Vero Insurance Case Study
Winning Business Through Broker Engagement
Vero Insurance Intermediated Distribution is part of the Suncorp Group and sells a broad range of insurance products through Independent Insurance Brokers throughout Australia. The company has a national network of Business Development Managers, whose role is to develop relationships with the Brokers and to assist them in selling Vero’s insurance products to their customers. The BDM’s also provide a valuable link between the Brokers and underwriters.
The Challenges faced by the Organisation:
Vero operate in a very competitive market. Each Broker has a number of insurance companies competing for their business. This often means that the Broker places Vero in a competitive situation in order to apply leverage on services and price. This in turn means that the BDM’s have to satisfy the Broker demands, as well as ensure the business they take on is acceptable in terms of both risk and margin. So the BDM’s need to have a high level of relationship and negotiation skills, as well as the ability to position Vero as a first choice supplier across a range of insurance products. As a result of acquisitions made by the Suncorp Group, the sales group within Vero had a much broader range of products to sell and had added a number of new BDM’s to the group. This had meant a new value proposition, revised pricing, a greater appetite for risk and an aggressive growth plan. The management group were tasked to make sure the BDM’s were equipped for the challenge and that managers had the skills to handle this re-orientation of the group and achieve business goals.
After detailed diagnosis, that produced the overall action plan and priorities for improvement, Prosell’s program was conducted in 3 phases. The first phase was to work with senior management to put in place the standards for sales management and the standards for Broker visits. This in turn allowed phase 2 to be implemented effectively, which was a series of workshops for managers and BDM’s. The managers’ workshop made sure that managers had the ability to assess, coach and improve the performance of the BDM’s. Phase 3 was the transfer of skills and standards from classroom to workplace. Prosell’s Licence to Coach™ process was used, which gave managers one on one coaching and feedback, to the point where their coaching expertise was measurably changing the results of the BDM’s. Phase 3 also included embedding ‘best practice’ into the company, which involved working with HR to make sure all the standards were included in performance measurement and review systems, such as appraisal. Prosell then created an interactive elearning program for the BDM sales skills, which is to be used as a coaching tool as well as assisting with induction and orientation for new BDM’s. Once successfully embedded and working, Prosell handed over the program to Suncorp L & D, who have continued to run and develop both the managers’ coaching program and the BDM sales skills program.
The measures set for the overall program were business retention, overall revenue and new business acquisition. In addition we set qualitative measures, which included management coaching effectiveness, quality of relationships with the Underwriting team and the quality and outcomes of Broker visits.
Management coaching effectiveness was dramatically improved, moving from an initial rating average of 38% to 90%, based on Prosell’s workplace measures. All state managers agreed that the quality of Broker visits has improved, which was evidenced by a significant increase in renewal business. The internal relationships also improved, which saw a drop in the decline rate and an increase in new business.
Andrew Mair, General Manager of Vero Insurance, stated, ‘Prosell were originally chosen because of the rigour of their program and the fact that the emphasis was on workplace achievement and not just a series of training events. The team we worked with devoted time to understand our business and its challenges and then created a program that exactly met the quite specialist needs of our Managers and BDM’s. We were impressed by Prosell’s ability to maintain a focus on workplace improvement, in what was a very busy time for our managers. Prosell also helped us manage the process of embedding ‘best practice’ into our culture, so the standards set at the outset were committed to and achieved by the group, which was a significant and measurable change in both skill and business results.’