AVON, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly 80 percent of survey respondents in Eastbridge Consulting Group’s mid-year 2013 Voluntary Industry Confidence Index survey said their year-to-date voluntary sales have either met expectations (37 percent) or exceeded expectations (42 percent). Those experiencing higher than expected sales said that it was due to selling more or larger cases than predicted. Slightly more than one-quarter of the carriers surveyed said the increase was related to new product introductions. Carriers with lower than expected results (only 21 percent of the sample) cited “fewer cases than anticipated” as the top reason followed by “lower participation rates.”
“The results show there is a strong connection between sales and new group growth,” says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president of Eastbridge. For this survey, nearly 90 percent of the respondents expect to increase the number of new groups they write this year compared to last year, indicating that this trend should expect to continue for the remainder of the year. “New group growth will continue to drive voluntary sales going forward, much more so than higher participation rates or an increase in the number of producing reps,’” adds Brazzell. Competition from other carriers and changes in the way traditional benefits are structured have no real influence on voluntary sales to date, according to those surveyed.
The Voluntary Industry Confidence Index study is conducted semi-annually and includes responses from individuals active in the market—carriers, brokers, and vendors. Like other confidence indices, the index is a single number that compares the current results to a baseline measure. The overall Confidence Index in the latest survey increased to 102.0 up from 99.0 at year-end 2012 and 100.9 at mid-year 2012, indicating that confidence in the worksite/voluntary industry’s future continues to be positive. The first Confidence Index survey was completed in December of 2005; the results from that survey serve as the “base” year (meaning the Confidence Index was at 100 for that year).
The Voluntary Industry Confidence Index report is available only to Eastbridge Information Partner companies as well as to participants. The survey will be conducted again in December 2013. For more information on becoming a participant, contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is the leading marketing advisory firm serving the worksite/voluntary industry.