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Sales training, career advancement are must-haves

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Access to sales training and career advancement opportunities are the chief criteria agents weight when applying to and choosing an insurance sales employer, according to new research.

Combined Insurance, a unit of the ACE Group of Companies, reports this finding in a survey of more than 400 Combined Insurance sales agents. The survey examines from what industries the agents had come, what factors motivated their search for new employment and why they chose the company.

When asked to rank the importance of specific decision factors in their search for sales employment, respondents cite the following as very important:

  • Sales training — 96.7 percent;
  • Career advancement potential — 87.2 percent;
  • Retirement savings plans — 83.7 percent;
  • Employer-provided sales leads — 83.2 percent;
  • Employer-provided health insurance benefits — 79.5 percent.

Combined Insurance’s new hires represent a diverse cross-section of sales-oriented job seekers. Ages range from the 20s through 50-plus, with the majority having education beyond high school. In addition, 63 percent of those surveyed were already employed when they chose the position with Combined Insurance. And most of those who said they were unemployed had been so for only one to four months.

The survey also reveals that more than 90 percent of respondents had previous sales experience, with just over 50 percent having prior insurance industry experience. Other top sales experience categories included retail, financial services, banking and real estate.

Respondents’ reasons for choosing Combined Insurance over other insurance sales opportunities showed training and career advancement to be top differentiators, the survey adds.