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GuideWell Connect - Sales Support Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service

Company: GuideWell Connect, Jacksonville, FL
Company Description: Guidewell Connect is wired differently. We drive value by focusing our marketing, sales, and engagement expertise on every critical phase of the consumer cycle—from acquiring new members, to engaging with individual consumers, all the way through renewal—connecting health plans, health systems, and provider groups in the US with their customers at the right time and in the right channel.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Support Team of the Year - All Other Industries

Nomination Title: Racing to the Finish Line

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

The goal of every organization is to have resources who can “hit the ground running”. The phrase evokes the best case landing scenario for a parachutist who makes contact perfectly with the ground. This visual fits for GuideWell Connect Telesales, as the start of open enrollment can arrive with the same rush as landing your parachute. In the same way, a successful landing requires extensive training and equipment readiness. This was especially critical this year, with the shortened enrollment period. Regulatory changes meant we would need to complete annual enrollments in half the time of prior years. To get ready, we designed and deployed a Day One Readiness On-boarding Model, designed to ensure our agent readiness and success.

In the past, new hires would first arrive on campus at the start of training. The first day of training was devoted to logging into systems for the first time, completing required pre-requisites and certifications, before finally beginning sales, product and systems training. The intent was that everyone would complete these initial steps by day two, so that product and systems training could begin on day three. But this rarely, if ever, happened. Instead, the complexity of our environment and technology invariably meant issues logging in and delays in getting into the system. People learn and work at different paces, so by the end of day two, there would still be several resources in various stages of progress and only a few top performers would be ready for day three. This would cause many disruptions including delays starting training, having to schedule completion of those items at the end of training, and resources not ready on their projected start date in production. It also meant not having hands-on practice with tools and resources, when access issues extended beyond day three. The end result in a “hard landing” for agents who found themselves unprepared for their roles or unable to access the tools needed for the job.

Day One Readiness solved these issues by changing the onboarding process and timeline. Rather than wait for the start of training, new hires were scheduled to arrive and complete their pre-requisites two weeks early. This allowed managers to discuss errors, technical issues, and other obstacles early in the process, allowing time for troubleshooting and resolution before the start of training. It also allowed sufficient time so that regardless of individual pace all pre-requisites were completed by the start of training. Finally, it provided an early introduction, allowing the new hires to get a hands-on peek at our organization. The managers got an opportunity to interact early with their teams.

The success of the model was reflected in the sharp decrease in the number of issues on the first day of open enrollment. We had remarkably less requests for support, less service failures, less credentialing obstacles; and, 98% of graduating new hires were able to begin selling right away. Having the planned number of resources ready to go meant less wait times and a better experience for our customers. Agents and their managers experienced less stress and were better able to focus on the customer. The technical support staff experienced much lower volumes; and, they were able to easily handle the few inquiries that were received. Consequentially, Telesales was able to exceed last year’s sales results. In summary, we were able to hit the ground running.