Although marketing is increasingly used by insurance companies, sales leads are struggling to convince all general agents. In the field, their quality and the profitability of the information transmitted are in particular called into question.
It is an Anglicism entered into the jargon of companies, the lead – term which designates any contact registered with a potential client. Who left his contact details on the Internet or during professional events (trade fairs, conferences. It Was until present mainly associated with the automobile and e-commerce. This new form of commercial prospecting is now reaching other sectors. Insurance in particular, where companies use it to push flows of potential customers to their agent networks.
At Allianz France alone, 172,404 leads were redirected to general agents in 2018. “It is a lever for creating flows in its own right, which we can no longer do without”. All companies use it. “For us, it’s an easy way to do business, since contacts arrive directly in our mailboxes.
For Marketing at Generali, Everything remains to be built
Unlike other companies, the French subsidiary of the Italian insurer has not yet formalized the subject of leads with its agents. No global agreement exists. “Today, our teams are working on setting up a new CRM. Pilots are being launched with a few targeted agents and in the coming months. We will continue with our other distribution networks ”, we explain, internally.
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On this occasion, Generali will therefore be reviewing its lead and prospect management processes, as well as the associated key performance indicators (KPIs). And the insurer indicates that it also wants to take the opportunity to review its pricing policy, as private and professional leads naturally captured are not re-invoiced to agents.
What is a lead in marketing?
This is a term in marketing which designates information obtained from a prospect (last name, first name, address, needs). After a commercial contact on the Internet (form to be completed) or during professional events.
The essential lead in marketing?
But if insurers rely so much on this method especially because final expense leads have become an essential source of customer input. “It is estimated that above 10% conversion rate, the system is efficient.
In this case, at Axa France, the ratio between new business and leads generated is between 15% and 20%. At Allianz, we are in the same range: “25,000 new business were recorded last year. thanks to leads,said Yann Lebourg, deputy president of , the union of general agents of the insurer.
However, if these commercial contacts are in great demand today, they are far from unanimous among general agents. Why ? Although IT teams now have tools to better verify the qualification of sources, the relevance of leads is not always there: wrong phone number, invented email, incomplete forms.
The quality of the information contained in the leads sent to agents sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. And it makes getting in touch with potential prospects more complicated. “Today, the majority of leads that we receive do not correspond to the target customers we are targeting during marketing campaign”.
In marketing another difficulty pointed out:
Reactivity. All the people questioned agree that when a lead is received it must be contacted again within half an hour, or even within an hour. Beyond this period, contact may be lost. “A lead left in suspense will necessarily have been recalled by one of our competitors”.
Remarks Benjamin Proux, of Swiss Life. Only here, in densely populated areas. Where potential customers favor solicitations by Internet to the detriment of physical contact. Agents would receive, according to our information, several hundred leads per month. “In other words, if agents do not have the structure or the organization necessary to respond instantly. Some also exit the system because they simply do not have the time to process these commercial contacts”.
At Allianz France, the multi-access distribution protocol signed between the company and Mag3, in July 2017, is not mandatory (see L’Argus n ° 7533). The model is entirely voluntary. Result: if 88% of agents were in favor of joining the system when it was set up, there are now only 66% of followers.
Those who give up adhering to this process believe, moreover, that “leads ultimately cost them more than they bring them back”, observes Yann Lebourg. Because this is another parameter that poses a problem: the cost. How much must be supported by the company to generate a potential contact? What price must then be paid by the agent to exploit this lead? These questions – essential to make the investment in these marketing and commercial actions profitable . They are far from being settled in all the companies, none of which applies the same price list.
The cost of the lead, a debate during marketing
At Axa, “the more qualified the lead, the more expensive it is. The price also differs depending on the route by which it is captured, ”explains Antoine Mattei. At Generali, professional business contacts purchased by the company are re-invoiced.
The majority of insurers nevertheless agree on one point. We always started from the principle that we had to pay a lead. Because otherwise the agent does not necessarily take the step of recontacting the prospect. And if he pays the lead. He is entitled to demand quality from his supplier, ”insists Benjamin Proux, of Swiss Life. Proof that the debate on tariffs is not closed, this model is in the process of being reviewed within Generali. As is already the case with Allianz France (read below).
Be that as it may, the companies – convinced of the merits of this new form of commercial prospecting. Are not closed to discussions with their agents to improve their model. An evolution which requires in particular a better knowledge. “We need to better train agents to understand leads.
Because it’s not the same sales process as in an agency or directly.”Says Benjamin Proux, also responsible for the digital commission at Agéa. The national federation of agent unions, where the issue of promoting leads is addressed. In order to better support its agents “in the development of their phygital skills”. In the words of Antoine Mattei, Axa France has thus deployed specialized coordination bodies in the field: multi-access digital referents (RDMA).
Another solution considered to promote leads by marketing
Detoping”. Translation: the fact of not counting a contact. In fact, since April 1, at Allianz France, “agents can now detoper (Editor’s note: remove from the list of their paying leads) up to 20% of them without additional invoicing”, indicates Alexandre du Garreau. A good way to sort out the good and bad forms received. Data quality, an essential concept in insurance since always.