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UPMC Health Plan - Inside or Telesales Team of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: UPMC Health Plan, Pittsburgh PA
Company Description: UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. Based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, UPMC is inventing new models of accountable, cost-effective, patient-centered care. We provide more than $900 million a year in benefits to our communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Inside or Telesales Team of the Year

Nomination Title: 2019 Telesales Team of the Year – UPMC Telesales Team: Building Upon Success

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2017 (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:

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we provide more than $90 million a year in benefits to our communities. We are Pennsylvania’s largest nongovernmental employer, with more than 85,000 employees. As one of the fastest growing health plans in the nation, UPMC Health Plan now serves more than 3.4 million members. The UPMC for Life product line supports individuals who are eligible for Medicare and or Medicaid. This product has been offered in Western Pennsylvania for 17 years and is now 175,000 members strong and growing.

The UPMC for Life Telesales Team creates membership growth across Pennsylvania, often providing the first impression of our company. They assist Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with what is sometimes the first heath care decision they make alone. They are licensed by Pennsylvania to sell insurance, participate in product, sales, and compliance training, and stay up-to-date on State and Federal guidelines.

Over the last year, our team grew significantly, due to our service area and plan offering expansion. From 2018 to 2019, we added 9 counties, totaling 60 overall with 9 counties left in Pennsylvania not yet covered. Representatives must present 1-of-20 Medicare Advantage plans to callers. With increased complexity, comes more resources, including 3 formularies and 6 provider directories.

Last year we implemented live triaging to identify and route callers appropriately. This year, we initiated an interactive voice recording (IVR) prompt selection, allowing callers to choose how to learn about products. Customers could select to learn by phone, seminar, or a one-on-one meeting. This reduced time needed to identify callers’ preferred ways to learn and the garnished prompt selection data refined marketing by providing insight to where our market is moving.

Dealing with a sensitive population, personal marketing is key. Last year we created letters, including a picture of the licensed agent assisting the lead. This year we created microsites dedicated to each one. There, shoppers can see the agent’s picture, learn their background, experience, and see agent quotes regarding how sales appeals to them.

Additionally, shoppers chat with representatives, giving customers who cannot speak over the phone the ability to receive guidance from a licensed agent. Including personal touches in marketing pieces has resulted in fantastic feedback from customers and staff.

While personalization and accountability are key, they also help maximize sales. This year, we implemented an “On Behalf Of” strategy. While sales representatives have individual targets, assisting customers is priority, even if not their own. If a representative is unavailable, another agent assists the call on their behalf. Even if a sale, it still is completed On Behalf Of. Sales can be a competitive and this allows management to remove stigmas while maximizing sales, getting callers enrolled, even if their representative is unavailable.

To boost team morale, we created the “Opening Bell.” Mirroring the Stock Exchange, each morning, we gathered and rang a bell. It was quite the challenge locating a bell to ring. Fortunately, the mother of one of our teammates had a bell in her backyard. While the father of another built a custom stand.

We began by counting down, playing music, and recognizing teammates. It was also an opportunity for cooperating departments to join us and allow representatives to meet them. Over the 66 days of AEP, 22 departments, from Executive Leadership to Telephone Support, joined us. Interacting with internal customers, illustrated that we and our work are a part of something larger.

As a manager and consumer, it is sometimes easier to complain about service over providing praise. One of the best parts of my position is receiving compliments about my team. Clients recognize the time, hard work, and dedication representatives put into their job. It is obvious that they truly care about the work they are doing, and the population we are serving.

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