Technology revolutionises insurance cross-selling

by AB20 May 2015
“Easy” was the standout word in BT Financial Group’s brief for an insurance cross-sell module.

“The whole concept was to come up with something so incredibly simple it was just ‘tick and flick’,” said BT Financial Group’s channel development manager, Pauline Worthy.

BT Financial, one of Australia’s leading investment managers and wholly owned by Westpac, approached leading electronic lodgement service provider NextGen.Net to develop a cross sell insurance module which would provide brokers with an effortless way of electronically referring a customer.

“Our brokers stressed it had to be easy: make it easy and we’ll do it,” said Worthy.

The system-generated ApplyOnline module went live last October.

Once again, technology has put the broker into “a position of power”, said NextGen.Net sales director Tony Carn.

Brokers aware of the existence of the cross-sell module love it. Now Worthy is intent on spreading the word “so brokers who want to make sure their customers are protected can see how simple it is to refer”.

While NextGen.Net has developed a number of ApplyOnline modules for add-ons for credit card and risk insurance products, BT Financial is pioneering new territory and the innovative system-generated module is the first for general insurance products.

Worthy was reluctant to reveal details of lead conversions but was persuaded to do so purely so brokers would be aware of her referral team’s success.

“Our team converts well in excess of 60% of our leads, which is an exceptionally high success rate,” she said.

“With some brokers, who secure contact times, the conversion rate is much higher. We have some brokers converting 80 to 90%.”

Westpac through BT Financial wanted to provide a tool to make brokers’ lives easier and simpler. ApplyOnline is the market standard for electronic lodgement. It was the perfect union.

Ensuring the online referral process was straightforward, was Worthy’s focus.

“The less work for the broker, the better,” she said.

“A flag alerts brokers that a menu tab is available and a message is displayed saying, do you want to refer for other products?”

Once permission is granted, information collected on the loan application is forwarded to Worthy’s team.

“In the past brokers had to fill out a separate form and send it in. The ApplyOnline cross-sell module reuses the data already in the loan application,” said Carn.

“It’s seamless,” Carn added, admitting he’s speaking from experience.

“I’ve used the service and I can vouch for it,” he laughs.

The ApplyOnline cross-sell module is an effective tool to enable BT Financial to sight relevant information before speaking to the customer.

“So when we get on the phone to the customer we have a very clear understanding of their property and what it is we’re selling them,” said Worthy.

Cross-selling remains a massive opportunity for brokers; but while the numbers are increasing, Carn notes that in New Zealand and the UK the levels are far higher than in Australia.

“Now the process is becoming easier, the challenge is easy for more to take advantage of it,” he said.