differentiators between the two is our first insight: The importance of a timely follow up.

The Art of the Follow Up

The speed of your first response to a prospect is crucial to converting smaller opportunities into revenue. The Harvard Business Review found that businesses that attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even an hour.¹ If you can follow-up directly after a prospect engages your cadence, you’ve got the best chance to move them further through your pipeline while they’ve still got you at the top of their mind.

If your prospects are in the market, they’re already eyeing the competition and likely reaching out to them as well. The longer you wait to follow up after a response, the more likely someone else is to. Conversely, the shorter your response time is, the faster you can get through the opening stages of your funnel to qualify a prospect because a quick response every time makes the sales process easier for your customer. Staying on top of your follow-ups doesn’t only create more conversions more quickly, it creates happy customers.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get lost in the process of following a sales cadence. The point of the cadence is assuming that the prospect has not seen the previous contact, the only goal is to elicit a response. Each new touch point should be treated like a cold call or email: Stay consistent with the frequency and content of your touch points to make sure you’re being seen.

Sales cadences work to organize your outreach attempts to enable you to reach a higher volume of leads without getting disorganized. That being said, it’s your job to be using all the relevant platforms available to engage your prospects and improve the quality of your outreach. Your goal is to make contact, use all the methods available to get your prospect’s attention. Sales development reps who didn’t engage their prospects on social media only filled their pipelines 47% of the time, compared to 65% of the time for salespeople who use social selling.²

As time goes on you should also be creating new cadences to succeed where others have failed. You’ll learn more about your audience through both your positive and negative responses as you keep track of what brings the most success over time and form valuable insights into your sales process.

Know How to Switch It Up

If you’re executing a sales cadence correctly, your leads will have to at least see your efforts, so avoid being boring and using the exact same approach every time. Sales cadences are still cold outreach attempts and need to have variation to maximize your chances of engagement. Thanks to the internet, the biggest obstacle for many cold calls and emails is providing value. Buyers do their own research now and are already at least somewhat informed on your offering as well as your competitors.

Two 2018 studies have found not only that 70% of B2B and 79% of B2C customers in the US do research online before they make a purchase, but also that 44% of B2B buyers prefer to identify potential solutions themselves before reaching out to sales.³,⁴ As such, the job of the insurance agent has evolved into one more similar to an advisor in order to address the questions and needs of more informed buyers. In order to separate yourself from the rest you need to really understand the problems of your leads and provide the buyer with the solution they’re looking for.

By centering your target customers’ pain points in your outreach, you’ll retain relevance no matter how many times you pivot topics or approaches. Your subjects will stay fresh as you approach leads with different topics, but your focus will remain consistent as each topic will be related by what’s most important: the customer’s needs. Instead of putting your whole value proposition in an email, break it down to create a concise sequence of attention grabbing topics. With a well crafted cadence, you’ll be able to not only generate opportunities, but also gain insight into which topics get the most engagement.

No One is as Productive as They Think

In a survey of how much sales reps thought they engaged prospects, the average number of perceived touch points per lead was 15.⁵ However, most reps actually only use 8 touch points per outbound sales prospect. Even top performers only use as many as 12 per prospect,⁶ meaning that it’s very easy to lose track of your relationships with each lead. The beauty of a well planned cadence is its ability to create a schedule for your messaging and keep your outbound prospecting efforts organized. Equipped with a strong cadence, a good insurance agent will be chugging through their pre-organized tasks each day as they go through their schedule, but even that can only go so far.

Besides minimizing distractions, one of the best ways to increase productivity is to improve the efficiency of how you spend the most time: working. To accomplish this, the average sales rep will use an average of 6 tools to help manage their load: A CRM, a data-list feed, a tool for social prospecting, an email engagement tool, and a tool for their sales cadence.⁷ Insurance agents typically don’t have such a busy sales stack, but they can learn a thing or two from these savvy inside sales reps about sales tools and automation.

Choose the Right Tools for the Job

When you’ve hit a wall in your productivity, utilizing a tool to help automate your workflow can take you to the next level. But between sending emails, making calls, creating and assigning buyer personas, and keeping track of your performance and tasks, the consistency and organization of a sales cadence can come at a cost of the time invested into upkeep. Without the proper tool or service, you would need to do lists and excel sheets to manage your cadences with various leads and incorporate them into your busy workflow.

