Cross Selling at Ping An
Ping An is China’s undisputed digital insurer with a 90 billion dollar market cap and a range of standalone units that includes China’s most popular healthcare app, P2P lending services, real estate brokering, and auto marketplaces.
Although Ping An’s success is rooted in a rapid expansion during the 90s, and more recently by embracing the internet, the key factor throughout has been a commitment to cross-selling additional financial services to its 80m customers.
Cross-selling is a well-established activity within financial services, Ping An has perfected the practice by using the internet to access new data about customer behavior, developing a range of financial services that span insurance, loans, and wealth management products, and most importantly – establishing a unified view of its customers to allow its 1.5 million agents to cross-sell to Ping An’s 80m active customers.
i) Telemarketing renewal and cross-selling:
Ping An was quick to recognise the value of telemarketing, 51% of Ping An’s personal auto insurance was sold through cross-selling in 2018 and outbound telemarketing (leveraging the single view of customer that combines data from multiple customer touchpoints) plays a major part in Ping An’s cross-selling efforts For example, the Chief Digital Officer CPIC, a state-owned competitor of Ping An, recently remarked that CPIC used to be one of the leaders in motor insurance but we lost market ground when telesales became crucial for renewals, and we were slower to adopt telesales then.
ii) Internet cross-selling:
Although Ping An is renowned for its online portals such as Good Doctor – remote healthcare, LuFax – P2P lending, HaoChe – Auto marketplace, and HaoFang – Real Estate, it’s ability to analyse user behavior and more importantly redirect traffic from one Ping An offering to another has enabled it to spawn new business units from within the Ping An group. For example, as a wave of P2P lending startups began to threaten Ping An’s banking arm in 2014, Ping An launched and scaled it’s own P2P lender by cross-selling short term loans to Ping An’s policy holders and redirecting traffic to it’s P2P lending arm.
iii) Agency channel cross-selling:
Finally, despite the appearance of pure digital journey’s and internet based cross-selling, Ping An relies heavily on its offline agency force of 1.5m agents to carry out the majority f it’s cross-selling activities. Interestingly, although China’s agency channel is locked in a cycle of high agent churn and low productivity, Ping An has defied these trends by managing agents in groups, and using its financial conglomerate structure to provide agents access to a range of financial services (, it is in addition to the internet-based distribution of loans, credit cards and insurance) from its other business units to a degree unavailable to its competitors. This proposition of a more varied source of income (multiple products to sell) has been attractive for would be agents to not only join the Ping An Group but also stay.
Ultimately, Ping An has established a mature cross-selling system, creating a virtuous cycle of recruiting and training new agents and expanding its customer database to offer new products. By doing so, about 63 million customers now hold multiple Ping An products, some 34.6% of all Ping An customers. As a result, Ping An’s agents are, on average, twice as productive as the rest of the industry.