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IBS Case Studies

IBS Campuses
Date: 24/06/2013 Time: 11:44:13


IBS Center for Management Research

Need for Training Sales Personnel in Insurance Organizations
This case was written by D.G.Prasad, under the direction of H.K.Singhal, IBS Center for Management Research. It was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation.

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Need for Training Sales Personnel in Insurance Organizations
Kurt Miami (Miami), the CMD of Pleasant Insurance Company, was troubled by the current crisis facing his company. The company has shot into fame because it is one of the first insurance companies to offer customized insurance products. One of the strengths of the company is its underwriting department. The company has excellent underwriting professionals who assess and underwrite a variety of risks at attractive premiums. In a quarterly meeting of the company James Nickle (Nickle), vice president (Marketing), announced that there was a drop in the number of insurance policies sold in the previous quarter. 1/3

There was a drop in sales in the next quarter. To develop response schedules. too." said Nickle. how many potential buyers actually buy our products? What is their post-purchase response? Do they recommend our products to friends and acquaintances? If we get to know about these in detail. The objectives of the program were: To make the sales personnel understand what is 'acceptable behavior. So.26. even customers who had purchased the company's policies earlier. "Yes. it decided to bring in changes in the department. After discussing other vital issues. we will be able to identify the exact reasons for the drop in sales." said Miami. More and more people are becoming aware of the need for insurance.asp 2/3 . a training programme was conducted by the company for its sales force in order to improve the quality of customer service." replied Nickle. the sales force was trained to handle all kinds of customers. Pleasant Insurance Company derived the following benefits from cross-training: · · · All its employees could now help any customer. the company also conducted a short training program for the employees to learn about the essential elements of various jobs within the organization. they became disinterested soon after interacting with the company's sales personnel. they were also asked to keep material that would provide more information related to the company's history. Also. For instance. you should also take into consideration customers' behavior regarding insurance products. were shifting to other firms at the time of policy renewal. which may require some more time. Apart from this. but also act as a risk cover and investment option. What was worse. "But the industry is growing. The time taken to respond to the company's clients was noted. apart from setting high standards with regard to service delivery and customer friendliness. It was revealed that although initially a lot of prospective buyers showed interest in knowing about the policies. insurance products are now more flexible." said Miami thoughtfully.251. there should be an increase in sales. He was then able to trace the reasons for the drop in the company's sales.’ Here. The dismal performance of the company was also driving away prospective insurance customers. The extent to which the sales representative is free to take decisions and offer concessions to customers is made clear. It was an in-house training program. The training program helps the sales representatives manage the customers in case they are unable to clarify their queries. mission and the details of various executives.4/casestudies/Sem3_2013/INS032. Our products not only provide simply insurance cover. unless there is a slump in the industry as a whole. The top management of the company could now pay special attention to the development of training programs to ensure 27. the employees were also provided with information about everyone else's job. The sales representatives were trained to keep a complete set of product description at their desks. "We give the customers the best products in the market by customizing them to suit their needs. To prepare a complete set of product and company documentation so that sales representatives can answer customers' queries quickly. including the extremely demanding ones. I think it requires an in-depth analysis. "Have you analyzed the reasons for the drop in our sales this time?" Miami asked Nickle. and then reach a conclusion. Apart from training them on these service-related issues. It also felt the need to train its sales personnel to deliver superior quality service. the employees could be expected to be more efficient. Nickle obtained information pertaining to the above questions. I have done an analysis of the sales in the last two quarters as well as the sales for this quarter.6/24/13 IBS Case Studies "I don't think you need to worry too much. To provide a clear chain of authority. None of its employees were indispensable. they concluded the meeting. All its employees now knew how to sell policies. then let us observe the sales in the coming quarter as well." replied Nickle. Shortly after. "If that is the case. I am unable to identify the exact reason for the drop in sales. It could be due to seasonal factors. This time Miami was truly worried. To do so. After a lot of effort. "In that case. logically speaking. By knowing about the other person's job." said Miami. However. When the company realized that the problem lay in customer service.

6/24/13 IBS Case Studies long-term success.26. Pleasant Insurance Company conducted a training and development program to enhance the performance of its employees. 2. Discuss the importance of training and development programs in a company. In what way can the training program for sales personnel differ from that for claims handling personnel at Pleasant Insurance Company? Can there be any similarities between the approaches followed for training the employees in these departments? Give a reasoned answer. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: 1. Exit 27.251.asp 3/3 .4/casestudies/Sem3_2013/INS032.