Of course every insurance producer has tools at their disposal, but while your CRM may help you keep track of your prospects and your emailing tool will help cut the number of emails you need to write, the best tool for managing your cadences is a sales engagement platform like 20 Miles. Most sales engagement platforms manage workflow sequences, automate and track emails, create buyer personas, integrate with your CRM, and analyze data on the whole process to optimize, but 20 Miles takes it a step further: In addition to a feature-packed platform and award winning integrations, With robust analytics and a suite of sales tools, 20 Miles lets you get more work done while providing the data you need to perfect your process.

Takeaways

The usefulness of a sales cadence goes so much further than organizing your workflow or helping to ensure continued follow through on your outreach attempts. With the right approach, your cadences can become sources of data on your prospects and help to build loyalty with them through reliability; With the right tools, you can increase productivity and separate yourself from the rest. As you prepare to prospect your next group of leads, consider these insights to take your sales cadences to the next level.

Sources:
The Harvard Business Review: The Short Life of Online Sales Leads
Sales for Life: Social Selling 2017 Trends Report [Via Hubspot]
CSO Insights: 2018 Buyer Preferences Study
Netsertive: 2018 Local Consumer Survey
InsideSales: How to Build a Sales Cadence to Rule Them All
The Bridge Group: SDR Metrics and Compensation Report [Via Sales for Life]
InsideSales: How 900 Companies Build and Execute Successful Sales Development Teams [In partnership with Sales for Life and others]

NFL Players in Health Insurance Fraud

Bending the knee isn’t the only contention facing the NFL; this time, there’s health insurance fraud thrown into the mix. For those that don’t know, health insurance fraud is any act done specifically to defraud the insurance process. If you try to get something from the system you’re not owed (or even when someone denies you a benefit), this is insurance fraud.

lock on a jail cell for nfl insurance fraud
So far, not many of the players are seeing jail time, but that might change in the future.

The most common types in America are premium diversion, fee churning, asset diversion, and fraud involving worker’s compensation. In 2006, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, close to $100 billion was lost in the United States from these cases. That’s a massive number considering only several million was involved in this sports scandal.

Professional sports in America has a reputation for wealthy players, high-stakes games, and sometimes controversial acts. However, in this case, a pretty clear-cut alleged case of fraud surfaced from ten NFL players.

Here’s what we know.

These ten individuals used an HRA plan (more on those here) to receive a payout. The numbers we have so far are that the fraudulent charges total a little under $4 million. From June 2017 to December 2018, their total cut from this plan skimming netted $3.4 million in claims payments.

According to U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr., and from the FBI’s evidence, the defendants in this case planned “and executed a fraudulent scheme to undermine a health care benefit plan established by the NFL – one established to help their former teammates and colleagues pay for legitimate medical expenses.”

This is in the East District of Kentucky, and the list of players involved.

Each is Charged with Various Counts of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud/Health Care Fraud

nfl player with football and insurance fraud
Be wary with the people you work with. Anyone can try to get more than they are owed.
  • Robert McCune, of Riverdale, Georgia
  • John Eubanks, of Cleveland, Mississippi
  • Tamarick Vanover, of Tallahassee, Florida
  • Carlos Rogers, of Alpharetta, Georgia,
  • Clinton Portis, of McLean, Virginia
  • Ceandris Brown, of Fresno, Texas
  • James Butler, of Atlanta, Georgia; and
  • Fredrick Bennett, Port Wentworth, Georgia,
  • Correll Buckhalter, Colleyville, Texas, and
  • Etric Pruitt, Theodore, Alabama,

More players will be notified of charges in the future, but these core ten have a more solid sentence awaiting them. It’s unfortunate, but in the healthcare world, both agents and insurance firms must be careful in dealing with everyone, including star athletes.

Why People Use the Internet for Insurance (And How to Use It)

The Why

The rate of online sales is increasing by the year, and it’s showing no signs of stopping. Just in 2017, we’ve seen a rate of over half the population replace shopping at brick and mortar stores with online retailers. So why is online shopping so popular?

semi-opened laptop connected to the internet
The internet can open so many doors for you, but you have to know where to look.

It all comes down to three conveniences:

  1. Saves time
  2. Cheaper
  3. Product or service availability

If someone can purchase an item quicker, cheaper, and with more variety, then that’s going to be the winner. While online shopping is more popular with the younger generation, it makes sense for all industry types to invest in the platform.

