In general, organizations that still use a legacy sales approach are struggling to compete.
Selling into the insurance industry has become increasingly difficult. Using a disruptive legacy sales approach magnifies the difficulty.
For example, several insurance carriers have a policy that does not allow anyone – including senior executives – to take your call. It doesn’t matter if you already have a relationship with them. Cold calling will continue to be less effective with carriers. Even if you do get through, you run the risk of damaging your reputation with an unimpressed buyer.
Inbound sales is an entirely different approach that is educational and helpful as opposed to pushing a product or service. Inbound sales is based on understanding when buyers are ready to engage and providing educational and helpful information until that time.
Below are four reasons I believe that inbound sales works well in the insurance industry.
Reason #1 – The Buyer becomes Familiar with your Company
Unless your brand is a household name in the insurance industry, a buyer may not be familiar with your company. Inbound marketing makes interested buyers aware of your company, products and solutions from blog posts, website visits and social media.
Legacy Sales: When you connect with someone who is not familiar with your company, you have to explain what your company does and convince the buyer why they should spend any time listening to you about how you can solve their problem.
Inbound Sales: Connecting with a buyer who is already familiar with your company is more likely to agree to scheduling time to explore how you can solve their problem.
Reason #2 – The Buyer is Ready to Engage
Everybody has priorities and not enough time to get it done. Although a buyer may be interested in what your company has to offer, there may be other projects to complete or deadlines to meet before they are ready to engage.
When the buyer is ready to engage, they’re more likely to schedule time with you because they’ve been reading your content and want to understand further about how you can help them.
Legacy Sales: The hope is that you have contacted the buyer at the right time or close to it. More often than not, your timing is off and your cold-call is disruptive to the buyer that may be interested down the road.
Inbound Sales: Although this is not an exact science, having an understanding of what the buyer’s behavior has been increases your chances of engaging with them at the right time or close to it.
Reason #3 – Your Focus is “How can we help you” Rather than “What are you interested in buying from us?”
Nobody wants to be sold to, and most buyers are looking to either solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.
Legacy Sales: When a buyer expresses interest, legacy sales transitions into a presentation mode to “dump their bucket” without asking enough questions upfront about what the buyer needs. Unless some homework was done up front, the presentation used is generic and will most likely leave the buyer having to figure out how your product will fix their problem.
Inbound Sales: The minute a buyer expresses interest, inbound sales transitions into an exploratory mode to learn more about what the buyer needs and does not dive into everything and anything your company can provide.
Reason #4 – Your Solution is Tailored to the Buyer's Needs
One of our clients had a saying “one size does not fit all.” Insurers want to know exactly what your product or solution can do for them, and if it can solve their specific problem. They don’t want a generic solution. More importantly, buyers want to know not only what you can do for them, but what you cannot do for them. Insurers don’t expect any solution provider to be able to solve 100% of their needs and are suspect of those who claim they can.
Legacy Sales: Without an in-depth understanding of what the buyer’s needs are, legacy sales will promote a solution based on what your strengths are as opposed to what the buyer needs.
Inbound Sales: Having gone through an in-depth exploratory process, inbound sales can advise how you can provide a solution to the specific needs of the buyer including what you can and cannot do.
Selling into the insurance industry has become increasing difficult. Organizations that still operate under a disruptive legacy sales approach is magnifying the difficulty.
By following an inbound sales approach, you can help an interested buyer solve their problem or take advantage of an opportunity.
By following an inbound sales approach, you can help an interested buyer solve their problem and educate them on how you can assist them. This method has proven itself to work better than just “dumping your bucket”.
If you are interested in learning more about how insurers identify, research, evaluate and select products and services, click on the button below to download our free eBook "Understanding The Insurance Buying Cycle."