The Standard, an insurance and financial services company, covers 8.5 million customers across the United States with group and individual disability insurance, retirement plans, and individual annuities. Coming out of the 2008 recession, The Standard was eager to grow market share as companies started to increase their investments in employee retirement benefits. They needed a process overhaul that would help them expedite quotes quickly and better serve customers’ changing needs and expectations.
The Standard was founded in 1906, and much of the work they had done in their first 100 years was manual and paper-driven. The Standard initially worked with Bluewolf to move critical pieces of its sales process from a 20-year old legacy system into Salesforce. But following the success of that change, The Standard focused specifically on its quoting process as the next phase of its evolution.
After speaking with a broker or producer (prospect), a salesperson at The Standard would log into the homegrown on-premise quoting tool to assemble a custom quote. Next, the salesperson would send the quote to the sales operations team. The sales operations team then generated the proposal and sent it back to the salesperson for client approval. This process could take up to three days. Understanding that speed and simplicity were the keys to The Standard’s ability to stay competitive, they knew it had to revamp their process.
The Standard reengaged Bluewolf for the next phase of its Salesforce journey. Before designing the new quoting experience, Bluewolf worked with The Standard to develop a project plan with strong governance processes in place for this new quoting initiative. Digging deep into their business processes before implementation helped The Standard’s key stakeholders truly understand and believe in their goals — and ensured that their implementation partner was in lock-step with them during the entire process. With the project plan, process map, and requirements complete, we were able to build and deploy the new Salesforce-based quoting tool in three months.
Updating and integrating its siloed systems simplified The Standard’s sales process, increasing proposals and revenue. The governance process has allowed the company to continually innovate in a systematic manner. Salespeople trust that the data in Salesforce is always up-to-date and accurate, so they can confidently present quotes during meetings, shortening the sales cycle and providing better customer service. Salesforce also enables salespeople to work directly from their tablets or mobile devices, able to access data that previously only lived on their desktops. Having accurate information readily available to salespeople also means that the Sales Operations team can focus on large-scale risk-profile evaluations, instead of correcting routine quote errors. The new tool was so efficient that in the first 60 days, proposal activity doubled.
Bluewolf Beyond, a service focused on ongoing innovation, continues to work alongside The Standard’s IT and business improvement teams to isolate future opportunities for system improvement.