The pandemic accelerated the technological evolution in many industries, the insurance industry included. For many carriers, IMO’s and clients, the crisis has accelerated efforts to adopt a digital-minded approach. This includes an effort to modernize infrastructure, improve data capabilities and security, and embrace contactless, digital underwriting and claims processes.
Success for businesses means adapting and keeping up with this new normal, and acknowledging that this isn’t a passing phase. 67% of the buying journey occurs online, so even when economic factors return to pre-COVID levels, many customers will already be accustomed to the world of virtual selling and buying.
During the pandemic, agents and adjusted to a sales environment that favored prioritizing the health and welfare of clients and social distance, virtual selling techniques and resources out of a necessity. Although this change was likely in progress for some time, the recent pandemic has accelerated it and changed expectations for client engagement for both clients and financial advisors and agents.
Changing Landscape for B2B and B2C Sales
Back-office operations for agents and advisors have been benefiting from virtual tools for years. Times are changing and have changed during the pandemic; client expectations have increased, and the approach selling services to customers has evolved and will continue to evolve online. Consumers across all sectors now experience the convenience of mobile and online services even more. They expect comparable service levels from agents and advisors. Customers will increasingly reach out to their current providers to meet their needs digitally. Previously, only small projects or special cases were fulfilled online, but now almost all communication and closing the sale can be completely remote.
In fact, over 90% of B2B decision makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run, and 3 in 4 believe the new model is as effective or more so than before COVID-19 (for both existing customers and prospects).
Customer expectations have evolved, and in order to deliver services and remain competitive, it is important to adapt to the changes in the virtual world.
Benefits of a Digital Centric Sales Approach
Less Windshield Time
Windshield time refers to the act of traveling between locations to meet with clients. Online meetings allow you to save time and money on lengthy commutes, and more time spent working with your client than behind the wheel. This save you and the client time.
More Efficiency and Flexibility For You and Your Client
With the advent of online consultations, it has never been easier to connect with your clients. Virtual meetings enable you to quickly and efficiently get to work at a time that works best for the client. Customers value flexibility and convenience, so it is important to leverage new technology to ensure your business development efforts are smooth and scalable for growth.
The Adoption of Technology can lead to Higher Performing Sales Success
Technology savvy-customers expect their financial agents and advisors to be adept at relevant technologies related to the industry. A 2020 Salesforce “State of Sales” report found that higher performing sales representatives are 1.6x more likely to use customer facing technologies than their lower-performing colleagues. Video conferencing leads the roster of increasingly valuable sales tools. AI mobile sales apps and CRM systems have also earned more prominent roles in sales toolkits – for on-the-go and data-driven tools.
Whether the changing customer expectation or the efficiencies of technology as part of the sales process, including CRM integration, artificial intelligence integration, or sales prospecting tools, agents and advisors success is correlated to the adoption of technology. Expectations are changing for every client interaction with technology leading efficiencies in process but also efficiencies in relationship management.
How Can You Connect with Stakeholders and Maintain Momentum with Virtual Sales?
According to 62% of survey respondents in a recent Lexis Nexis survey, having too much information to sort through affects the customer’s ability to complete a sale and develops hesitancy.
Agents and advisors can use virtual selling and an arsenal of technology assisted tools to overcome these difficulties by leveraging the immediacy of technology. Sales reps can effectively engage with prospects and deliver core communication and presentations at times when they are needed most. These practices keeps momentum high and hesitancy low. Additionally, clients are more open to video conferencing tools for relationship building. Video conference connections are critical and are preferred over audio/phone by 4 out of 5 B2B buyers. Being more connected and agile can help you support your clients and meet them where they are in their insurance buying journey.
At DMI Marketing, we provide in-person and virtual tools and services like Webinar in a Box, Social Simplified, and My Back Office advisor portal for our partner agents and advisors to meet your clients where they are with resources to support them along their retirement planning journey. We take the time to understand your needs in order to attract and retain clients. Take your first step to achieving meaningful results, contact us today!