The looming COVID recession is significantly worsening the revenue picture for most Health Insurance carriers, forcing sales and marketing leaders to make some important decisions about go-to-market strategy. However, for many carriers, using across-the-board cuts may well cripple growth capability and lead to significant share loss. How should leaders respond?
In this two-part series we examine six imperatives for Health Insurance leaders looking to create a Revenue Management Plan for the COVID recession:
Part II of this series looks at imperatives four, five and six to help carriers maintain market momentum in the midst of an economic downturn.
In times of market disruption, carriers must prioritize their most valuable assets – current customers. While driving focus on relevant revenue maintenance and growth activities, sellers may simply need to engage with accounts to help problem-solve as a partner during the crisis. If sellers’ ability to conduct normal activities is materially reduced, have them pitch in to drive marketing, enablement or service activities in a team effort to get important work done and avoid idle time.
Seller earnings may be negatively impacted by both the challenging business climate and a re-prioritization of efforts. Protect earnings for the best talent to ensure they stick around to help rebound from the downturn. Consider SPIFS and contests to encourage behaviors that drive funnel growth. Over 50% of respondents to Alexander Group’s recent Sales Leadership Flash Survey are considering some type of quota relief and guarantee. Address sales plan risk by reviewing quotas and subscriber/member growth plans, and calibrate sales compensation in a way that demonstrates a partnership with the sales force.
Carrier sales forces must shift focus to their customers immediately by working diligently to understand their needs and establish themselves as a trusted partner as they navigate uncharted waters. And if done with tact, their loyalty will translate into retention and/or expansion once the crisis abates.
Value propositions should be tailored and augmented with downturn related messaging. Smart leaders communicate that in a downturn, every role is a “selling” role. For example, marketing can add value by sharing educational thought leadership aimed at the prevention and spread of COVID-19. Underwriting can help self-insured employers with how to think about risks and mitigation strategies. Many carriers are offering mental health value adds for those who are struggling to adapt to the temporary new normal. As an example, some carriers are offering webcasts on best practices for working from home, staying connected with friends and co-workers, exercising at home, and maintaining healthy eating habits. These efforts, among others, demonstrate a Customer Success mentality that must be elevated and executed daily while customers weather the storm. This mentality is not lost on the customer. Handled correctly, the relationship will emerge stronger and elevate to customer advocacy status where the carrier is a trusted business advisor.
In times of significant disruption to normal life, constant communication, informed but fast decision-making, and continual adaptation are critical to meeting the daily ups and downs of a volatile marketplace. Many carriers are implementing their continuity of business plans. These plans help drive key decisions during times of unrest or market disruption. Revenue leaders should establish a structure for reviewing the latest information and data, a cadence for bringing together other leaders/managers to discuss potential actions, and a communication chain that is agile and effective. Increased frequency of meetings with shorter durations can drive better, more accurate decisions.
A Revenue Management Plan created around the six leadership imperatives provides a platform to weather today’s economic disruption while maintaining preparedness for growth once the disruption passes.
Additional Leadership Resources:
To better understand how Health Insurance carriers are navigating this difficult time, participate in one of our upcoming 2020 Leadership Virtual Roundtables.
If you are unable to attend the sessions, or would simply prefer to speak with someone directly, please contact us for an individual discussion.
Visit our website for additional articles on the COVID-19 crisis.
Alexander Group’s Sales Leadership Flash Survey will launch again on April 7, 2020. Contact us to learn more.