BGA RESILIENCE —
Running a ‘Virtual Sales Operation’
With the current coronavirus pandemic and broad shift to remote working, it is more
important than ever for the life insurance sector, insurance carriers and distributors, to
maintain continuity of operations for producers, agents and all financial professionals. US Life
& Annuity distribution in particular has a critical role to play in supporting the financial well-
being and protection of the American public at this time.
Prior to Ensight™, Matt Essick spent
a decade at Zurich Insurance leading
marketing divisions and innovation
programs. As the leading Life and
Annuity sales platform, Ensight™
is focused on supporting the BGA
community’s transition to virtual
BGAs, IMOs, FMOs and financial services firms that have already embraced technology are
well positioned to sustain their operations and respond quickly to the demands of navigating
COVID-19. But for many organizations, the onset of the coronavirus means the first time that
crisis management plans have been dusted off. For these firms, it is critical to rapidly move
forward to put new technology and programs in place to build resilience.
It is important to remember that business continuity not only focuses on internal
operations, but also maintaining customer facing services. Unfortunately, many organizations
fail to focus on sales and service operations, without which revenue will decline and no
business will survive.
For BGAs that means addressing the following operational question — if case design and
wholesale marketing teams are now entirely 100% remote, is the technology in place to run a
“virtual BGA sales operation?”
Evaluating digital support
Yet there is also a unique third consideration. Undoubtedly over 80% of insurance producers
are now engaging clients in a remote manner, such as a Zoom virtual meeting. What is the
requirement to support the sales continuity of producers and financial professionals? If your
producers can access a higher level of digital sales support from your competitors, will you
ever win them back?
In our perspective, there are three critical areas to assess: redundancy and efficiency of case
design operations; the “virtual sales experience”; and, Drop Ticket / eApp submission capability.
1 Redundancy across remote case design operations — Is your case design team able to work
effectively on a remote basis through cloud-based applications? Can the team share cases when
working remote? Is your operation efficient enough to withstand employee sickness due to COVID19?
2 The “virtual sales experience” for your wholesalers & producer community — Are your wholesalers
enabled to virtually discuss illustration options and concept designs with producers? How are you
supporting a digital sales experience at the point of sale for your producer community?
3 Electronic submission of tickets & applications — Do you have eApp and Drop Ticket capability
integrated into a seamless digital experience across your service offering — and extending to the
point of sale?
By making sure to address these operational sales and customer service business areas,
Life and Annuity BGAs can ‘survive & thrive’ in the current market context, where critical
employees are often remote and financial professionals are forced to engage clients online
via virtual meeting software.