Annuity brokerage is a difficult area of sales. For insurance agents accustomed to selling policies, the annuities game could be a rude awakening. Despite the allure of bigger commissions and better rewards, annuities are not an easy path to doing more business. However, they can provide an excellent opportunity for the enterprising agent. It’s usually true that the best way to improve sales isn’t just to work harder, and no one should underestimate the importance of hard work, but work smarter as well. Successfully selling annuities depends on this concept as well. Annuity brokers who are willing to explore lead management and sales automation should find that the improved efficiency and organization that follows will help them work every lead as thoroughly as is valuable and ensure that every lead that can be closed is.
Annuity brokerage is extremely competitive. This isn’t to say that policy sales aren’t also competitive, there are many different companies working to close the same leads and success depends on beating them to the punch. Any sales team looking to sell auto insurance needs to be fast to contact as it’s essential to get to leads while they’re still interested and before the competing firms reach them. As such, sales in these areas are often driven by speed to contact and an aggressive approach. While annuities salespeople need to carefully consider these factors as well, it’s important to note that the very nature of their business is essentially different from policy sales. When selling an annuity, a broker is not only competing with other firms, but they’re also competing with other investment options. A salesperson trying to close leads on auto policies may have to fight with other agents and firms, but they don’t need to worry about convincing their potential customers of the inherent value of auto insurance.
Annuity Brokers face a challenging task. Not only do they need to focus their efforts on beating out the competing brokers, but they also need to educate their prospects on their product and convince those prospects that their product is the strongest way of many difference options to investment their savings. What’s more, the decision to invest in an annuity is a big one. Potential customers aren’t likely to answer the phone and simply close with the first company that contacts them; they will spend a great deal of time thinking over their decision. As such, it’s essential that an agent work each individual lead hard over a long period of time, gradually educating and nurturing potential customers until they’re comfortable enough to make a decision. This can take weeks or even months, and keeping contact over this period is essential to ensuring that no lead slips through the cracks.
When it comes to making sure that every lead is carefully worked and given every chance to close, organization and efficiency are key elements. No lead can be underestimated and each will probably require multiple contact attempts over time to close. This sort of careful nurturing can be difficult to track and easy to let slide. That’s why the automation and organization are invaluable qualities in annuity brokerage. Keeping track of many different leads can quickly become a daunting task for the ill prepared. Each lead needs to be qualified and any number of different pieces of information can prove to be essential to making sure that lead closes with your firm. Without help, it’s easy for files and records to fall into disarray and lead to lost business. As such, it’s essential that companies find a way of compiling all of the information they have and their leads into a single, easily accessible and well organized platform. This can quickly and easily catapult your sales process to the next level by ensuring that all of the relevant data for every potential lead is at the fingertips of your sales staff at any given moment. It’s also essential that careful records are kept on each and every lead whether it closes or not. By tracking key metrics, you can isolate the factors that have the greatest impact on whether a lead closes with your company in the end and focus your efforts on those factors, ensuring that time and effort are used as efficiently as possible.
Another key element to closing in an environment like this is the careful nurturing of every lead. Once again, potential annuity customers are facing a challenging decision that is very important to them. They’re going to need to invest a lot of time and thought before they are willing to make a decision that could seriously impact their future. As such, periodic e-mail nurturing of each lead can be an invaluable process in closing those leads. This can be a daunting task for a sales team that lacks automation, having to carefully keep track of when the last e-mail was sent to each lead and when the next is due. However, sales teams armed with automated e-mail nurturing can guarantee not only that these e-mails are getting sent, but also that they’re sent at the right times to have maximum effect and that the optimal number of e-mails are being sent to each lead. Careful data collection will make for a more fine-tuned, precise system of lead nurturing that will make sure that every effort is make to bring in any prospective customers. What’s more, all of this can be done automatically and with a minimal investment of man-hours, freeing salespeople up to focus their efforts elsewhere. This extends beyond e-mails as well, as follow-up calls or visits can easily be scheduled through automatic prompting. It’s very important that leads are worked thoroughly, and meticulous follow-up is a part of that. In order to make sure that follow-up and nurturing is done in the most efficient way possible, automation is a key factor.
While your prospective customers are carefully mulling a complicated decision, you can be sure that your sales staff has every lead carefully tracked and organized and is following up in the most efficient, optimal way possible. Organization and automation are crucial to any agent looking to sell more annuities and represent the ideal way to get a leg up on the rest of the market.

Author's Bio: 

Joel Anderson is a business expert who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Find out more at