Amerisure sought a long-term sales training partner, for a broad range of sellers and staff, to create a common language and process, validate their differentiators/value statements, and produce measurable and sustainable growth through their own Amerisure Sales Academy based on Janek’s methodology.
Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Farmington Hills, MI, Amerisure is a leading commercial property and casualty insurance carrier for U.S.-based businesses in contracting, manufacturing, healthcare, and other industries. Today, with presence in the Midwest, South, and Southwest, they do business in all 50 states, have 700 employees (including 125 field sales staff and 150 direct-to-client staff), with revenues in excess of $850 million.
Rather than selling directly to consumers, Amerisure provides policies and solutions to sellers, such as agents, who choose their products from among competitors to sell to buyers.
In their commitment to excellence, Amerisure previously sought and implemented sales enablement solutions. However, most had been point-based, not a long-term cohesive strategy, and had a limited effect on the organization. In 2019, Bob Nicholas, AVP of Sales Enablement, and his team examined their sales culture and process and defined their vision of a comprehensive sales enablement solution.
They then sought a strategic partner to provide a sales training methodology that could be adapted to Amerisure’s underwriting efforts.
After considering multiple vendors, Amerisure narrowed the field; however, none were flexible enough to meet their needs or showcase at their annual sales and underwriting conference.
With Janek Performance Group, Bob was impressed by how Janek’s team practiced what they preached in their Critical Selling® Skills methodology—particularly their ability to understand the customer’s “ask.” This resonated and aligned with Amerisure’s vision.
Amerisure’s annual conference for underwriters was the test case to apply Janek’s sales training solutions in real time. Thus, the content had to be delivered prior to kickoff so the reps could learn and master the methodology. In September 2022, Janek launched a customized version of Janek OnDemand, the company’s interactive eLearning solution, for 100 Amerisure underwriters.
For the conference, Janek developed three, two-hour sessions, one delivered by a Janek trainer and the other two by Janek-certified Amerisure leaders. These included two breakout sessions for role play and other interactive engagements.
This was quickly followed by TOPS®, a comprehensive approach to reinforcement and coaching for sales leaders and managers, delivered one-half at the conference and in two half-virtual sessions a week later.
Between October 2022 and January 2023, Janek launched Xpert™, their proprietary digital reinforcement strategy to sustain the newly acquired knowledge. This will soon be augmented with Janek’s TOPS toolkit.
The training courses have been an overwhelming success. Amerisure is proud of the culture of sales enablement they are building with support from Janek and our sales training methodologies. They especially cite our flagship program, Critical Selling Skills which started everything. According to Bob, “Critical Selling Skills became an easy fit for us.”
Today, they continue to seek qualitative feedback on how the content is implemented in real-life scenarios, and Janek Xpert has helped achieve a phenomenal participation rate during Amerisure’s busiest time of the year–over 91 percent. They have seen increased success and boosted their hard-data performance in both low- and mid-tenured underwriters, with an eight percent increase in skills demonstration and retention, which offsets the prohibitive costs of onboarding. Amerisure has also seen demonstrated results of their team utilizing the content, and they are eager to build that relationship.
Janek’s sales training methodologies have been so successful and Amerisure so impressed that, this year, they intend to roll out a true Amerisure Sales Academy utilizing the Janek training that has achieved such success. They will also pilot a test of our new Strategic Storytelling™ Skills with BD specialists and also use Critical Prospecting™ Skills to customize a course for our team to identify new relationships within our customers to target growth.