To be among the elite voluntary benefit professionals, we must make a commitment to excellence in our sales and enrollment training. High standards of knowledge of our products and services must be held up as part of this commitment.
First, training involves market conduct standards. The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association Code of Ethical Market Conduct is a good start. Training yourself and any staff members to abide by the code of ethics
includes following the letter and spirit of the law, paying attention to the needs of customers and taking care in
your wording to avoid any false or misleading representations.
Another major element of proper market conduct training is the education of enrollment representatives, which includes compliance procedures. Compliance training also should cover privacy of information with specific
training related to HIPAA.
Second, the core of sales training must cover the products. A producttraining curriculum might include a review of features and highlights, eligibility standards for employees and dependents, individual underwriting guidelines, state variations in premiums, and information as to whether benefits and riders are builtin coverages or individual choices. Training programs might cover filling out actual copies of enrollment forms and any other point-of-sale requirements. Copies of the policy and riders should be included.
Third, training must provide an orientation to any enrollment system used. This can include standalone systems designed for use on a laptop computer or systems to be accessed via the Internet or the employer's intranet.
Training in this area should include hands-on practice. Train participants on how to maintain privacy of personal
information on the system, ranging from making sure computers are stored in a private area to allowing only the enrollment personnel and the applicant to see the screen during enrollment. There also might be procedures
enrollers need to abide by concerning the transmission of information from the enrollment site to a central databank. Also consider what paper-based fallback procedures the enroller should follow in the event the computer system fails.
Finally, no training is complete without the context provided by a core benefit review. Voluntary benefits often are designed to fill gaps in an employer's core benefit plans. Knowledge of the core benefits provides a way of identifying the additional protection needs of employees and their eligible dependents.
The training process ends with two forms of evaluation. The instructor can be assured the most essential points
are covered by issuing either oral or written quizzes.
The second evaluation includes participant feedback in the form of a post-training evaluation form completed by each trained enroller or sales professional. This helps trainers finetune both their presentation techniques and the materials they distribute.
In a nutshell, training is the key to delivering satisfaction alongside every voluntary benefits sale.