Contributor: Andrew Rickard
Insurers around the world are looking to the Asia Pacific region for future growth opportunity. Building a stable, productive sales force is a key part of building a presence across the region. Yet insurers in Asia continue to face a series of challenges in growing their sales force in a scalable and efficient manner. These challenges include:
- Recruitment: Efficient recruitment, training, and certification of new agents are important capabilities for supporting growth opportunity in the region.
- Turnover: Insurance distribution is a relatively immature career path in most Asian countries. At the same time as trying to build the distribution force, insurers must deal with high levels of turnover.
- Productivity: With high turnover, it is critical that companies be able to focus in on building productivity within the sales force. Tracking productivity metrics and identifying underlying success criteria are key.
- Administrative burden: Insurers often have inefficient back-office processes and systems. The last thing companies need in this environment is to spend more time on back-office administrative tasks than is absolutely necessary.
Given these challenges, it is not surprising that a common theme in our discussions with insurers across Asia is the need for effective systems supporting the acquisition, management, and rewarding of the sales force. Channel management systems that support integration and change while remaining cost-effective are critical to meeting this requirement:
- Integration of systems and administrative functions across the sales force management structure, giving companies the ability to build efficiency through a holistic approach to managing recruitment, selection, training and certification, monitoring and incentivizing salespeople.
- Because sales structures change frequently and there is always another competition or incentive plan being launched, sales management teams need flexible structures and processes to quickly and easily launch new campaigns and implement changes in the structure and compensation plans.
- Insurers operating in developing markets such as Asia face constant pressure to reduce operating expenses, driving the need for a cost-effective solution for channel management.
In recognition of the challenges insurers are facing and the role that technology can play in supporting sales management teams, SunGard is collaborating with Herald Logic to bring a comprehensive and flexible solution to the Asia Pacific region. By combining Herald Logic’s multi-channel management system with SunGard’s enterprise-level platform, insurers can have the opportunity to reduce costs while creating the ability to respond faster to the needs of their sales teams.