Metaphors run rampant in the world of business. Quite often, it’s a sports or military analogy.

I thought I’d try to break out of that rut with a horticulture reference when thinking about the sales process. 

First, taking a step back: the most common framework that SaaS businesses apply in this area is referred to as the “sales funnel” (which, ironically, is itself a metaphor). 

It looks something like this:

Image source: Mailmunch

The concept is straightforward – lots of generalized, uncommitted interest at the top distills to a concentrated number of new customers at the bottom. Much has been written about how to optimize and manage sales operations (including two excellent books by my go-to authority on the topic, Marylou Tyler), and each company has its own, slightly unique process.

As Gain’s sales efforts mature, we continue to finetune our approach. On the one hand, some of this is tactical – for example how we leverage our CRM (Hubspot) to manage outreach in a large and geographically distributed market. On the other hand, some of this is philosophical (which is where the horticulture reference comes in…)

Insurance has a well-deserved reputation for being slow to innovate. So, even when you offer a radically better technology or product, acceptance and uptake is not immediate. For every prospect who sees Gain’s software, understands the obvious value, and elects to make a change in the near term, there are a multiple of others who are equally enthusiastic, but will be far slower to act.

Consequently, the sales funnel in the world of InsurTech should be managed along the lines of planning an English Garden – with an eye to having something in bloom in all seasons. The groundwork that Gain is laying now – with early sales, happy customers, and outreach – is not about instant gratification. In this market, high levels of interest will translates to decision and action, but often over time.

Perhaps consumer apps may be an area where great ideas and execution are rewarded with immediate and explosive sales growth. The opportunity with InsurTech is a different dynamic – a very large market, but also a mixture of different paces of adoption by carriers.

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