Institute of Insurance Sales Training: Imparting Professional Knowledge with Practical Tools

N. Ashok Kumar,Director   Misalignment of priorities between buyers and sellers is crippling the insurance industry, while 55 percent of Indians still depend on the sales agents to buy insurance products. As the industry demands more conversant sales persons, N. Ashok Kumar(Director) decided to resign his lucrative job as the Head of Sales Training at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance to establish Institute of Insurance Sales Training (IIST) in Pune in 2005, to create a regimen of certified sales professionals to minimize the customer satisfaction gap.

IIST’s focus is to train the participants with comprehensive tools, as a part of its SHAKTI (stands for Skills Habits Attitude and Knowledge Training Interventions) and techniques, appropriate for on-ground application. Challenging the conventional knowledge delivery system, each training intervention is fortified with strong bespoke content delivered through live interactive sessions like role-plays, stimulated exercises and discussions. “We have a tried & tested coaching content and effective delivery methods incorporated into the unique SHAKTI Model with proven results,” says Ashok.

Recognized by International Trade Council, Washington, for its quality services, the institute offers three main certification courses exclusively for life insurance sales professional(CLISP), for life insurance sales manager(CLISM) and finance for life
insurance sales professional (CLISP), for life insurance sales manager (CLISM) and finance for life insurance sales professional (FLISP), for the first time in India. IIST’s CLISP module educates the sales force about the process of selling (like prospecting, getting appointments and conducting a fact find & needs analysis) and their on-field applications. The CLISM course is clearly based on managing the agents’ sales activities, rather than controlling sales outcome, intended for development officers, sales managers, branch managers and others. Ashok adds, “IIST has developed a unique set of tools and techniques that convert the manager into a coach & mentor for his/her agents, thereby creating a bond between the agents & manager”.

We have a tried and tested coaching content and effective delivery methods, incorporated into the unique SHAKTI Model with proven results

In fact, IIST is the only institution that offers a specialized planning course that directly deals with the customer objections based on financial concepts. For its trainees, this has come as a life-saving oxygen in the light of the competition from other financial products. No wonder, IIST has earned a stellar reputation as a trusted brand name among industry leaders like LIC (associated for about 14 years), MA Max Life, Bajaj Allianz Life, Reliance Nippon Life and others.

Well Researched Training Module
Thanks to its five years of extensive research, IIST adeptly delivers complex concepts such as IRR, yield, market returns, risk, assetliability matching and others in a lucid language and form, which can even be followed by people with no prior knowledge of financial management. Furthermore, the basic course is customized to meet its client’s market strategy, incentive structures and other company specific information. Maintaining all the faculty on contractual basis enables IIST to keep overheads low and stand apart as an economically viable institution in a highly price sensitive market. Utilizing the vast knowledge space of team IIST, it generates an influx of information from the industry peers, including system generated literature surveys from global to national sources, thus keeping the curriculum up-to-date.

IIST has trained about 15,000 persons since its inception and has grown from a few lakhs of annual turnover to a few crores every year. Ashok concludes, “Now, we are working on digital forums to sell life insurance, which will take few more years to structure an appropriate content to meet our standards”.