The role of KPIs in Insurance Sales Force Management

Sales Force of a company is often called the 'face of the company' because they are the ones who actually face customers on the behalf of their business. And in terms of an insurance company, the sales force would be considered an important aspect of the business.

Therefore, the need of effectively managing the insurance sales force also rises in importance. Effectively evaluating the performance of the sales force is necessary to figure out the loopholes in the performance and to devise ways to improve their efficiency. The nature of business is what makes an insurance company differ from other businesses around. Specially trained and motivated sales force is what required is in this form of business scenario where the customers are smart enough to bargain terms and where the competition in the insurance industry is immense.

KPIs can be used to provide a holistic view of the business and with regard to Insurance Sales force Management. These can be categorised in four perspectives- financial perspective, operational perspective, customer service perspective and education and training perspective. Financial perspective comprises of KPIs like annual salary, incentive as percentage of salary, etc. This is to take care of the financial standing of the organization. Operational perspective represents KPIs such as percentage of renewed policies to the number of policies sold, percentage of policy lapses or missed payments, etc. This helps in conducting operations in a streamlined manner. Customer service perspective includes KPIs like number of referrals generated from customers, number of customer focused products developed, percentage decrease in customer complaints, etc. This angle works in making the organization build reputation and minimize losing customer base. The last perspective, Education and Training perspective talks ab out

KPIs number of training sessions, number of motivational sessions, etc to ensure that the sales force is not leaving any stone unturned in achieving the targets.

One of the most prominent challenges this industry has to encounter is the high attrition rate hinting at the very high professional pressure one has to go through. This in turn calls for implementation of as effective performance management system as possible. Balanced Scorecard is the measure that is dependable enough to combat such situations. This helps in creating a win-win scenario. The next hurdle to be faced is the concept of the task itself. There are a whole lot of verifications to be done before any funds are released when any claim is made. This requires clear strategy formulation from the organizational point of view. This is to further assist in laying down the goals, measurements and targets.

KPIs are a way of quantifying the goals effectively. This gives a clear direction to move on. Neither the sales force nor the company is double-minded in knowing what act of theirs is paying and what's not. Values for the indicators obtained as a result of any change that is directed at elevating the organizational position (in any terms) in put against the pre-set target values. This gives an instant and objective way of whether they were successful or not. These are the points that advocate the use of BSC in almost every organizational project.

To conclude, this 1992 creation of Norton and Kaplan has been making waves for the advantages it offers. Though the criticisms keep coming every now and then, but there exist enough evidences to tilt the bar in its favour. To talk of sales force in insurance companies, KPIs can give the desired results provided the deployment is as per the guidelines.

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