Small-Group Choices, Agent Voices
You may have heard about the changes to Delta Dental’s sales organization. Maureen Noteboom is joining Delta Dental as the director of account management, and my role has changed as well. After working for Delta Dental as a product specialist and moving into sales operations, I now will be managing the company’s small-group and individual sales division.
I suppose that makes me Delta Dental’s small-group expert, which isn’t quite true. There are many small-group experts at Delta Dental. Some, like Jackie Bloomer, you already know. But speaking as the person who’s at the head of Delta Dental’s small-group and individual division, I have to say I am excited about Delta Dental’s small-group product initiatives – especially since part of my new responsibilities includes product management.
Good things are happening at Delta Dental with the launch of our new pool products and voluntary programs. We now have Maximum Allowable Charge options and a table-of-allowances plan; together they add more than 50 iterations to our product array. We’re also examining the relationship between participation and small-group pricing, and have taken steps to ensure that our highest-participating small groups get some of our best rates. (By the way, check out the gem that we have for über-small groups – our 2-4-enrolled product. It’s hands-down the most competitive comprehensive dental plan for 2-4-sized groups offered by any carrier in Wisconsin.)
Beyond that, we are providing some dedicated resources to the two-to-49-enrolled market segment. We have a full-time voluntary-benefits specialist who has spearheaded the development of our first employee-facing materials. We now have employee-facing brochures, emails, posters, check-stuffers, and newsletter articles. Not all of these will be appropriate for every 2-49-enrolled group, but they’re here if you need them.
However, all of our small-group changes don’t mean much without the support of our agent partners. My primary goal is to advocate the voice of the customer – namely, our agents. Agents have always been and will continue to be an important, primary means of selling our products. With the small-group market getting more complex and competitive, we want agents who work in this segment to know they have a voice at Delta Dental. We are focusing our energies and resources on helping them increase their sales revenues.
One of the things we’re doing to help agents increase their sales revenue is our new “Pad Your Sales” small-group sales contest. It’s a great opportunity for agents to check out Delta Dental‘s new small-group lineup and put it to work with some of their prospects. Three iPad 3s are the top prizes, but there are plenty of other prizes, and as part of the contest we’re offering free webinars designed to help agents sell more small-group dental. Watch for more details on this contest.
We know that on average dental benefits only get 11 percent of agents’ time and attention. That time shouldn’t be spent dealing with red tape. My goal is to make doing business with Delta totally easy, with no hurdles to jump through. One way to accomplish that is to leverage technology as a service enhancement, rather than abandoning agents to the abyss of an online, self-service world.
I also want agents to know that when it comes to their small-group business they have a voice within Delta Dental. I will listen to agents’ concerns, talk price and benefit, and do all I can to make sure that the best small-group dental products they can offer their customers are Delta Dental products.
Over the coming months I hope to personally meet with many of you. We don’t want to simply pay lip service to industry experience and the difference it can make. At Delta Dental, we want to live it. Let us know how we’re doing.
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