Bolster Your Sales Distribution Channels for Long-Term Success June 27, 2007

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1 Bolster Your Sales Distribution Channels for Long-Term Success June 27, 2007 David M. Fiacco CEO & President Online Insight, Inc. Sharon B. Roberts Principal SBR Consulting

2 Agenda The Competency Trap The Competency Trap in Medicare Sales Using Consultative Selling to Get Out of the Trap Deciding on Your Sales Distribution Strategy Extending the Enrollment Period Creating a Strong Broker Alliance Questions & Answers 2

3 The Competency Trap : Definition Term coined by management scholars Companies create solutions through the innovation & development of products and/or services If what they develop succeeds, they learn that what they have done breeds success Companies focus all efforts on what made them successful to the exclusion of other potential ideas 3

4 The Competency Trap : Downside & Antidote Downside : Success Can be Undermined Competitors copy - Exploitation Market conditions change but company entrenched in what originally brought success Antidote : Innovation + Peripheral Vision Keep an eye on changing market conditions; determine how to create new solutions Develop peripheral vision Remain agile Pay attention to the facts, not what you believe to be true. Focus on the facts, not only what will support the strategies that brought you earlier success 4

5 Competency Trap in Medicare Sales : Origination In the 80s, a few innovative health insurers created a Medicare sales model Driven predominantly by HMOs Most health insurance companies mimicked the model Still the predominant model today 5

6 Medicare Competency Trap : Audience Poll How Are You Selling Medicare? What distribution channels Field Sales? Inside Sales? Brokers? What sales strategies & tactics Seminars? Community-based Events? Group Enrollment? Age-in Campaign? Birthday Campaign? Outsourcing (ASO)? 6

7 Medicare Competency Trap : More Choice Today Even with Medicare, consumer choice is expanding through Medicare Advantage plans and through the Part D program that gives seniors a chance to select prescription drug plans that best suit them. * 2006 Versus 2007 PDP / MA - PD Plans Source: CMS PDP 07 PDP 06 Gap Coverage 07 Gap Coverage 06 MA-PD 07 MA-PD 7 * Source: Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute, Transforming health care: A consumercentered model takes hold in the information age,

8 Medicare Competency Trap : Changing Senior Population Millions of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are nearing retirement Insurers must capture this market Baby Boomers are significantly more technology-savvy than today s Seniors. 70% of adults age use the Internet versus 33% age % of wired seniors had looked for health or medical information online at some point in their online life by the end of 2003 (25% growth rate since 2000) Pew Internet & American Life Project, Nov. 30 Dec. 30, 2006 Tracking Survey 2

9 Medicare Competency Trap : Changing Senior Population Key Aging Boomers Themes* Young/dynamic self-image and increased longevity View themselves as younger than chronological age Technology savvy and heavy media consumption Increased Internet usage and TV viewing Interests: health & wellness, travel, continuing ed, volunteerism 9 * Source : AARP Services, Inc.

10 Getting Out of the Trap : How? Think strategically Develop the habit of looking at everything your company does through the eyes of the consumer Foundation of all programs = put the consumer in the driver s seat: Translate the complexity of Medicare into the consumer s jargon Use Consultative Selling Techniques (not One-Plan-Fits-All approach) Recognize and respond to the Moment of Truth 10

11 11 Getting Out of the Trap : Moment of Truth

12 Maintaining a lifelong customer relationship is strongly dependent on the products being offered, how the products are offered, and how the products (and the organization) meet the customer s everchanging needs and preferences at the precise moment they are evaluating them. 12

13 Consultative Selling : What? 1. Requires updated knowledge of product & market. 2. Is NOT a One-Size-Fits-All approach. 3. Simple but not Easy. 4 5 Close the sale/generate qualified lead Educate as to WHY 3 Identify solutions that best meet those needs Cross-sell Opportunities 1 2 Engage each prospect Evaluate needs and preferences Create Loyalty Create Trust and Confidence 13

