Conversica recently hosted a webinar on best practices for sales development in the insurance industry. Our expert speakers included Jeffrey To, Senior Director, Insurance Solutions, Salesforce and Alex Allen, VP of Marketing of Spring Venture Group, a joint user of Conversica and Salesforce Sales Cloud.

We discussed how lead quantity has increased dramatically, but lead quality has not kept pace. Consumers are getting good at avoiding the cold calls and emails. As such, insurance agents are finding it increasing difficult to find the ~20% of leads that are ready for an actual sales conversation. Conversica replaces the grunt work that insurance sales agent have to do to follow up with prospects by deploying a AI virtual assistant that carries on a natural two-way dialogue with email leads to engage and qualify them. The results are transformative, as you’ll hear in this recording of the webcast:

If you don’t have time for the entire replay, here are a few nuggets from the great questions that Alex answered at the end:

Question: Can you rely on Sales Agents to follow up with prospects in email?

Just because you train someone to do something, it does not mean that they will actually do, especially it does not clearly help them meet their goals. Follow up with email leads was a challenge for us. Before Conversica, sales agent email follow up was highly variable. We also had to include it in new hire training. Now, Conversica takes the email follow up out of the Sales Agents hand and allows them to focus on actual sales conversations versus outreach efforts to set an appointment.

Question: What communication channels are preferred by your insurance prospects?

Consumers are very interested in email. Some prospects only want to communicate via email. Also, we see a strong demand for communication via text and Facebook. What is critical early in the contact process is to know how the prospect wants to communicate. For example, email versus phone call, is the prospect inquiring on behalf of the spouse, what day and time would they like to connect via phone, and what is a good direct dial number to reach them at that time. Knowing this increases the probability the sales agent will connect with the prospect and close a sale.

Question: Will artificial intelligence replace human sales efforts?

Conversica replaces the grunt work in sales development. It superpowers sales agent productivity by freeing them up to do what they were meant to do, which is talk to prospects about insurance. We estimate that Conversica does the work of 3-5 full time sales agents, with more productivity to come.

Thanks to Alex and Jeff for leading this great discussion. Times are changing in insurance sales, and AI can play an important role. I estimate that more than half of business communications with be AI driven in the next 5 years including sales development, marketing, customer support, and other routine communications. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments.