Essay about Ndn 2010 Iss61 Disylvester

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January 2010, Issue No. 61

CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL MIDDLE MARKET
COMPANIES
Incoming Chairperson's Message

By Ben DiSylvester

by Andy Ferris
Life insurance companies are nothing, if not "fast followers." Once a company shows success in a market segment, others follow quickly. There is nothing
Words From The Editor by Maria Thomson

wrong with this approach to markets; it has enabled many companies to survive through the years. However, it does mean creating a continuous environment of intense competition which, again, is not a bad thing. That is, as long as

Characteristics Of Successful

companies understand what it takes to be successful in a highly competitive

Middle Market Companies

environment. Further, as the change drivers in the life insurance industry

by Ben Disylvester, Chairman

continue to evolve–whether it be regulatory, demographic, buying habits, distribution methods, investment return, expenses, or mortality rates–companies

Automated Underwriting: A

must be on top of their game to not just survive but also thrive in this new

Survey Of Life Insurer Experience

environment.

by Mike Batty
To get insight into the thinking of industry executives, a recent survey asked
Automating The Underwriting

what they saw as the sources of growth for their organization. Carving out the

Process

responses from companies squarely in the middle market segment, the most

by Susie Cour-Palais

frequently mentioned responses included: 1) greater demographic segmentation, around age, ethnicity, and gender; 2) expanding distribution methods, including

Bank Insurance Marketing To The

worksite, direct, career, and agency; 3) expanding into new markets, including

Middle Market Consumer

bank insurance and financial planning; and 4) deeper penetration into existing

by Carmen F. Effron

markets, including retention efforts and acquisitions.

Award Winning Papers
Visions For The Future Of The
Life Insurance Sector by Maria Thomson

It is good that demographic segmentation was high on their list as the middle market is often defined as including the 41 million households with incomes ranging between $25,000 and $100,000 which is 43 percent of all households. In today's world of one-to-one marketing techniques, segmentation is never more important than in this middle market. The needs of someone in the $25,000 income range are significantly different than someone in the upper range of the

Is There Magic in the Middle

income band.

Market? by Cheryl D. Retzloff

Attempting to be all things to all people will certainly sustain some level of sales.

However, it is expensive, operationally difficult, and makes differentiation in the marketplace hard to achieve. So what is a company to do?

Based on numerous industry surveys, face-to-face discussions with hundreds of industry executives, and observations of those organizations who achieve high success year after year–as measured in sales, financial strength, and reputation–we have identified seven characteristics of success for mid-market companies. These are:
1. Leadership–Most companies have good leadership. However, how that leadership is focused is what makes the difference. In successful companies, everyone on the management team shares the same clear vision of where the company is headed and can articulate it to others.
Further, the goals the company is striving to achieve–in terms of sales, customer satisfaction, persistency, and overall financial strength–are top of mind and guide their decision-making and allocation of time and resources. And in addition to having a clear vision and measurable
SECTION COUNCIL

goals, leaders in successful organizations stay close to the details;

INFORMATION

creating an environment of consistent behaviors, high performance and learning, and quickly addressing issues that could divert the organization from its mission.
2. Identify and Exploit Niche Marketing Opportunities–
Identifying what niche the company will focus on should go…