Insurance Blog | Accenture    

Not being able to meet customers face to face means it’s time to refocus—on virtual selling capabilities.

You might be wondering how to boost direct-to-consumer sales if you can’t meet customers face to face. But it turns out that customers sometimes prefer digital channels. Although the North American insurance industry has generally been hit hard by COVID-19, companies with strong digital capabilities are in a good position to gain market share by selling directly to consumers—from a distance. 

Knowing that customers prefer to buy some insurance products online should give carriers confidence to invest more in virtual selling. Digital distribution really can help them broaden their reach as well as meet changing customer expectations. 

Leading insurers are already shifting to a virtual sales strategy. They’re using data-driven techniques like segmentation, propensitytobuy models and an assessment of business resilience to target businesses and focus their marketing and sales efforts. They’re creating highly personalized marketing messages to connect with consumers and business owners on digital channels. And they are better integrating digital channels with contact centers, so that customers can enjoy a seamless sales experience. 

If you want to join other leading insurers by growing your direct-to-consumer sales from a distance, I suggest the following actions: 

  • Adapt your marketing messages to encourage customers to connect with you and purchase products online. During a downturn in the economy, people’s perception of value is shifting, so think about how you’re positioning your products and services. 
  • Refocus marketing spending on both earned and paid media. People are spending more time online, so social and paid media offers higher conversion rates at lower cost. 
  • Provide virtual guidance to your team and customers to help close sales. Use digital chat and AI-powered recommendations to guide consumers so that they complete the sale. 
  • Strengthen the visibility of your brand within virtual communities. Allow customers to connect with your company and fellow customers so they can share top-of-mind issues. 
  • Create more pull with digital alerts and recommendations. In the current economy, growing your existing client base is as important as ever. The more value you provide to customers, the more likely they are to stick with you. 
  • Enable virtual access to product information. And develop more transparency to build trust. This is particularly important in sales cycles that commonly involve multiple interactions, such as life insurance. 

If you’d like to know more about the human and business impact of COVID-19, please see our site for insurers. Or, if you’re interested in how to grow your direct-to-consumer sales, reach out to me directly. 

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