One of the main pain points for the insurance industry in India is getting customers to retain their policies. It is evident by the fact that, according to FY 2014-15 numbers, all but one insurer was unable to retain even half the policies they sold five years back. It is critical for an industry in the business of selling longterm products, that customers continue to pay their premiums and stay in the policy for the whole term. It’s key to the sustainability and growth of the industry in the long haul, and also ensures good investor experience (since most policies are frontloaded).
How long insurers are able to retain customers is indicated by the ‘persistency ratio’, which is a measure of the number of policies that continue in the books of the insurer by the end of each year. For Shriram Life Insurance Co. Ltd., the 61st month persistency ratio dropped from 81% in FY14 to 7% in FY15, which, even accounting for the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s standardisation of reporting that year, was troubling.
“In our sales history, there was a time before Vymo (BV), and there is now a time after Vymo (AV). Before Vymo we had no idea if our reps were busy meeting past clients or past girlfriends. We only knew how many renewals they were doing. Now we exactly know what each rep is upto – how fast they’re reaching to clients, how soon they can close them, how many KMs they had to travel and reimburse them accordingly. Reps are happy not having to deal with weekly calls with angry managers. In fact even our employee attrition has reduced. Man, I now sleep happily knowing Vymo’s got my back”
– CEO – Shriram Finance
One of the key problems was that the company’s large and complex processes weren’t able to scale as they were almost entirely offline. This meant that there was limited visibility on sales reps’ activities. What were they doing? How many meetings did they do per day? Who were they meeting? Why were certain customers not renewing their insurance? Were reps following up with their leads? The only information managers received was a final cheque on conversion The company knew that they needed a solution to improve their persistency ratios.
With Vymo, all processes shifted online, which increased visibility to sales managers and business leaders. Managers were able to allocate leads based on intelligent rules, for instance, to reps closest to a lead. Managers could also effectively track the sales reps’ productivity and make need-based interventions to coach them to improve their conversion rates. Also, with the real time funnel tracking, identifying problems and diagnosing them was simplified.