Industry: Finance and Insurance
Expertise: Organic Growth, Rapid Results
Schaffer Team: Patrice Murphy, Jonathan Stearn
The North American division of a global insurance company had committed to significant growth targets for the year. The company recognized that cross selling a wider range of products to its existing and new customers was a key component of its strategy to deliver. Raising average product density by just one product would deliver a billion dollars in global, top line growth per year. In addition, conversion is significantly higher when writing a new line for an existing customer versus developing a new customer. And customer retention is measurably higher when a customer holds three or more products.
The company had been improving its cross-sell success in a variety of areas for years. But cross-sell across Property, Casualty, and Specialty lines had not been an area of focus. Conventional wisdom held that these were very different lines with characteristics that did not match up well for cross-sell purposes. Still, there were some success stories and leadership was keen to explore how these might be replicated. The New York and Chicago regions were selected as two pilot locations.
Schaffer helped leaders from across the three lines of business and several enabling corporate functions sponsor the pilots and lay out a clear challenge to the teams. Schaffer then helped the teams respond by setting ambitious, measurable goals to be achieved in 100 days. The goals incorporated both short-term outcomes to grow revenue in the current quarter and medium-term results to grow the pipeline for the year. Teams laid out specific work plans with actions, owners, and deadlines. They experimented with new ways of engaging with brokers and customers and better methods of collaborating internally, including adjusting incentives to better reward sensible cross-sell efforts and wins. And they created novel value propositions to highlight the benefits of having multiple lines with the company (e.g., ease of doing business, creative collateral arrangements, leveraging risk engineering across lines of business, etc.).
The two teams bound 13 cross-sell accounts – compared to only three in the same period the year before. The impact was millions in Gross Written Premium. In addition, they received early submissions for 11 out of 13 accounts targeted for the following quarter. Just as importantly, they formed deeper, more lasting relationships with colleagues in other lines of business and developed a much stronger understanding of other lines of business’ books of business, value propositions, and processes. Schaffer helped the teams develop sustainability plans to ensure performance does not erode over time. And they collaborated to create a scale up framework to enable the other regions to replicate their success.
One team leader summarized the project benefits by commenting, “This experience showed that we have been dramatically under-appreciating this cross-sell opportunity. There is major potential here – possibly up to $10 MM. And now we know we can capitalize on it.”