Vitality is boosting sales with Microsoft Dynamics 365
Find out how this innovative UK health and life insurer is doing this.
“A conversation about lead management quickly grew into a vision of a new sales process with functionality we just hadn’t even considered.”
Large (1,000 – 9,999 employees)
Vitality, one of the most distinctive life and health insurers on the British market, has revamped its entire lead management process via an intensive business process redesign linked to the introduction of leading-edge CRM techniques with Dynamics. The project has doubled the team’s contribution to group income in just seven months and even higher targets for the team are now feasible, says the business owner.
A new way of delivering a core business process
Vitality is the successful UK business face of major South African health and life insurer Discovery. Set up to make a real difference to its customers, the brand offers a distinctive set of values around trying to make positive improvements in customer lives. Offering both life and health financial services products, the company seeks to deliver value via a constantly-improving rewards and engagement program all about finding new ways to boost the health of its customers.
The firm has been making solid progress in market growth, however, its first wave of lead management workflow, handled since 2014 by its UK-based Direct to Customer (D2C) unit, while serving to grow its customer base, was slow and inefficient. “We had a system where leads coming into our customer-facing website had too many gaps before they were delivered to our Stockport-based financial advisory team,” says D2C’s Head, Keith Boyle.
“Ten promising leads might drop down to eight when they actually got to our advisers to call. We also had no effective way of tracking things in real time, and there were pauses in the flow that meant agents were waiting around to work.”
Boyle puts the lead management problems down to a combination of an internal workflow needing improvement, a clunky Excel-based extraction system, and manual handling of leads off the website. It was decided in late 2015 to explore ways to streamline the whole Vitality lead capture and processing function, with initial evaluation of possible technologies to support a better way of organising the core business process.
Functionality exceeding expectations
D2C’s leadership ended up with three possible options: a small ISV’s solution, extension of use of Salesforce, employed in other parts of its parent Discovery – and the potential aid of a specialist Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultancy, The CRM Team.
“What I liked about The CRM Team’s approach was its deep focus on using all the power of Dynamics to help us,” notes Boyle. “What started as a conversation about lead management consulting quickly grew, in an exciting way, into a vision of building a new sales process with functionality we just hadn’t even considered.”
Boyle also saw potential in Dynamics he just couldn’t detect in alternatives. “I quickly saw access to really interesting new Microsoft tools in the stack like propensity management, digital Web chat support, Machine Learning and analytics to build better models of customer behavior and needs.
“That sealed the deal for me, ultimately.”
“We could see there was no one consolidated place for D2C to activate leads, which meant a poor way to convert into business or direct customers to expert advice,” comments The CRM Team’s Head of Delivery and Projects Jessica Du Toit. “What was needed was a better, integrated way of handling and routing leads off the site that would help build up a 360-degree picture of new customers.” The form of CRM judged most optimal by the partner for Vitality’s needs was Dynamics CRM Online, she adds.
The CRM Team is committed to an Agile delivery methodology, which means it was able to action ideas rapidly, delivering a working initial redesigned lead management process at D2C in just six weeks. That initial platform, up and running in early 2016, was then modified by Boyle and his management team. “It needed some work to help support a slicker internal structure to be even more proactive and efficient,” he says. “I could see we were still not getting leads reacted to quickly enough for our business growth needs.”
“We promptly actioned an extensive lead business process redesign, working with The CRM Team – and we’re glad to say a new approach was set in place very quickly.”
YEAR-ON-YEAR GROWTH IN SALES, DIRECTLY LINKED TO the DYNAMICS 365 SOLUTION
TOTAL REVENUE CONTRIBUTION BY D2C TO THE TOTAL BUSINESS TURNOVER IN THE UK. A MASSIVE INCREASE COMPARED TO 3% IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR
TOTAL REVENUE CONTRIBUTION IS ON TRACK FOR THE NEW FINANCIAL YEAR, WITH A VERY LEAN STRUCUTRE. DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY.
Digital transformation journey to more business
What does that new approach look like in practice? Boyle says that the management and optimisation of lead management in the team radically improved from day one.
“That’s in terms of increased efficiency, a highly noticeable increase in speed, and support for us to do what we really want for Vitality customers – give them totally individual attention and advice.”
In terms of speed, Boyle says that pre-Dynamics, a lead could sit in the system for an hour and a half on a bad day; that’s shrunk to seconds. And with the team now organised into real-time lead focus, a lead generation and a specialist advisory team, he says “a genuine step-change” has occurred as far as D2C is concerned.
But the most dramatic evidence of the impact of tech-empowered change at the company is the bottom line. “I’m really pleased with our growth,” says Boyle. “In just seven months we saw an 87% increase in sales over the entire calendar year before.” In terms of the unit’s contribution to the wider Discovery business, he adds, that translates to a stunning jump from 3% to 7%.
But Boyle’s aiming even higher. “With the improvements in our internal processes and the better-engaged and organised team we’ve got here, I have every confidence we’re on a digital transformation journey to a 10% contribution by end of year – and I am pushing for 20% by 2019.” In tech terms, Boyle has already actioned work to integrate telephony support into the CRM process and is evaluating advanced techniques for building that more detailed behaviour picture he wants.
Summing up, Boyle says that thanks to Dynamics CRM Online, he has a humming lead machine with a “team that grabs for opportunity now” and which delivers a way for Vitality customers to get what they want at the speed they deserve.