Does CRM Have A Place In The Insurance Agency?

CRM is a catchy acronym that is rapidly rising in popularity in the fastest growing industries. Contact Relations Management (CRM), which is the art of maintaining contact with prospects and clients, uses technology today to increase agent close ratios. These systems are what drives sales departments at companies like Harley Davidson or Staples. Companies have discovered that tracking, recording and optimizing their prospecting efforts can save time and money. This technology has made its way into many other industries over the years. But does it belong in the Insurance Agency? Absolutely!

Insurance agents are always looking for referrals, buying leads, networking opportunities, and local advertising. If a sale isn’t made, what do agents do? It gets lost in the vast ocean of paperwork that is our offices. Agents across the country have a multitude of notes on their desks, including handwritten notes, post it notes and printed leads. They then close the sale by asking all the right questions and entering them into a rating system. What happens if the sale isn’t closed? What happens to this information? How can an agent follow-up in six months? Send mailers and keep the information for future marketing. Agents spend thousands of dollars each year, but they don’t keep the information that they have gathered.

The insurance industry has seen a revolution in prospecting over the past 10 years. Online Leads. Agents have been scammed by companies that require high deposits or provide poor leads. Despite the difficulties, there have been many great resources and agents are now thriving by using these resources. An average internet lead costs between 8-15 dollars. These lead sources offer a close ratio of approximately 15-20%. What happens to the remaining 80%? Agents know the prospect’s name and date of birth. They also have their home information. It makes sense to continue marketing to these prospects at their next renewal. How can an agent keep track of emails and correspondence? These prospects may be familiar with the agent’s name and have probably already viewed a report. What can agents do to maximize their investment?

CRM systems are able to fill this gap by allowing producers the ability to input, manage, and use the information they have retained during prospecting. These systems allow the agent to concentrate on their core competencies by allowing them to customize, create email templates, automate cross-selling tools and more. Agents can help customers maintain their lifestyles and provide quality insurance to assist them.

Multiple exposures and timing are key factors in selling any product. Agents who use CRM tools can keep in regular contact with prospects and can store information, such as policies expiration dates and notes, about each prospect for future reference. To fully utilize a CRM system, it is important to keep all information in one place and make it easy for agents to access. Many CRM systems enable agents to attach documents and keep track of all notes in one place, which reduces the amount of paperwork that accumulates in their offices.

Agents must consider what the system can do to help them prospect and sell faster.

1. The majority of captive agents are unable to install software on their systems so an online version is required. To eliminate the need for downloading software, choose an online version. Online CRM’s are a great way for producers to monitor their offices productivity from anywhere. They also provide all the security necessary for the insurance industry. Ask if online versions are required to be hosted on producer’s servers. While some companies claim they are 100% online, others fail to mention that their agents will need to pay separate hosting fees with another company. To make your life easier, find a company that offers all-in-one services.

2. Take into account how leads are received by the agency. Is it easy to access different lead sources? Is it easy to enter data? Is it possible for agents to import excel spreadsheets or does the technical department have to do it? What is the interface for Online Leads? It will automatically import online leads, assign them to producers and eliminate the need to hand them out.

3. What follow-up tools does the system provide, such as autoresponders, drip emails and individual emails, reminders, and reports that allow prospects to be accessed by expiration dates or other criteria? It can take a lot of time to follow up with prospects. Consider the possibility of multiple automated email follow-ups, reminders and templates for emails, as well as scheduled emails that can be set up and delivered according to the agent’s schedule. You should look for a system that can handle the follow-up, so the agent can make calls and follow-up on time-sensitive tasks.

4. What are the customisations required to meet the needs of the agents in their industry? Software developers are not experts in the insurance industry. Insurance agents are experts in the insurance industry. The training of a system should take no more than a few hours and should be ready to use within one week. It should be tailored to the business of the agent and not what the industry requires. This will allow the agent to move faster and without any discomfort. To reduce setup hassles, make sure you explore the integrations that may be available with carriers and lead companies.

5. How helpful is customer service in helping agents learn the system and teaching it in the most effective way? Is the system able to provide online training, online help, or support by phone? Every person learns in a different way. Consider how training will fit into your agency’s work schedule. The agent should have the option to learn in stages and training should be done according to their schedule. For agents who are ready to move on to the next stage of the system, it is important that they receive ongoing support. Make sure you inquire about any additional fees.

6. How secure is the system for both external users and internal security? Only computers can host systems that are located on them. This provides security, but they can only be accessed on the computer where they are stored. This allows one agent to be a part of the system at a given time. This discussion raises the question of what happens if the computer is damaged.

Online systems raise the question of hacking. Ask your CRM provider about their security measures. Ask them if they have their own servers and what documentation can be provided for security measures. What type of certificates are in place? If you are logged into the system, ensure that the URL begins with https:// and not just http://. This indicates that there is a security certificate in place and that it is being actively monitored for any outside disturbances.

7. What marketing and reporting tools are available for agents to maximize each lead? The CRM system is built around tools that make daily tasks easier. Managers of agencies need to dig deeper into the reporting options available. Are productivity reports easy to find and easy to understand? Are they too detailed or do they allow for customization to show what the agency manager is interested in tracking? Is it easy to track the work flow of agents and their daily activities? Is it possible to access data about prospects based on the needs of the agency manager? These questions will help agency administrators decide the best system for them.

8. What are you getting for your money? What are the charges for different sections of CRM? What are the updates cost? How often do updates occur? Is there an additional charge for hosting your system on the internet? Are there hidden charges for data storage or activity? Is there a hidden cost for training and support? Are developers open to making suggestions to improve the system in order to meet daily work flow requirements?

Contact Relations Management Systems can be a great tool for keeping salespeople in touch with prospects and making the sales process more efficient. The rise of CRM’s is a driving force in every industry, and the insurance industry is no exception. Every industry has sales professionals who are interested in learning how CRM can be used to maximize their marketing dollars. Take a look at the possibilities and see what CRM can do to help your agency.