Health Insurance

Addressing Declining Membership in Sales

Understanding Customer Needs Through a Well-Defined Go-to-Market Strategy

The health insurance industry is experiencing new challenges due to the exodus of companies from certain markets, declining membership, intense competition and increased regulations. Fewer individuals are enrolling in health insurance plans, resulting in decreased revenue for insurance companies. Additionally, intense competition has made it difficult for health insurance providers to distinguish themselves in the market and maintain their market share. The industry is also subject to increasing regulations, which are designed to protect consumers but also add an additional layer of complexity for insurance providers. Since the health insurance sales process is impacted by seasonality, with the majority of sales occurring during a six-week-long open enrollment period, insurance providers must work quickly and efficiently to secure new customers and renew existing policies. This has led to a market that is saturated, where companies are selling to a limited pool of customers.

To overcome these hurdles, a leading health insurer required an in-depth review of its customer segments, organizational structure and overall sales strategy. As the sales process involves multiple stakeholders, including brokers, general agents and agents, it is complex and difficult to navigate. To be successful, insurance companies must have a well-structured sales process that involves clear communication and collaboration between all stakeholders. By conducting a thorough review of their go-to-market strategy, health insurance providers can better understand the needs of their customers and position themselves for success in today’s competitive market.

Build a Strong Foundation and Implement Effective Tactics

Alexander Group conducted a comprehensive market and internal analysis to address the issues facing our client’s internal structure and customer models. The client was experiencing several challenges, including:

  • Seasonal fluctuations in demand
  • The need for coordination among stakeholders during the critical open enrollment window
  • Varied sales motions based on customer segments and policy types
  • Managing the needs of multiple stakeholders in each sales process
  • Lack of pricing transparency
  • A complex underwriting process requiring extensive data input and utilizing multiple systems
  • Restrictive regulations limiting upselling opportunities

To overcome these obstacles, Alexander Group proposed a robust new organizational foundation, including a value proposition tailored to each customer segment, a sales team aligned with the client’s future vision, elevated sales manager coaching and the creation of a Revenue Operations team.

Alexander Group also recommended innovative tactics that establish new standards of engagement for the sales organization. This included clear rules of engagement for each business unit, a simplified organizational structure, clearly defined job descriptions with documented competencies and sales compensation that aligns with the client’s strategic objectives.

Key Findings: Strategy Meets Structure

By working with this client, Alexander Group was able to help them think creatively and achieve their goals. The results of this collaboration highlight the importance of aligning and optimizing the sales strategy to achieve success in the industry. The challenge was to develop a new organizational foundation and tactical approach aligned with business goals.

Our strategy included several key initiatives:

  • Alexander Group worked closely with the client to define the sales strategy by segment. This involved understanding the distinct buyer journeys and addressing current gaps, implementing strategic account planning, and documenting sales process steps and activities. This helped the client to better understand the market and target their efforts to the right customers.
  • Then, the team helped the company optimize sales jobs and the organizational structure. Alexander Group developed a talent development process that clearly articulates sales competencies by role, sales manager coaching expectations and sales compensation plan alignment to strategic priorities.
  • Finally, Alexander Group conducted an assessment of the sales operations function to identify operational obstacles to efficient sales execution and created a plan to develop capabilities that reflect industry best practices.

As a result of these initiatives, the leading insurer is now better positioned to focus its sales teams on the specific needs of diverse customer segments while benefitting from a clear sales strategy and aligned roles. The company is also experiencing gains in seller efficiency, with clear expectations for account development activities and rules of engagement for opportunity development increasing seller productivity.

In addition, sales managers are using consistent criteria to assess seller capability and identifying performance issues earlier, resulting in clear development plans or talent recruitment outreach. Finally, the organization has a clear plan to invest in sales tools that will support the go-to-market strategy and increase seller productivity.

Health Insurance organizations can benefit from the Alexander Group’s expertise and innovative solutions, allowing them to achieve their goals and position themselves for future success. For more information on how to optimize your commercial team, please contact a Health Insurance practice lead.

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