Great West Life, a leading North American insurer offering a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions serving the financial security needs of more than 12 million people with more than $199 billion in assets under administration.
Great West Life identified an opportunity to offer formalized sales training and development to improve sales performance and drive customer satisfaction.
As you know, Great-West Life, Group Retirement Services began partnering with Optimé International in late 2006. Since that time, Optimé has worked with us in several capacities. Your firm first delivered on a division-wide assessment of our aptitudes and abilities for each of our functional sales and service roles. We needed to clearly understand where we were at and who we had on the team. At a national development meeting in May 2007, Optimé executed on a highly experiential Sales Championship™ training event with our entire field force that really set in motion the opportunity to re-think, re-do and re-execute customer relationship building and sales execution. We further partnered with Optimé on coaching & leadership development, delivering several sessions since 2007 with our sales and service leadership team. Areas of focus included understanding coaching as a transformational development tool, using the right tools and processes to execute and deliver better coaching, and the implementation of proven models of behavior for our coaches to follow so that this skill set becomes repeatable and dependable.
Optimé was further involved in helping us to understand and re-build processes and tools to effectively address a segment of our business that was managed by a smaller core group of people but was expected to deliver nearly half of our annual revenue expectations. You helped us re-shape our messaging, as well as the actual composition of our finalist sales team, so that the "sales execution" was far more effective to the client. We implemented new processes to follow that enabled the proper due diligence to be gathered, the right execution of the sales call to be delivered, and finally a proper post-mortem was held so that learning was perpetual and adjustments could easily be made from situation to situation.
The results of all this work has been the creation and development of a new "culture" of sales and service capability and effectiveness. Optimé has contributed processes, models of behavior & attitude, the development of required skill sets and messaging, which have become embedded in how we operate as a sales and service organization. We have become far more proficient in achieving “winning sales execution” with customers, and potential customers. Our "hard" sales and service results bear this out. In 2006, we led our Industry in total new business acquisition. In 2007, we set a new industry standard for the most new sales ever sold in a one year period, and in 2008, amidst an unheralded downturn in the economy, as well as significant market turbulence, we set an all time record for the most new business cash flow sold in our organization’s history. As well, in each of these years our organization exceeded our “in force growth” targets despite the difficult environmental and economic challenges. Perhaps just as importantly, our people now display an attitude, and model behaviors, that are in alignment with Championship Selling organizations.
There is no doubt that through the concerted efforts of Optimé, some hard work and effort on our own people’s part, and customized solutions that fit our world and our people, Great-West Life, Group Retirement Services is better prepared to be the leader it aspires to be, in our industry.
- Vice President
Group Retirement Services, Distribution