New sales model aims to help brokers better support small clients

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Lincoln Financial Group is hoping to help brokers better serve small businesses by providing these clients with a dedicated sales, service and support team for group benefits.

The insurance company’s new Group Benefits Small Business Solutions model is meant to provide advisers a way to obtain group insurance quotes and respond to questions for their clients. The model is tailored to those selling long-term disability, short-term disability, group life, dental, accident and vision coverage to employers with less than 100 workers. The company spent about a year developing the model, which was officially released in the beginning of August.

Keith Mueller, vice president of group protection business development at Lincoln Financial Group, says the company felt it was important to develop services specifically for smaller businesses that tend to lack large HR departments and rely on brokers more heavily for assistance with benefits.

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“Typically [small businesses] do not have robust HR departments,” Mueller says. “As a result, they need support in getting things resolved very quickly, and they need confidence that the carriers are able to answer those questions and meet their expectations regarding benefits.”

Large organizations are often more likely to offer comprehensive benefits to workers compared with their smaller counterparts. Administering benefits can be difficult for smaller organizations, who may lack the time to manage these offerings. While 98% of small employers see the value in group benefits, about 40% worry they don’t have the resources necessary to manage them, according to survey data from Lincoln Financial Group.

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Because of this, many smaller owners rely on insurance carriers and brokers to be benefits experts, Mueller says. For example, brokers are now moving beyond just selling insurance and being asked to serve as experts on topics, including paid family leave, HR technology and financial wellness.

“It’s very important as a carrier. We’re meeting the broker and consultant expectations,” he says. Lincoln Financial Group will look for additional ways to serve these clients moving forward by continuing to invest in the space, he adds.

“It’s an extremely important space,” he says. “We see a lot of opportunities here.”

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