Navigating the labyrinth of sales performance: How insurers can rise to the challenge



The platform for orchestrating performance.

Managing sales performance can feel like navigating a labyrinth for insurers. How have industry leaders enhanced sales effectiveness?

As insurers respond to shifting consumer preferences, they are expanding their portfolio of products and rethinking the roles of physical channels, distribution partners, and other revenue streams to drive growth.

This transformation presents both opportunities and challenges, with misaligned targets across channels, ineffective territories, and complex crediting rules making sales performance management for captive agents and distribution partners a daunting task.

How can insurers enhance sales effectiveness, data transparency, and operational efficiency to stay ahead in the fiercely competitive insurance landscape?

Moving beyond spreadsheets

It’s no surprise that many insurers struggle with geo-spatial analysis of the markets they serve and the alignment of territories and targets. If you are struggling, how do you know if your agents, brokers, and channels are performing as planned? What opportunities might you be leaving on the table?

In an industry where precision is key, discrepancies in targets and territory and quota planning can lead to inefficiencies, missed revenue, and frustrated sellers. Shifting market dynamics, evolving business strategies, and growing voluntary sales attrition require insurers to act quickly and predict when pivots and adjustments are necessary to optimize sales performance.

Relying on inflexible, disconnected systems and spreadsheets to conduct your sales planning is not sustainable. Forward-thinking insurers recognize this and are turning to connected planning platforms to develop a more connected revenue strategy.

Connect the dots with connected planning

Connected planning platforms like Anaplan unlock real-time visibility into the data you need to handle the complexity of sales performance management. Such a platform can unify data in one location, creating a single source of truth so you can make informed decisions about what you are selling, where you are selling, and who should sell it.

This visibility allows you to:

  • Better align sales targets, sales territories, and distribution partners globally. Use “what-if” scenario modeling to identify the impact of your changes on products, pricing, sales team structures, and other revenue streams to determine the best scenario for your organization.
  • Quickly analyze different compensation scenarios. Determine how shifts in incentive compensation structure will impact your captive agent and partner sales performance.
  • Better manage complex crediting rules. Confidently manage sales compensation across your teams and channels, removing the risk of under- or over-payments and keeping your sellers motivated.
  • Release compensation faster. Keep your sales teams motivated and focused with timely and transparent payments, and what-if analysis to understand potential payouts down to a single policy.
  • Improve data accuracy and collaboration between sales, marketing, and finance. Deliver accurate, real-time data to the right people quickly to support strategic shifts in GTM strategies and sales priorities.  

Remove hurdles to increase sales success

With improved GTM, territory, quota, and sales compensation planning, you remove many hurdles for your sellers and distribution partners, allowing them to focus on sales execution. As a result, you will see:

  • Increased win rates and quota attainment. With better forecasting, you can create accurate, realistic quotas for your sellers and channels. Sellers will close more deals and are more likely to hit their targets.
  • Reduced errors in incentive compensation. Save the business the time and trouble of correcting under- or over-payments for your sales team and partners. Feel confident that your reporting is right the first time.
  • Improved agent retention and hiring. A well-run team with fair quotas and territories is a team where agents want to join and stay. Create a motivated and effective workforce. Avoid the costs of lost productivity, voluntary attrition, and employee churn.

Shorten the time to compensation

Marsh, a leading insurance broker and risk advisor, knew it had to overhaul its sales compensation, incentives management, and planning processes and tools. Previously, a 30-day lag on data availability meant sellers didn't know which client and activities to prioritize for maximum impact. This lag limited Marsh leadership’s ability to make informed decisions quickly and to adjust sales compensation plans to meet changing strategic initiatives.

Using Anaplan, Marsh equipped salespeople with rich sales data from various sources, which they could use to model the value of different pricing and strategy decisions on their current pipeline. Marsh’s operations team integrated Anaplan with Salesforce to remove problems with stagnant data.

This integration allows sales professionals to model the value of their current pipeline, prioritize their work, and create data models that reflect Marsh’s processes, structures, and goals. Users can create "what-if" scenarios to test the impact of different decisions on the organization’s performance, supporting agile decision-making and strategic planning.

These insights are available anytime, anywhere. A mobile Anaplan application enables salespeople to view their current compensation status on demand, accelerating the time to insight.

The cycle time to pay people has been reduced by about 50%, and we've also been able to pay people more times per year. Our sales teams have become more motivated because they can see how lucrative any deal will be to them at any given point in time. Having Anaplan has enabled our sales teams and our client advisors to move through the entire process in a much more efficient way, which has enabled more time to be spent with clients. Which is what it should be.

- Kristen Jaffee, Senior Vice President Finance for Global Operations at Marsh.