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InsurTech Ohio Spotlight with Amanda Fields

Amanda Fields is the Senior Sales Director at Coherent, converting spreadsheets into enterprise-grade code. Amanda was interviewed by Michael Fiedel, a Managing Director at InsurTech Ohio and Co-Founder at PolicyFly, Inc.




Amanda, what are some of the key attributes and best practices of a successful salesperson in the insurance industry?


“Being a great salesperson in the insurance industry boils down to four things. You have to maintain and nurture existing relationships as this is a relationship business. Be real with your clients, provide great client service and take ownership over clients' needs. Within any industry, the more time you spend in the field, the more likely you are to network and develop relationships. Insurance is no different. I’ve learned that one of the biggest keys to success for an insurance salesperson is their ability to maintain and nurture relationships.


I hear time and time again that the insurance industry is a small world, and it definitely is. Having as many connections as possible is a great way to stay at the top. Things like networking on LinkedIn and at industry conferences have been really helpful for me. The next thing is to be authentic with the client. At the end of the day, clients and customers are looking for honesty, and letting your genuine personality shine through is a great way to find success.


As a salesperson, it can sometimes be easy to make a sale and then move to the next one. You made the sale, so the job is finished, right? That shouldn't be the case. It's important that you remember to treat your clients the same way that you'd want to be treated as a customer. It's a basic concept that can sometimes fall through the cracks. Things like answering phone calls, responding quickly to emails, following up, making sure things are going smoothly after the sale. These are all little things that can help any salesperson find success.


Finally, it goes hand-in-hand with good client service, but it's ownership over your client. If my client has a business problem, I make it my job to treat that problem like it's my own. This could be reaching out to help solve the problem or, more importantly, advocating internally for my client. That can go a long way by creating those relationships that last and are mutually beneficial.”


How do you see the industry changing post covid from a sales and relationship building perspective?


“Covid caused significant changes in the industry. Some were more challenging than others. I was lucky in that when Covid hit, I was already working from home. The main thing from a sales perspective was pivoting from having meetings in person to being completely virtual. It took some time to transition as, at the time, I was traveling to customers for meetings.


As an industry, a lot of the insurance folks have gotten used to conducting business through virtual meetings. One thing that’s beneficial during virtual meetings is the use of a camera. Be active during virtual meetings, and continue to make an effort to get to know people. It can be easy to come into a meeting and just wait for it to start, but it's still important to have that same small talk that you would have if you were sitting next to someone. Make an effort to learn about people.


I am still of the mindset that nothing can replace a face-to-face meeting or interaction. It was great when things started to open up again. This is one of the reasons why I value groups like InsurTech Ohio so much. The face-to-face networking opportunities are unmatched.”


From a sales representative point of view, how should employers be supporting you?


“This is something I’m very passionate about. I’ve been in the industry for a long time in a client-facing role, and I would not have found nearly as much success if it hadn't been for the support of the back office folks. They work tirelessly to help me meet my goals and our shared goals. This job is really a team effort in a lot of my interactions. I am the face of the company, but I've got a ton of support from people who are helping me get ready for a client meeting and bring new software to the market. This includes everyone from sales support, pre-sales engineers, product owners, the marketing team and so on.


The biggest thing that a company can do is have a strong support team and make sure they are goal oriented and sales minded. Having that support makes all of the difference. My philosophy in sales has been that I don't have to be an expert in every detail of the product, solution or software that I'm selling. I just need to know the right person at my company who can help me. Having people who share the same values and are willing to jump in to help with clients can be the most impactful way that a company can support their salespeople.”


How would you characterize being at the forefront of introducing your company to the insurance industry? How do you see the appetite of the industry for new technology?


“The insurance industry is in a state of transformation. I talk to a lot of insurance companies and every one has at least one goal related to product innovation, technology modernization or data transformation. On top of the broader goals, many companies are adapting to the current work climate through new-hire staffing decisions. Companies are introducing an innovation team and are expanding new technologies. A lot of people from these innovation teams spend time seeing what else is out there to make sure their company is not being left behind.


With the direction the industry is going, it has helped create companies like Coherent Global and its software. There was a need for it in the market. At Coherent, we've created Coherent Spark, and it's able to consume existing assets and business logic via spreadsheets, convert it to code on the cloud and then expose that logic as an API, enabling any front-end system to work with Spark. The process seems simple, but it's something that would normally take months and cost millions of dollars. With Coherent, it saves time and gives resources back to the business and IT teams alike. This is resonating with a lot of the insurance companies who are seeing a need for this software in their businesses.”



InsurTech Ohio Thanks Its Presenting Partner


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