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AXA PPP Healthcare is a major player in the healthcare market – providing healthcare schemes to corporates as well as individuals. For members of the corporate schemes, when they leave employment they are eligible to purchase an individual health plan on preferential terms acquired from being a member of the corporate scheme. These ‘Group’ to ‘Individual’ transfers are a significant source of sales leads for the Individual Healthcare business within AXA as there is no automatic switching of plans – the customer has to purchase a new plan, albeit on preferential terms. The earlier the marketing department are notified of individuals leaving employment the greater the chance of them selling an individual policy. Indeed, individuals leaving a corporate scheme are twice as likely to take out an individual policy when contacted more than 20 days prior to the termination of their corporate cover.
Over time the quantity of leads in respect of those leaving corporate policies had been declining owing to the corporate account managers suppressing their accounts from being available for marketing. In addition, many leads were being received too late making it much harder to win sales.
Given the challenging sales targets, the heads of both sales and marketing for the individual Healthcare business recognised that something needed to be done to accelerate the flow of leads and reduce the number of accounts which had been suppressed from marketing by account managers. Previous initiatives to improve the situation had not achieved the desired results due to internal cultural challenges including resistance to change, concerns over marketing errors and some silo working. To improve the results, cultural change was required alongside process, data and management information improvements.
To increase sales conversions by increasing the timeliness and volume of corporate leaver leads. This would require the design and implementation of changes in processes, technology and management information alongside a cultural change in peoples’ attitudes towards co-operative and proactive working.
We initially took time to investigate the blockages which were delaying the flow of leads getting to the individual marketing team. We then worked on removing those blockages and on initiatives to further speed up the flow of leads through the system. In parallel with this, we started to tackle the silo behaviour and improve the working relationships between the two teams which we had identified as being a prime factor in preventing leads from being made available for marketing.
To support the enhancement of the cross team working, we developed new internal communication streams, designed new management information reports and developed an incentive scheme to encourage people to help get the leads to the individual marketing team as soon as possible.
We coached certain individuals on communication, influencing, and networking skills to help them build relationships and rebuild trust across the business. This coaching not only equipped the individuals with skills in relation to this project, but also with new beliefs and behaviours which would support improved performance in their other daily responsibilities.
The various activities helped to ‘clear the air’ between the two teams and prompted discussions at an executive level with a view to perceiving the two teams as working together and even sharing joint targets. The lead flow quickly improved and the marketing team now feel more in control of a significant source of their leads. The overall volume of leads available for marketing increased by 22% and the volume of leads with more than 20 days available for marketing increased by 88%!
“A great job & a pleasure to work with”
His skills & working style combine to make Richard a pleasure to work with – he’s delivered a great job and he could not have done more for us with personal development support an unexpected bonus.
Richard provided excellent support in enabling us to identify and act on additional new business opportunities. Working through cultural challenges, he has helped us break down silo working, develop and implement process changes and create new Management Information reporting enabling our various teams to track and act on leads more effectively.
His combination of skills and style of working have made him a pleasure to work with – he’s delivered a great job and he could not have done more for us. As well as delivering against the project objectives, several team members have also benefited from personal development support– an unexpected added bonus which has made a huge difference to the individuals.
Head of Individual Sales at AXA PPP Healthcare