In The News

Shaping the Digital Sales Landscape

Millennials demand a more visual, interactive, and intuitive way to sell life and annuity products that matches their every-day personal fintech experiences.

Bill Unrue
NAILBA ID Trends Summer 2021
June 25, 2021
 
NAILBA ID trends Summer 2021 Cover
The digital landscape continues to rapidly evolve.
What have we learned in the past two years from this growth? Broadly, our learnings fall into four areas. And, for Life BGAs especially, these lessons are key for the decade ahead.

  Millennials are literally starving for Life & Annuity digital sales and training tools.
Millennials now age-up to 40 years old. As they surge into the ranks of wholesalers, financial advisors and insurance agents, millennials are demanding that insurance carriers, BGAs and FMOs “up their game.” They are not only the first truly digital generation but also the first “app-centric” generation.

Millennials are using Robinhood, Acorns, Betterment, and other interactive fintech apps daily and are naturally conditioned to expect a similar digital experience in the workplace, including an advanced digital sales toolset for life, LTC and annuities.

A consistent refrain that we hear is: “I am tired of trying to explain and sell life and annuity products using PowerPoints and PDF brochures. Every other financial services experience is application-based. Even my 401K experience is interactive now.”

In other words, Millennials demand a more visual, interactive, and intuitive way to sell life and annuity products that matches their every-day personal fintech experiences.

Financial advisors expect a “digital experience,” and greater Life & Annuity adoption depends on it.
Financial advisors today have already completed the shift to digital financial planning platforms.

Whether it is EnvestNet™ Money Guide Pro (MGP), eMoney™, RightCapital™, AssetMap™, or RetireUp™, the financial planning experience today is managed through the medium of a fintech platform. These platforms have simplified the discussion and engagement between the financial advisor and the client, making it easier to understand financial options and their impact/benefits for the overall financial plan.

This is the expectation – digital, visual, interactive, and easy to understand.

For BGAs focused on servicing the financial advisor market space, recognize that it is now critical to “speak the language” of the market; and enable financial advisors to engage clients with a modern digital life and annuity product sales experience.

Updating an old adage
“Experience is everything” is an age-old adage. Today’s adage is “digital experience is everything.”

In today’s digital strategy world, we increasingly talk about the paramount importance of the customer experience (CX) and the user experience (UX). Each area sits at the forefront of organizational strategy and service delivery. And nearly every financial services product class has already shifted onto this agenda. Of note, even cars are now designed and ordered through an online digital experience.

Unfortunately, for the life and annuity sector, the sales experience remains entrenched in a legacy model – static 45-page PDF illustrations; long PowerPoint decks; and traditional printoriented “brochureware”.

Without modernizing the pre-sale digital customer engagement, the life and annuity sector stands little hope of returning to sustainable long-term growth.

A legacy sales experience today undercuts the sales effectiveness of a BGA’s network of financial advisors, producers and insurance agents – ultimately, impacting the BGA’s own revenue and profit.

Transformation of the wholesaler model is well-underway
Whether you call it “eWholesaling” or “Hybrid Wholesaling”, it makes no difference. The transformation of the traditional wholesaling model for BGAs and distributors is now underway. Wholesaler demand for digital sales enablement and marketing tools is growing by the day.

What digital sales enablement capabilities are wholesalers crying out for? In our experience, this has been concentrated around three critical areas:
  • Digital, interactive product analysis tools that support virtual sales engagements
  • Modern platform-based product training, education and marketing experiences
  • Real-time data insight — to drive proactive and targeted case and account follow-up
While the digital hybridization of the advisor-client discussion has already been underway for several years, the eWholesaling shift is just now rapidly taking off.

If you are BGA focused on digital innovation — start now.

Not only will your GenX (age up to 55) and Millennial (age up to 40) wholesalers double their sales effectiveness, they will also personally thank you, as will the advisors and agents you serve.
Trish DaCosta
KCD PR – Media Contact
Ensightpr@kcdpr.com
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