14 Consultative Selling : Why? One-Plan-Fits-All is no longer valid for the changing Senior population Consumers today are looking for solutions that meet their unique needs For each prospect, your sales process must deliver 14

15 Consultative Selling : Who, When & Where? Who: Any employee or agent selling your Medicare products should employ consultative selling When: During every interaction with a prospective or existing member Where: In self-service (Web) and agent/employeeassisted sales environments (Call Center, Office) Why? 15

16 16 Consultative Selling : How to Employ Channel Agnostic

17 17 Consultative Selling : Gathering Demographic Information

18 Consultative Selling : Ranking Importance of Benefits While Part A is represented here, the process would involve measuring the importance of benefits for each Medicare product offered (i.e., Part A, B and D) and for general healthcare benefits. 18

19 19 Consultative Selling : Measuring Relative Importance

20 20 Consultative Selling : Refining Importance Trade-Offs

21 21 Consultative Selling : Refining Importance Trade-Offs

22 22 Consultative Selling : Illustrating Prospect Preferences

23 23 Consultative Selling : Presenting Balanced Recommendations

24 Consultative Selling : Components to Consider Consider the consumer in all communications (agents/brokers/staff, collateral, direct mail) Avoid product dump and use of excessive insurance jargon Communicate in a language your prospect understands Ask questions to understand a prospect s needs and preferences Stop selling the most popular plan! Satisfy tech-savvy Seniors with a user-friendly website that offers decision support & guidance Ensure Brokers are well-trained to effectively represent your products and company 24

25 Enjoy your break. Up Next: What to consider when formulating your sales distribution strategy. 25

26 Distribution Strategy : Audience Poll What is the percentage mix of your existing distribution channels: Direct, Agents/Brokers or Other? For those with a multi-distribution strategy, what is the most effective channel? How many offer online enrollment for Medicare? 26

27 Distribution Strategy : Support for All Channels Home Office: Capture Preference Data to Develop Best Practices Agents: Empower Agents with Preference-Rich Leads Call Center: Increase CSR Effectiveness Kiosk: Engage, Educate & Motivate Self-Service Consumers Web: Increase Internet Revenues with a Virtual Agent 27

28 Distribution Strategy : Must Enable Channel Conversion People age 50+ increasingly use the Internet for health-related research Yet the majority still prefer to complete the transaction offline or through a call center Actively helping to guide prospects to their preferred channel for the next step helps: Create a consistent, seamless cross-channel experience Increase offline conversion rates % 80.00% 60.00% 40.00% Seniors who use Internet to look up health, medical & nutritional info 72.00% 69.00% Eliminate channel conflict (by providing agents with leads containing the right information to complete the sale) Enhance member satisfaction 20.00% 0.00% Matures (Over 64) Boomers (50-64) Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2006 Tracking Survey 28

29 Distribution Strategy : Direct Sales vs. Broker Sales What is the appropriate mix? Depends on State and competition Strong internal sales staff is important Brokers motivated by ease (enrollment, client relationship, problem resolution) and financial incentives (will sell best plans even if lower commission) 29

30 Distribution Strategy : Role of Direct Response Marketing Can lead prospects to: Inside Sales Field/Community Development Sales Staff Brokers Online Creates Healthy Tension Direct Response campaign created by: 30 1 Pew Internet & American Life Project, Nov. 30 Dec. 30, 2006 Tracking Survey

31 Extending the Enrollment Period : Audience Poll How many of your organizations have distinct departments for Individual Under 65 and the Over 65 member? How many would say your Medicare education efforts are focused on individuals after they turn 64? 31

32 32 Extending the Enrollment Period : Human Timeline

33 33 Education Should Start Pre-65!

