I have worked in and with insurance companies for more than 10 years in underwriting- and pricingroles and -projects. So I am familiar with how the processes in an insurance company works.
For insurance companies in general, they are used to working with external suppliers, so you should be able to screen time with relevant people, if your service creates value for them. However, you should be really sure how your service creates value in the company and for whom, and be very clear on that. Insurance is very numbers-driven, and your success will depend on the business case you provide. How much claims cost can your solution create? Will it reduce head count? Will it help the customer experience? And if you can show, that you understand the needs of the company you are talking to (current market position, size, prodcutivity, etc.), that will increase the likelihood of success.
The size of the insurer will also affect your selling process. The larger the insurer, the larger the need to identify the relevant decision maker. Does this company have a central supply chain-team, or are the individual departments doing their own buying? With a larger insurer, there can be a risk that the responsibility is were silo-split, which can make it harder to get a decision from them.
So the more you can document the value you create very specifically - both with numbers and what people changes it can lead to, the higher the likelihood of success.
If you would like more discussion on this, feel free to set up a call. Good luck with your proposition.
One very interesting company right now disrupting the insurance industry is Zenefits. They employ a small army of insurance brokers and if you haven't researched them, it's def worth a few minutes of your time. You'll appreciate their business model.
As for selling to insurance companies, I have a good friend (David Bodansky) who owns a boutique insurance brokerage and I've spent quite a bit of time in his office. I'm sure he and his staff would be open to the idea of helping sell a product they believed in, so perhaps your angle is to leverage the existing relationships that every insurance broker already developed?
I think it's safe to say all insurance brokers have relationships and memberships to AM Best, hopefully that helps...
No industry is "hard to sell to."
What is missing is an understanding of a key problem that niche has that you can fix...and instead, reliance on pushing features of the product/service as most salespeople do.
Your first step is to reach a decision maker.
Your second step is to start a conversation.
Most employed "salespeople"--even those with 20 years' experience--don't know how to do these two things.
If you can't reach a DM or start a conversation with them, what chances do you have of making a sale?
If you'd like to learn more about a consistent, effective sales process, let's talk.
What does your product do for the insurance company? What problem does it solve or what opportunity does it create?
What questions could you ask to determine if that particular insurance company had that problem or could gain that particular opportunity from your product.
Example - let's say you are selling expense tracking software and you are targeting an insurance company. Let's say that your current clients state that they save on average 30% of time in the accounting department on processing expense reports due to moving from a manual expense reporting system to your software. In this instance you would want to find insurance companies with a lot of people submitting expense reports manually - because your product has the greatest value for that target customer. You would then ask very early in the process how many expense reports they are processing in a given time and how they are submitting the reports today.
Who would it help; who would use your product/service; & who would pay for it at the insurance company? Those are the people you would talk to in order to sell your product. Then you would connect how it would help them in their current job or personally (like make them look good to their boss or give them more time with their kids).