Insurers and insurance distribution organizations want to have plenty of people available to talk to prospects.
Many people would like to work at home.
Clearlink, a Salt Lake City-based company that has been running contact centers for many years, has started implementing a new idea: Set up virtual organizations that can actually sell insurance, not just handle customer complaints.
Joseph Orr, executive vice president of insurance at Clearlink, has helped the company handle the technical requirements and compliance details needed to set up virtual sales organizations that can sell Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement insurance policies, life insurance policies, and property-casualty policies.
Clearlink has been offering brick-and-mortar contact centers for insurers for years.
The new virtual sales organizations are made up entirely of licensed insurance agents who work at home.
Here are 10 looks at what Orr said about virtual sales organizations in an interview.
A virtual sales organization is a lot cheaper than a brick-and-mortar call center, Orr said.
“It’s very expensive to build call centers,” Orr said.
2. Call Direction
At this point, about 70% of the calls the Clearlink virtual insurance sales teams handle are in-bound calls, and about 30% are outbound calls, placed in response to requests by consumers for someone to call them back.
A virtual approach can be especially effect for an insurer with a product, or products, with a relatively short sales period, Orr said.
In the Medicare plan market, for example, agents sell much of the coverage during an annual enrollment period that lasts from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.
When the main enrollment period lasts just two months, an insurer doesn’t want to have a call center sitting mostly empty for the other 10 months of the year, Orr said.
4. Talent Pool
A company with a brick-and-mortar contact center will have to stick with workers within about 30 miles of the brick-and-mortar center, Orr said.