34 Extending the Enrollment Period : Where to Meet Seniors Wherever they want to buy! Agent / Home Office In Person (Seminars) By Phone (Call Center) Group Enrollment Online 34

35 Creating a Strong Broker Alliance : How Training Brokers/Broker Meetings Financial Incentives Compliance Tools to Ease Administrative Burden Sales Leads 35

36 36 Creating a Strong Broker Alliance : Rich Lead Generation

37 Creating a Strong Broker Alliance : Leveraging Technology Be More Agile (make the right pitch to the right person at the right time) Increase Conversion Ratios Provide Personalized Service Obtain Preference-Rich Leads Present Better Plan Recommendations Increase Confidence & Consistency of Recommendations Enhance Job Satisfaction & Customer Retention 37

38 Qualitative Research : Health Plans Broker Incentives (in addition to commissions): Count Medicare sales towards annual sales trip Count Medicare sales towards overall commission increases Offer separate Medicare bonus plan(s) for exceeding sales goals Provide dedicated Representatives to each Broker Provide leads to top Brokers Include top Brokers as part of an Advisory Council Pay a tiered commission structure based on sales Broker Training: More training offered to previously approved Brokers than to new Brokers Online training not very prevalent Testing & formal certification not a given 38

39 Qualitative Research : Health Plans Ensuring Broker Compliance with CMS Guidelines: Periodic, random test calls to Brokers selling Medicare Random satisfaction surveys of prospects interacting with Brokers Conduct satisfaction surveys with every prospect interacting with Brokers Handle complaints from prospects or inconsistencies on a case-by-case basis only Conduct Ride-Alongs to observe Brokers selling the Medicare Product(s) Maintaining Broker Loyalty: We provide product training and courtesy calls to Seniors. We have a very good product and we keep our brokers informed of any changes. If a broker is having any issues I personally see that it gets resolved in a timely and fair manner. We see what the competition is offering as far as broker payments and we try to be as competitive as possible in the market place. 39

40 Qualitative Research : Brokers Actively Pursuing the Medicare Market? Most Brokers indicated they do not actively pursue the Medicare market Pursue referral business and/or existing clients that are turning 65 Product too complex, particularly Part D Commission does not offset effort required to complete sale Deciding Which Health Plans to Represent Carrier AM Best Rating + competitive rates Which plans they are certified to sell Carrier reputation + consistency of rates Who offers lowest rates Helping Clients Choose the Right Medicare Insurance Most focus on selling a plan that will serve their client s financial and medical needs Who offers the lowest rates Which carriers are the most widely accepted by local providers Plan effectiveness (best benefits for cost) Let client choose 40

41 Qualitative Research : Brokers Loyalty to Health Plans Most Brokers are loyal to 1 2 plans; characteristics that earned their loyalty varied widely: Ease of doing business with carrier Coverage provided (best benefits for the rate) Rate consistency & competitiveness Carrier history & reputation Certified with select carriers Service to agents & clients AM Best rating Increasing Medicare Sales Most Brokers agree health plans could help increase the number of Medicare contracts they are selling. Some suggested action include. Increase level of marketing to local doctors & hospitals Offer certification Eliminate premiums on Medicare Advantage plans Provide better support/service for agent & client Raise commission due to complexity of sale Keep rates competitive Offer prospecting leads 41

42 Qualitative Research : Brokers Training: If Health Plans could give Medicare training as well when teaching about their products talk to agents as though they aren t familiar with Medicare itself it would be beneficial. New agents are struggling to learn because they don t have the background and even seasoned agents need a refresher on Medicare. Medicare Advantage: I shy away from selling Medicare Advantage Plans because I believe they are not in the best interest of my clients. I won t sell something I would not buy myself or offer to a family member. Monitoring Brokers: It is really important that carriers monitor what Brokers do because the vast majority of Brokers are honest and are affected by what the dishonorable Brokers do regarding Medicare Advantage Plans. Health companies should be more aware of what their agents are doing. When agents are not ethically marketing it affects those that are honorable. It is a shared responsibility and Health Companies should be aware how their products are offered.. Service, Service, Service: If a health plan doesn t have good service, we won t stay with them. 42

43 Thank You Sharon B. Roberts, Principal David M. Fiacco, CEO & President

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