Maximizing client relationships
When a reinsurance company wanted to close bigger deals, we helped it make the most of its relationships with clients.
“Finance is totally based on relationships,” says Annah Nelson-Feeney, CRM solution architect for Slalom Boston. “If you’re spending time in a spreadsheet and not out in the field, you’re losing money.”
For our client, a Bermuda-based life and annuity reinsurance company, the quality of those relationships is especially important. Due to the nature of its business—purchasing large blocks of life insurance—it dealt in low-volume, but very high dollar-value deals.
To maximize those relationships and make the most of its small origination team, it needed a centralized, mobile, and easy-to-use CRM system. Without such a solution, it risked losing opportunities, stunting future growth, and getting dinged for non-compliance with U.S. and Bermuda regulations.
We assembled a team of CRM and insurance experts to help our client build a Salesforce system to track and manage its deal-making conversations and monitor deal-related activity for compliance purposes.
Low volume, high dollar
Most sales organizations are in the volume business, so traditional CRM systems are centered around driving a high number of leads in the system to maintain a full pipeline of activity. Reinsurance organizations are different, says Matt Edwards, who helps run Slalom’s insurance practice. In a low-volume, high-value industry, maximizing every client relationship—and therefore, client spend—is critical.
“This was about helping them close the biggest deals,” says Nelson-Feeney.
“[In reinsurance], you want to dive a lot deeper,” adds Edwards. “There’s a bit more complexity involved in taking something from prospect all the way to client.”
The challenge then, says Edwards, becomes figuring out how to configure a system to support that complexity yet is still easy to use.
“This was about helping them close the biggest deals.”
Collaborative, “shoot from the hip” environment
“It’s a very collaborative, ‘shoot from the hip’ environment,” says Nelson-Feeney. Though each account has a single owner, others on the team need the ability to access a holistic view of the account.
“If you don’t have easy access to that information, it’s a very arduous process,” she adds.
For our client, and many others in the industry, passing hallway conversations and phone calls between connecting flights are par for the course. In addition, it relied heavily on email to schedule meetings and share account data, and its files were scattered across offline drives. As such, it struggled to manage its deals process and facilitate effective collaboration.
Our team helped the reinsurance company select Salesforce as the solution to best meet its needs. They were then able to very quickly stand up a CRM system that benefitted both the front-end, deal making side of the business, as well as the back-end regulatory compliance side, says Edwards.
The CRM solution serves a dual purpose: helping the reinsurance company centrally and consistently manage its deals activity and support compliance processes.
The solution enables our client’s origination team to input and track client relationships, manage its deal pipeline, report on deal related activities, and collaborate on deal preparation and negotiation using native Sales Cloud functionality and custom reporting.
The team also enabled the Salesforce1 app to support our client’s travel-intensive workplace.
In a heavily-regulated industry, it also allows them to document their day-to-day tasks that drive revenue and its compliance team to review those tasks to ensure compliance with U.S. and Bermuda regulations. Automating this process enables the compliance team to not only track potentially non-compliant activities, but also share best practices and quickly verify compliance if audited.
“If they’re unable to accurately track and record on compliance,” says Edwards, “they could be hit with a big tax bill that they shouldn’t be paying because they’re following the rules but couldn’t prove it.”
“They have a better understanding of the complexity of the deals, where they are in the process, and what needs to take place to bring a deal to close.”
Current success and future growth
The solution was built with scalability in mind. For now, its origination and compliance teams have a single system of record, rather than exchanging email after email with different locally-saved spreadsheets attachments, says Nelson-Feeney. Later, it will scale to support different teams within the reinsurance company.
“They have a better understanding on the complexity of the deals, where they are in the process, and what needs to take place to bring a deal to close—insight they didn’t have before,” says Edwards.