HDFC Standard Life to consolidate gains of direct sales force

March 8th, 2012 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, March 8 (IANS) Private life insurer HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd will consolidate the gains of its direct sales force and bring in better efficiencies next fiscal before venturing into beefing up the team, a senior official said.

“The direct channel - salesmen on the company rolls - is now 1,500 strong. We doubled the force’s strength this fiscal. Last year the channel brought in business of around Rs.80 crore, and this fiscal it will be 50 percent higher than that,” Sanjay Tripathy, executive vice president (Marketing and Direct Channels), told IANS here.

“We will first consolidate the gains by bringing in better efficiencies before expanding further. The focus will be on increasing the productivity of the channel further,” Tripathy added.

According to him, the sales force follows up the enquiries about products by prospective customers at branch offices, call centres, company website and others rather than making cold calls.

“The average premium per policy is around Rs.30,000 which is similar to that of premium earned from other distribution channels. There is no major difference in the case of persistency of policies brought by the direct channel from that of other channels,” Tripathy remarked.

According to him the direct channel serve the mid segment of the market and not the high net worth individuals, and the policies sold are mix of endowment, term and unit linked insurance policy (ULIP).

Queried about the cost of direct channel as against the agency force as the former involves a fixed cost (salary) plus incentives, Tripathy said: “The cost is similar to that of agency channel. However, the sales force churn is slightly higher than that of agency force. Selling insurance is much more difficult than selling any other product.”

According to Tripathy, HDFC Standard Life will beef up its product offering for online sales as there is a huge business opportunity to be tapped.

Till January this fiscal HDFC Standard Life has earned a fresh premium of around Rs.2,700 crore as against Rs.2,923 crore earned during the corresponding period of 2010-11.

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