Stoking demand for voluntary products

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Sure, sales are booming, but advisers have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the potential demand for voluntary products such as disability, critical illness and accident insurance.

One reason is that they haven’t made it easy enough for employees to enroll in these policies. Today’s smartphone-toting workforce expects easy-to-use technology. If they’re forced to fill out lengthy paper forms or reenter their information every time they want to buy a new policy, they’ll walk away.

To capture these sales, advisers need to engage employees with a slick, digital experience. If the insurance carriers they work with aren’t technologically savvy enough to provide this, they should work with another carrier.

Here are three ways a digital enrollment platform can increase sales:

1) One-time data entry. When quotes are delivered through the enrollment system, employees don’t have to re-enter the same data every time they request a quote or want to compare products. This is more than just a convenience — it significantly speeds the sales process.

The technology foundation for all of this is a system that tightly integrates the sales, service, claims and policy administration functions, allowing employees to get quotes and sign up for benefits on the same platform.

From a sales standpoint, this lets advisers provide instant quotes and more options for plan comparisons, which in turn reassures employees they’re getting a good deal and makes it much more likely that they will sign up for optional products.

2) A customer-friendly portal. In a similar vein, the web site or portal that employees use to access the enrollment system should be very easy to use and customer-friendly. Automated quoting, proposal generation and enrollment should all be supported.

A user-friendly site induces employees to review their benefit options more closely and consider signing up — even when they initially intended to opt-out. Easy-to-navigate menus let employees pick and choose among the products they need and then select their choice of payment method.

3) E-Signatures. Want to slow down the sales process? Require your employee customers to sign and authenticate their signatures for multiple documents.

Digital signatures do away with all the document printing, scanning, faxing and emailing, which can be so confusing and time consuming. Instead, electronic signatures allow employees to complete a transaction from any location and at a time their choosing, which makes it much more likely that they will be willing to engage in more transactions.

E-signatures also reduce the adviser’s risk by providing an audit trail and ensuring that all the documents that require a signature are in order. This results in fewer errors, lower processing costs and a faster turnaround.

Taken together, system integration, user-friendly web portals and tools such as e-signatures can transform the customer experience. And since happy customers buy more insurance, that makes for happy advisers.

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