Success Story: Allianz Außendienst Akademie Köln

Business game “customer resume” for the training of sales

Company portrait

The Allianz Field Service Academy was founded in 2008 as the company-owned training centre for the Allianz sales company in Germany, Allianz Beratungs- und Vertriebs-AG. In addition to training up to 2,500 new employees per year, the Academy is also responsible for the further development of around 20,000 salaried employees and managers as well as independent companies. The initiation and support of innovative, strategic projects in the sales environment, e.g. the further development of the quality of consulting, is another spectrum of the Academy’s activities.

The idea

During the 24-month Allianz sales training course, prospective salespeople are qualified in such a way that they can work successfully in sales. The training consists of twelve classroom training sessions (PT) and eleven sales phases in the agency, which are accompanied by state-of-the-art e-learning. The twelfth classroom training, the PT12, is the final test of the Allianz Field Service Academy. The test is conducted in the form of a business game. Participants have to sell both insurance and investment products to a fictitious customer who is “played” by the trainer. These are intended to provide the customer with optimal protection against everyday risks and for the future. In time-lapse, 60 years of the customer’s life are presented and PTA GmbH, management consultancy shows the effects of strategic financial services in both the private and commercial sectors.
All participants in a PT12 always receive the same scenario, i.e. the same information about the fictitious customer. Only in this way can a comparison be made between the different small groups at the end of a PT12 and an analysis of the different strategies be made. However, the main focus should not be on the direct competition between the participants for the best result, but rather on the importance of early planning and continuous analysis of the individual customer situation.

The cooperation

Decisive for the success of the project was the very good cooperation between those responsible at the Allianz Field Service Academy and the PTA project team. The philosophy and the concept behind the project were internalised and further developed by all participants in joint workshops.

The Innoward

The InnoWard education prize was awarded for the first time at the 2005 education congress in Berlin. The insurance industry education network – with the support of the publishing house Versicherungswirtschaft – awards innovative concepts and their effective implementation in the following areas:
– Initial vocational training
– Personnel development and qualification.
Every year, this prize is awarded to exemplary projects which are expected to provide innovative impulses for educational work in the insurance industry and which have already proven successful in practice.
In September 2009, the Allianz Field Service Academy’s business game “Customer Curriculum Vitae” was awarded the 2nd prize of the InnoWard in the field of personnel development and qualification.

Decision of the jury on the Innoward

“With the business game “Customer CV”, the jury awards a simulation which simulates the CV of a customer within 5 days as part of sales training. It is particularly commendable that the thinking from the customer’s point of view is consistently depicted here. The jurors consider it a politically valuable sign to use this teaching-learning environment to convey the right thing to the customer in a new way, also taking into account the vicissitudes of life. Certainly, a business game at product level is rather easy to simulate, but the possibilities of developing sensitivities towards the customer are impressively demonstrated here. Above all, it is commendable that the experience horizon of the intermediaries can be expanded comprehensively, quickly and in a customer-oriented manner. The transferability to other companies is high: all in all, a very promising approach to even more quality in intermediary qualification, which could set a precedent”.

The objectives

The core objective of the new development is double-entry bookkeeping, which offers easy expandability, security through booking and offsetting entries, and the basis for flexible, continuous evaluations. In order to ensure realism for participants, almost the entire Allianz portfolio of insurance, pension and asset management products is supported. Furthermore, it is possible to integrate new functionalities or extensions, such as cube scenarios or a comprehensive scenario editor.

The tasks of the PTA

After a detailed analysis and conception phase, carried out in close cooperation with the Allianz Field Service Academy, the software supporting the business game was implemented as a Java standalone application with an SQLite database.
The design of the user interface is based on the appearance of the Allianz internal sales software. This should make it easier for participants to enter product data. The three modules, for participants and trainers as well as the database, were integrated into the existing IT infrastructure at the different training locations. After completion of the implementation, the PTA project staff accompanied the nationwide introduction of the new software and the tests, which were largely carried out by the alliance.
In the future, PTA will support the Allianz Field Service Academy in the further development of the training project not only in the form of implementation, but also in the planning and conception of improvements and new features.

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