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Lars Georg Volkmann (VPV): Robotic Selling Support Inspires Insurance Distribution

Part 3: Lars Georg Volkmann, Chief Sales Officer at VPV Lebensversicherungs-AG, explains how automated predictive analytics supports insurance sales staff at VPV.

Foto von Anton Lengle, Lars Volkmann und Bernd Skiera
From left to right: Anton Lengle (Head of Sales Marini Systems), Lars Georg Volkmann (Chief Sales Officer VPV) and Prof. Dr. Bernd Skiera (Chair of E-Commerce Goethe University) at the Robotic Selling Event in the House of Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt

In the future, marketing and sales in the insurance industry will need more integration of their systems, overarching processes and intelligent automation. In other words, the future belongs to Robotic Selling – and our technological solutions for it. At the Robotic Selling event, which took place on Nov. 18, 2019, at the House of Finance on the Westend Campus of Goethe University, Frankfurt, the speakers and the approximately 80 professionals from the insurance industry were practically in agreement on this. Invited to the House of Finance were The Federal Association of Sales Managers e.V. (BdVM) , the Federal Association of Insurance Managers e.V. (VGA), the Association of Insurance Business Managers (VVB) and the Chair of Electronic Commerce of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main itself – more precisely: Prof. Dr. Bernd Skiera , the holder of the Chair of Electronic Commerce and co-founder of Marini Systems. Bernd Skiera was also the first speaker that evening, followed by Anton Lengle, our Head of Sales & Business Development. The third presentation was held by one of our customers. Lars Georg Volkmann, Sales Director of VPV Lebensversicherungs-AG, reported on the success of robotic selling in practice.

VPV relies on solutions from Marini

Lars Georg Volkmann, Chief Sales Officer of VPV Versicherungen, headquartered in Stuttgart, was one of the first users of our integration, automation and robotic selling technology. VPV Lebensversicherungs-AG are a mutual insurance company that was originally founded in 1827 as a death benefit fund for postal workers. Today, the VPV insurance group covers the areas of pension provision and asset formation. With total assets of more than 7.9 billion euros, VPV is one of the medium-sized insurers in Germany. Lars Volkmann presented the individual integration and automation platform in a live demo at the first Robotic Selling event at the House of Finance at Goethe University Frankfurt. VPV’s modular Enterprise Data Platform is based on two pillars from Marini Systems: the Marini HubEngine as API middleware for synchronization and the Marini DataEngine for the more complex integration tasks. VPV’s original goal was to automate a process in the area of survivor benefits. When interested prospects had been brought to landing pages on the Internet with the help of performance and remarketing campaigns, they were acquired there as leads, then further qualified in an automated manner, and finally – if the scoring was sufficient for sales maturity – assigned to the suitable sales rep.

Robotic Selling supports the salesperson

Lars Volkmann emphasized that, especially with complex products, the RoPo formula often applies: Research online – Purchase offline. Customers already inform themselves on the Internet before they seek personal contact with the insurer. Nevertheless, personal sales are still essential for the VPV. At VPV, insurance sales only works through people, but digital input is now a decisive factor for sales success. For the VPV, it was important to automate sales processes intelligently and thus increase their efficiency: “So that agents can concentrate on the essentials,” says Volkmann. However, such an approach to automated sales support often still fails due to the heterogeneous system landscape of the insurance companies. Many of them have the necessary data – only it is stored in systems that are separate from one another. Volkmann has eliminated this problem of data silos at VPV with the enterprise data platform and technology from Marini Systems. Currently, VPV is also increasingly switching from offline to online marketing campaigns, he said, although the platform can also initiate mailings. In any case, Volkmann reports that sales staff are enthusiastic about the process automation and predictive analytics support. His conclusion on robotic selling: “We rely on technology where it can help. And we rely on people where they add value. With the customer.”
The example of VPV proves it: The Robotic Selling method works. Also and especially in personal insurance sales.

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