ABIA Insurance News, Volume 11, April 18, 2012 — The primary profit driver of outbound programs is how well the financial institution can manage their lead base, not operational efficiency like most inbound programs. The primary goal is to optimize revenue from current customers without causing negative reactions.
Financial institutions running outbound lead generation and customer acquisition programs for insurance face many operational challenges – challenges that stem from a lack of real-time data intelligence to make smarter business decisions.
To effectively manage lead cost, institutions need to know:
- Conversion rates by source, day, time, representative and product
- Performance of teams and individual agents in real-time
Running data through a dialer – a computer system that automatically dials numbers from a database and connects only answered calls to agents – can generate reports but not necessarily with actionable intelligence because the systems required for analytics required for intelligence are separate from the dialer system. In order to ensure leads are prioritized in order of highest likelihood to convert, an analytical system is required.
How to Collect Data
To avoid these challenges, financial institutions should leverage data analytics software to increase the speed and efficiency of its sales pipeline. Such software is designed to maximize conversions and lower acquisition costs by managing lead acquisition, the opportunity pipeline and the execution on that pipeline.
Financial institutions capture customer data to display in real-time dashboards and generate historic reports and analysis of each customer or lead. The historic data is then used to build intelligent routing algorithms – or business rules – designed to maximize conversions by matching leads and opportunities to the best agent or team of agents to execute on them. It fully analyzes an institution's contact database to "predict" which customers and prospects are of greatest value and which deals will close the fastest.
Financial institutions must also leverage a "data store" to house all agent, teams, program and campaign definitions as well as leads and opportunities and all interactions associated with them. The data store should also allow for customized fields to accommodate unique program and campaign requirements.
In addition, built-in alerts should be incorporated, preventing leads from getting lost. Ideally, sales managers would be notified if a lead stays in a particular stage for too long. Managing the productivity and success of an institution's lists, leads and agents in real-time removes the guesswork from day-to-day operations.
How to Leverage Your Data
Investing in data analytics software is only part of the solution. Financial institutions should have a keen understanding of how to effectively use the data:
- To maximize conversions…
Institutions should use the data to prioritize leads by highest likelihood to convert. Leads should then be matched to the right agent, and the agent should know the right script and product to offer.
- To increase the contact rate and decrease attempts…
Institutions should execute the best dialing strategy. This can be achieved by identifying the best channel and time to reach a specific lead – all within the Institution's gathered data.
- To lower acquisition costs…
Institutions should know which lead sources to buy again based on historical conversions and cost per lead.
- To maintain a 360-degree view of a customer…
A financial institution's data analytics software should capture all historical data including call attempts, contacts, call outcomes, feedback and recorded conversations for each lead.
- To execute the best staffing decisions…
Institutions should know who the highest and weakest performers are, what time of day each agent is most successful, at what campaign the agent excels and what were successful in the past. This information will help financial institutions make the best decisions based on requirements needed for that particular time frame.
- To increase the efficiency of program management…
Institutions should ensure its data analytics software includes alerting of lead activity. In addition, institutions should leverage data to create a clear picture of list penetration of campaigns, teams and individual agent performance.
Data analytics software should be an integral part of financial institution's outbound lead generation and customer acquisition programs. Having data available can help institutions understand conversion rates as well as know the performance of teams and individual agents in real-time. This not only helps to effectively manage lead cost but help to better predict customer behavior and generate more revenue – an area banks simply cannot ignore.
Bernie Lillis is president for the Financial & Insurance Group of Dialogue Marketing, provider of Inteleclose, the company's data analytics software. For more information, please visit www.insurance-dialogue.com.
Lillis will also lead an upcoming ABIA webinar on April 25. During "Advances in Telemarketing: Conversion Based Routing," he will discuss the future of telemarketing and how leveraging data and learned behavior can help institutions better predict buying trends.
The call in number is 800-944-8766 and the pass code is 15999#.