Steps to strategic planning for life insurance distribution partnerships

Blog | June 132023

Recently, we had the privilege of speaking at the LIMRA and LOMA Canada Annual Conference at the Manulife Centre in Toronto, Ontario. When preparing for the presentation, we took into account the challenges faced by our audience of over 100 life insurance carriers in the realm of life insurance distribution. Drawing from our extensive experience of assisting carriers in online sales for the past 15 years, we have gained valuable insights and best practices that we knew could help. 

A recurring concern expressed by our software customers is the struggle faced by insurance companies in expanding new channels, particularly partnerships with other carriers or distributors. In the ever-evolving life insurance industry, carriers are confronted with both challenges and opportunities as competition intensifies and consumer expectations rise. To maintain competitiveness, carriers are increasingly exploring strategic distribution partnerships to expand their market reach, diversify product offerings, and drive revenue growth.

During the presentation, our CEO, Roddy Awad, was joined by Pierre Martin, Associate Vice President of Partnerships and Digital Distribution at Assumption Life, a long-standing partner of Lavvi. Together, Roddy and Pierre shared lessons learned, common pitfalls, and best practices for successful collaboration and maximizing distribution return on investment (ROI). In this blog post, we aim to summarize those insights.

Steps to Planning Strategic Distribution Partnerships 

Creating a successful distribution partnership strategy requires a comprehensive understanding of your business environment, clear objectives, and a well-defined roadmap. In this blog post, we will guide you through a step-by-step process to develop a robust distribution partnership strategy that aligns with your goals and maximizes your chances of success.

Step 1: Assessing the Current Landscape

Begin by evaluating your distribution channels, internal resources, and product offerings. Analyze market trends, competitive landscape, and customer behavior to identify potential opportunities and areas for improvement. Understanding your current landscape is crucial for building a solid foundation for your strategy.

Step 2: Defining Distribution Objectives and Goals

Establish clear objectives and goals that align with your overall business objectives. Define target market segments, market positioning, and financial targets. Seek buy-in from key stakeholders to ensure alignment and commitment to the strategy.

Step 3: Developing a Business Case for Partnership Strategy

Build a compelling business case that justifies the investment in the partnership. Demonstrate the incremental revenue potential, cost savings, enhanced customer acquisition and retention, and market expansion opportunities. Consider qualitative factors such as reputation, culture fit, and potential for growth.

Step 4: Develop a Distribution Channel Strategy

Develop a comprehensive distribution channel strategy that encompasses both direct and indirect channels. Prioritize channels based on their impact and investment requirements. Consider strategic partnerships with InsurTech companies and other carriers to extend your reach and provide unique value propositions.

Step 5: Building Partner Selection Criteria and Processes

Establish a structured process for selecting partners. Identify potential partner segments and define selection criteria based on market reach, technical capabilities, brand alignment, collaboration potential, financial stability, cultural fit, and track record. Create a selection criteria matrix to evaluate potential partners objectively.

Step 6: Go-to-Market Planning

Define your go-to-market approach, including product offerings, pricing strategy, marketing activities, sales processes, and compensation strategy. Ensure alignment with your partner’s capabilities and customer preferences. Continuously refine your go-to-market strategy based on market insights and customer feedback.

Step 7: Consider Systems and Process Integration

Ensure effective integration of systems, processes, and workflows with your partner. Identify key systems and processes that require integration and work towards a seamless collaboration. Seek assistance from experts if needed and provide adequate training and support to ensure smooth operations.

Step 8: Establish Performance Measurement and Management

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with your objectives.

Step 8: Establish Performance Measurement and Management

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with your objectives. Set up an executive steering committee for regular monitoring and evaluation. Use data-driven insights to optimize your strategy and drive continuous improvement. Maintain a feedback mechanism and conduct performance reviews periodically.

Step 9: Integrate Risk Management and Compliance

Identify potential risks associated with the partnership and develop a comprehensive risk management strategy. Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and integrate risk management into your partnership agreement.


Building an effective distribution partnership strategy requires a systematic and thorough approach. By following the steps outlined above, you can equip your organization to leverage new channel opportunities and gain a competitive advantage in the market. 

Want to learn more details about how to maximize your partnership distribution strategy? Download the full guide below. 

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