Once again, we’ve divided our best sales tips into 10 categories for your reading pleasure.
Let's look at innovation in sales and marketing.
In our industry, being innovative is key to adapting to the rapid change around us.
What are your tips for being innovative? Add them to the comments below.
Here's 10 tips on innovation.
1. Dedicate the right resources to innovation.
“This includes both people and budget. Innovation requires a different kind of focus than that of running an existing business. While it is unrealistic (and unnecessary) to dedicate a large team to innovation, it is important to dedicate a leader and a small team (say two to three people) to set up the innovation priorities, infrastructure and to build out the portfolio.”
—Maria Ferrante-Schepis, managing principal, insurance and financial services for Maddock Douglas
2. Drive relevance.
“Most people spend more time shopping for a TV than for benefits, so our biggest hurdle is to make complicated products relevant. People don't want to engage with this industry, so they won't watch an educational video. We need to focus on changing the language we use and providing context to make benefits relevant and engaging.”
—Veer Gidwaney, CEO and co-founder of Maxwell Health
3. Don't forget about small businesses.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, employer with between 10 and 100 employees account for 92 percent of American businesses and employ more than 27 million people.
4. Have the courage to launch a 'red team'
“Firms need to have the courage to launch a ‘red team’ or a separate entity charged with identifying the latest customer needs and behaviors and creating new services that may cannibalize the existing business where necessary. Most firms need to have this function separate from the traditional business in order to truly foster a new approach to innovation.”
—Mark Halverson, senior executive, Accenture's financial services practice
5. Remember part-timers.
“Don't forget about part-time workers. The most successful brokers are full-service; and part-time employees represent yet another essential gap that needs to be filled. Offer your clients knowledge and expertise about part-time populations and customized solutions for these workers, and you’ll be as good as gold.”
—Brian Latkowski, EVP Global Sales, New Benefits
6. Make innovating cultural.
Create a culture of innovation within your company by setting high standards, encouraging employees, and rewarding them for their best ideas.
7. Don't be afraid of outgrowing people.
“You have to be willing to grow your business in such a way that you outgrow some of your current team members and some of your current clients. If you don't, the best of both will outgrow you.”
—Kevin Trokey, coach and an implementer of business strategies
8. Walk the talk.
While 83 percent of insurance representatives acknowledge the need to innovate internally, according to researchers at KPMG, nearly half believe their employers aren't supportive enough to meet market conditions.
9. Keep your vision fresh.
“We must look at what we do with the wonder and curiosity of a newborn. That's hard to do when many of us, like myself, have been doing this for decades. But it's going to be required if we want to survive. It's in the best interest of our clients, their employees and ourselves.”
—David Contorno, President and CEO, Lake Norman Benefits
60. Think differently.
Netflix owns no movies. Uber owns no cars. Airbnb owns no properties.
What has always been done isn't always the answer.