For insurance specifically, most consumers (especially younger ones) will not only seek professional help, but they will also turn to the net for information. Any company providing both relevant information plus a sales push can capitalize on the masses of consumers shopping around.

The How

Let’s say the average person is shopping online, and they want to buy insurance. Taking what we’ve learned from earlier, this person could be swayed to purchase a policy from you if you provide a couple things for them:

  • First, you need to save them time. The majority of people shopping online for insurance want a quote as quickly as possible. Providing a ballpark quote upfront with a form is the surest way to get someone’s information, moving them along to the final sale.

Once they have their quote, you have a hook.

  • Second, this person finds value in saving money. When you use the internet as a platform, it saves time and energy that you’d expend collecting information, setting up meetings, etc. This step is good for both you and your prospective client.

    insurance agents talking about how they use the internet
    Ask for help if you need it. So many people have different tips and tricks for maximizing their web time.

Another option could be presenting your quote as the cheapest option alongside competitors. Undercutting your competition also saves the customer time, so they don’t have to shop around and compare.

  • Third is streamlining the process so that the client has as little need to leave their house as possible. While it is wiser to use a phone call or face-to-face for more expensive sales, a simple chat on a browser or mobile app could draw in people simply for its ease.

It’s no secret that people will pay more for convenience, just take a look at the number of sandwich places in business. People can make their own sandwich at home for cheaper, but they go out to be taken care of.

Bottom line is that web sales on the internet are where the market is trending. Jumping on the wagon now before it really takes off is really the wisest option. Why do people use the internet for insurance? For the above-stated reasons. Make sure you’re progressing along with the market.

Making and Sharing Insurance Commission

If you’re a brand new agent (or someone that needs a refresher), you might be unfamiliar with how licensed agents make their money. It’s a simple process defined in three major parts:

  1. Base Pay
  2. Commission
  3. Incentives

Most people are familiar with base pay and bonuses, but commission payments are where things get tricky.

The first major divide in agent types is whether you’re considered captive or independent. It sounds more dramatic than it actually is. Basically, captive agents work for one company. So if you were hired to work in an office with a team, you’re most likely captive.

Independent agents, on the other hand, can work selling several different policies for different companies. You might be independent but still part of an agency. It all depends on if you sell multiple types of policies from different companies or just one.

insurance agents talking about their commission over coffee
Depending on how many people are involved will affect your commission pay.

Making Commission

Depending on where you’re working is going to determine how much of your salary is dependent on commission. If you’re a captive agent, you most likely will earn a base pay, but a commission is likely. However, if you’re completely independent (not even an agency), then you could be commission only.

It’s easy to make commission, and the steps are built into the process. However, a couple of things differentiate exactly how much you start with:

  • Company specifics (if your company is different from the industry average)
  • Policy renewals
  • New policy openings
  • Type of insurance sold

With these in place, the actual amount of commission varies from agent to agent. Let’s look at an example.

If Patty started her career at an average insurance agency and becomes a captive agent, then she could start with a base salary of around $20/hour. Patty’s company starts its new agents a bit lower but offers them a heftier commission. With a full 10% on each policy sold, Patty can raise her income considerably.

More on that, her company offers an incentive program with new policy sign-ups, adding an extra 2% for new policies at the end of the year. While many companies offer similar incentives, hers also tacks on a flat $1000 bonus for four new customers within the first three months.

Sharing Commission

There are two honest ways to share commission within the industry.

If someone passes a client on to another agency, and an agent within signs the client, then the commission for the referred client could be shared. However, there can be more hoops to jump through. For example, in Texas, as part of the insurance code, an agent must have a Managing General Agent’s license. This is only applicable if the brokered business is 50% more of the agent’s total business or if the agent accepts $500,000+ in annual premiums.

insurance agent with commission in cash
Best part about the job? Incentive pay! You can make so much more on top of your base salary.

Between an agent and a broker, the commission can also be shared. The only rule for this case is that both parties must be licensed to sell the same insurance type. If not, they’ll be treated like unlicensed people trying to sell policies, not the best boat to be in.

All in all, the commission pay on top of base salaries can be a great income boost. Commissions can be incentive-based or your entire paycheck depending on the organization you are apart of. Like any sales-based industry, being helpful and knowledgeable will help you sell more, and excelling at that will help your bank account grow!

