This post is part of a series sponsored by Zywave.
Over the past year, the entire world has experienced rapid change unlike anything we’ve ever seen, causing all of us to re-evaluate the way in which we live, work, communicate and serve others.
All of these changes have resulted in more and new expectations being placed on insurance agents and brokers. The pandemic has created an increased sense of urgency for more efficient and effective digital tools to help boost productivity, enhance communication and better serve your clients—no matter your location.
Taking a Look at Your Tech Stack
Take a moment to consider how well your various business solutions work together today. Is there overlap between different solutions? Are you still using certain programs or workflows that no longer make sense? Is there a gap in your tech stack that you still haven’t addressed?
During the course of my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of agencies. And through these conversations, I’ve identified six core business solutions that the most successful insurance organizations are leveraging in today’s marketplace.
These areas are vital in shaping both your company’s strategy and long-term success—and having them all work together to support your team is critical.
1. Account Management System
Every company has some type of system of record for their clients to keep track of their activities, invoicing, billing, the products they sign up for as well as any support your employees do for them. Compiling all of this data in a centralized location, an account management system (AMS), enables better organization and operational efficiencies, freeing up time for your staff to focus on more strategic or revenue-generating activities.
2. Customer Relationship Management System
The AMS is usually where your account managers and office staff live and spend all their time. On the flip side, your sellers and producers live in a customer relationship management system (CRM), which is all about top-of-the-funnel activities and the accounts you’re trying to win. CRMs are vital to the success of your business, as this is the centralized location housing vital sales activities. A few of the big names out there in this area are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
3. Marketing Automation System
Next on the list of critical business solutions is an automated marketing system. The days of pushing one-off emails to clients and customers are gone; there is too much margin of error and time spent on customization. Email marketing automation systems can help you quickly push out communications to prospects and clients and also help you track results. There are many great email marketing systems available to brokers today that can help you tailor your messages and deliver them to the right audience at the right time.
4. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ)
Another thing every insurance agency needs to think about is what we call the concept of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ). Software and technology providers have long embraced the idea of an end-to-end, automated CPQ process, but this acronym is new to most in the insurance space. All agencies have the need to put together a proposal for a client at the right time, which includes accurate pricing, product information, etc. The most successful agencies have a specific, automated process in place for their CPQ workflow to make the sales and renewal process run seamlessly. Consider your process for putting together a proposal today. What inefficiencies exist and what could make it easier?
5. Client Software
Lastly, is client software, which can include a lot of different offerings. Many companies have software that they provide their customers. This can be any type of tool or software that your clients use, with their own usernames and passwords, that they log into to help them complete a task. A few examples are an online enrollment system, resource portal or online training classes. Typically, these are software solutions you provide that help make your clients’ lives easier and satisfy the self-service options they are seeking.
6. Content Management System (CMS)
Another thing all organizations need to think about is content. Content is the backbone of any business—it represents your brand and gives you a voice. From your customer service teams and how they manage their books of business, new revenue prospecting, your website and social media, all of these mediums need high-quality content that represents your agency, brand, service and professionalism. Beyond content, though, is the idea of content management. Equally as important as the content itself is how you organize, access and maintain all the content you create, purchase and distribute.
Start Small, But Start Somewhere
When you think about these six core business solutions, in order for them to be most efficient and effective, they need to be integrated—meaning they need to talk to each other. For example, in an ideal world, your automated marketing solution would be directly connected to your CMS, which would then connect to your AMS. This means you’d be able to easily locate relevant content and efficiently deliver it to a specific contact or group of contacts all in one seamless workflow.
Not every agency needs to implement all these solutions today or all at once, but what’s most important is being aware of what core solutions and technology are needed to run a competitive business in today’s market and all the success you can achieve as a result.
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