Doing the right thing for clients at every step of the customer journey helps support business quality. It starts with lead generation.

It’s no industry secret that poor lead generation practices drive clawback rates for intermediaries - as well as wasted sales efforts and low conversion rates - and lead to cancellations and policy lapses for insurers[1]. None of this is good for anyone.

Those breaking regulatory standards can be damaging to industry trust too, especially where unscrupulous lead providers are accused of using fraudulent or misleading online advertising tactics to procure leads and resell consumer data by impersonating well-known insurance brands[2].

All firms who manage client data are required to meet regulatory requirements, so it is therefore crucial that both insurers and intermediaries take steps to maintain the highest possible standards when conducting lead provider due diligence and purchasing leads. This will ensure you write better quality business, which is more sustainable, while helping to increase the chances of more positive outcomes for your clients. Here are three steps you can take:

Know who you are purchasing leads from

Understanding how data has been sourced and the nature of the customer journey can help avoid overlap and maintain consistency when contacting leads, so it is important to partner with a credible, transparent lead generation firm that is embedding best practice, such as surveying leads, using good quality scripts and meeting the correct regulatory standards around telephone data and communications. “One of the biggest issues to be aware of is how the enquiries are generated,” said PDG chair Alan Knowles. “What do the adverts look like and where are they being promoted? If it’s a phone-based lead generator, what are they saying to gain interest? If someone is misled at their first contact, are they likely to be engaged or to keep the policies that have been recommended?”

Keep a close eye on the leads you purchase.

Once you have acquired leads, it is important to track their performance to assess the sales conversion, persistency and overall quality of the business. This will allow you to make better decisions in future when selecting lead providers to partner with. Working to a budget is wise and staying in touch with leads where there is interest or a plan has been sold can help build positive client relationships. This can include updates about the Vitality Programme. “One issue is the reselling of leads/data,” said Knowles. “How do you know that data isn’t being sold to someone else too? This devalues the enquiry, increases risk of a clawback and can lead to disgruntled and confused customers.”

Spread the risk

Being too reliant on a single lead generation source can be risky and leave distribution firms in a precarious financial position should that supplier for any reason cease operations. Set against an unsteady economic situation, it is vital that broker firms rely on a diverse range of lead providers underpinned by sound practices to secure the sustainability and success of their own business. “Self-generated enquiries via referrals and word of mouth are ideal, but purchasing leads is required by many firms and is done well by some,” added Knowles. “We would encourage anybody buying leads to do thorough research and due diligence to find out how enquiries are generated before working with a seller. There are also tools and services available that exist to help ensure enquiries are not being resold, so engaging with these can also help.”

Working towards better client outcomes is good for everybody – this includes you and your business. Visit the Vitality Supporting business quality page to discover more. Or read the Adviser guide to driving better business

[1] Protecting the Protectors Report, LifeSearch and Contact State 2020