Bob Hague is Executive Vice President at ICMIF member organisation The Co-operators (Canada). He started working with Uplift Mutuals in May 2018 and visited India in July as part of a mentoring role on marketing and sales. This is now being followed up by Bob’s team at The Co-operators.
Uplift operates through a business-to-business (B2B) model, selling though other cooperatives that have the policyholders as their members, and this is much like CUMIS (the Canada-based Credit Union Members Insurance Society which is part of The Co-operators Group), Bob and his team have been able to provide a suggested framework to Uplift for their sales management. Bringing three key elements to Uplift staff working in this area; process and structure; skills around effective positioning of the offer; and ideas on how to stay motivated. In the experience of The Co-operators, B2B sales rarely take place quickly and require a certain level of patience, this was one of the key learnings Uplift were able to gain from the framework provided. Bob’s visit was followed up with regular phone and video calls which has now enabled a training programme to be agreed with Uplift.
Corinna (Sales Enablement & Ops Director) is also delivering a structured B2B sales management process which includes a self-assessment for members of the Uplift team and this will continue for the remainder of 2018. This structured learning will allow for better time management and more effective communication of the Uplift value proposition.
An important differentiating fact between Uplift and The Co-operators is that mutuals are not currently regulated in India which means Uplift is operating in a regulatory vacuum, inhibiting their ability to grow and protect as many vulnerable communities as they have potential to do so. This is most pertinent when it comes to marketing and selling the Uplift offering and for this reason the support from The Co-operators has been a very valuable asset to Uplift, and resulting in a number of partnership agreements being recently signed.