InsuranceRescue Publications

Cross-Selling Challenges for Insurance Call Centers

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In the insurance sales environment, the greatest focus is often on new client acquisition. Unfortunately, this emphasis can result in neglecting additional sales opportunities with existing clients.

There are many reasons why cross-selling is underutilized by agents and sales teams. Today we’ll discuss a few factors that prevent maximization of current customer sales and profitability. The most common reason for cross sell neglect is simply a lack of time. While the solution may appear to be devoting more time, this is often not an option due to the representatives’ daily responsibilities.

For example, just answering the high volume of inbound calls in a timely manner can be incredibly difficult. Between the influx of calls and the respective follow-up work that comes with new policy issuance (completing applications, mailing and emailing documents, working with underwriters, etc), sales teams are left with little or no time to follow up with existing customers. This challenge is further compounded in organizations using separate customer service departments because sales reps are urged to focus on new client acquisition and told to let the CSRs handle existing customer communications. However, customer service also has numerous daily responsibilities they must manage. As a result, reaching out to solicit existing customer cross-sales falls toward the bottom of CSRs’ priorities.

For companies with older legacy systems, this divide between customer service and sales tends to expand, as outdated tools and notating systems make it challenging for one department to gauge if the other has communicated with an existing customer. The result may be that neither department is efficiently engaging existing customers with cross-sell offers, or conversely, is irritating customers with repeated contact.

Coordination between sales call center and customer service management is critical for companies to effectively increase additional sales to existing customers. Procedures must be well documented and clear employee communications are critical. Companies will continue to be faced with production management challenges due to existing employee workflow. In addition to managing current processes, companies must research and implement alternative means for connecting with and providing ongoing value to their profitable clients.