New and Improved

A mid-tier U.S. insurer reduced distribution costs while growing coverage with new roles and selling processes.

Facing cost pressures in its distribution organization, a mid-tier U.S. insurer planned to pull back some of its ancillary offerings and retrench in its most profitable areas. The company—a niche player in the marketplace—served mostly small- and mid-market customers instead of concentrating on a few large accounts. To improve efficiency, it needed to cut its long-term distribution expenses by 20% while maintaining breadth of coverage, and without sacrificing sales in its core product categories.

The company had long used a one-size-fits-all distribution model, in which intermediaries were covered by a field salesperson paired with internal support, and customers were covered by a dual internal/external account management organization. ZS developed a coverage model that included inside sales to ensure full account ownership. The ZS team worked with the company to create a new structure, new processes and new competencies while examining the financial impact of various options. To mitigate the risk associated with rolling out new selling models, ZS recommended a staged rollout and helped the company through the hiring and build-out processes, and guided the company during pilot stages.

The company piloted the new roles and selling processes in two markets, and it aimed to confirm three things: that customers were receptive to remote coverage, that productivity objectives could be met and that it could hire and sustain talent in new roles. The company met all of its goals after six months of piloting the program, and the productivity metrics were promising. The company moved to a full-scale rollout with a new objective: to reduce overall selling costs by around 25% over three years while seeing sales growth in all key product lines.

Contact Jason Brown to discuss ways to deliver impact to your customers and accelerate profitable revenue growth.