 

Why Become an Insurance Agent?

Any skill is marketable, but none more so than an expert salesman. In America today, the insurance industry is the choice for anyone looking to make a solid income, plus a little extra. But why do most people want to become an agent, and what are the pros of becoming one? Besides being one of the most lucrative industries out there, becoming an insurance agent has its own perks.

insurance agents having a meeting in their office
Unlike some industries, you can choose between working solo or being part of an office.

With how stable the industry is, you are almost guaranteed a job. Somewhere in the hundreds of companies out there is a spot for you. The same goes for gainful employment. While many are put off by the starting work, if you pull through and try your best, you could be looking at stable employment for the rest of your life.

An agent has flexibility in their industry. You could start in one company, one insurance type, and one agent type, then move to a different one. The only limits you have are ones that you place on yourself.

This means that there aren’t any hard lines drawn around you once you’re established. If you have a fair amount of clients and know your stuff, you could even start your own agency! Just make sure you keep up to date with licensing.

insurance agent pointing at a chart on a computer
One of the best parts about this career path is how much support you’ll get.

One thing many people take for granted is paid training. Licenses aren’t cheap, but most companies will help you out with resources, meetings, and even conventions to learn the best industry skills. Once you’re licensed, you can grow your skillset within your company, or by yourself, if you’re independent.

When you sell insurance, policies are often renewed by the clients. A great benefit to this process is extra commission can come your way when renewals are paid for. Want extra money on top of your base pay? The more policies you sign, the sweeter this can get. Compared to other industries, insurance commissions are the most lucrative out there.

You have Benepath to help you! With high-quality leads like ours, sales will be a breeze. You don’t want to waste your time looking around for people, or worse, cold calling. Instead, our lead generation process places warm, interested leads in the palm of your hand. With Benepath, we lead, and you sell.

How to Become an Insurance Agent the Right Way

Joining the market as an agent can be super easy, and an amazing opportunity. Anyone has time to do it, but to do it the right way requires self-knowledge, research, finesse, and, of course, a license.

We’ll talk more about licenses over later. Acquiring one properly should only take a few weeks, after that, the wide world of insurance opens up for you! It can be daunting without a good starting point.

people working hard in an office with a laptop and notepad to become an agent
Want to work in an agency or on your own? You get to decide going in what you’d like!

Self-Knowledge

Why do you want to become an agent? This should be the first question you ask yourself. Your answer can range from “helping people protect their property” to “gainful employment.” There is no shame in seeking a job for the money, and this industry can pay well.

After that, you should ask yourself if you have what it takes. An agent is the persuasive face of the company, driving profits by being an expert salesperson. If you’re extroverted, thrive in competitive environments, and are goal-oriented, then half the battle is won.

Research

Before you begin your journey, research the industry thoroughly so you know where you’re going and how to get there.

The first decision is your preferred type of agent. You can become either captive or independent, but as you look, you’ll see even those terms can intertwine. A captive agent is one hired by one agency to sell their specific insurance whereas an independent agent has more independence.

Basically, this step can narrow down which licenses you’ll look for and which jobs you can apply for. For example, if you choose captive, then you should look into which companies in your area are hiring for new agents.

After this, looking into each insurance is a must. Commercial insurance is a popular choice with many coverage types to learn about. Try to focus on one. The more knowledgeable you are about something, the more people are inclined to trust you.

Special note: Each state has its own requirements, so make sure to check your location’s specific regulations.

Finesse

An agent is a salesperson. So, one skillset to build even before you begin the licensing journey is how to market well. This includes more than just in-person conversation. For a new industry agent, learning how to market well online is a top-dollar skill. Acquiring a college education in finance or sales can help you here.

target with dart in it displaying how accurate it is to become an agent
It’s easy to hit the target once you’re pointed in the right direction.

If you add brand awareness, social media marketing, and other web-based marketing platforms to your resume, your appeal as a candidate will grow. Insurance companies will be on the lookout for people that are not only good at closing deals but also bringing in new people.

Your journey as an agent can be a simple process. Many courses online offer free advice on building your market, apply those to your passions, stay consistent, and build your knowledge base, then you’ll become the next top agent on the market.

Lead Types

Get Your Free Guide to Selling Exclusive Insurance Leads!

    Hey there, I’m Ben, your personal assistant. What brings you to Benepath’s website today?