What is the difference between generic & industry-specific software?

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how organizations manage their individual health, group benefits, and senior insurance books of business. In this move, companies are switching to software to help them organize their business, create efficiencies with consistent processes, accelerate growth, and stay compliant.

This article will focus on two of the major software options and the benefits of using an industry-specific management system over generic software.

When considering your options, it’s essential to understand the types of software available and which might be best for your team. The two types we’ll discuss are:

  • Agency Management Systems (AMS)
  • Generic Solutions 

What is an agency management system?


An AMS is a SaaS (software as a service) technology that health, benefits, and senior insurance organizations use to organize their book of business and more effectively run their operations. 

Example: AgencyBloc’s industry-specific management platform 


A generic system is a type of software (like a generic CRM) designed to help businesses at large manage their customers and other contacts. They’re built for any business in any industry. 


  • Zoho
  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot’s CRM

Agency Management System vs. CRM

AgencyBloc’s AMS+ solution provides health, benefits, and senior insurance organization with an industry-specific CRM that is built for your team’s specific needs in mind. Plus, we keep a pulse on recent industry and regulatory changes to ensure we continue to offer you the tools that impact your processes most.

There are three significant ways that an AMS generally suits agencies, GAs, IMO/FMOs, and call centers better than generic software:

  • Specificity
  • Totality
  • Productivity


The biggest benefit of an agency management system is that it’s already built for your specific industry niche. A generic system is built to adapt to the needs of many different industries. It may have many capabilities, but a significant effort may be needed to customize the software to fit your company’s needs.

Those customizations (i.e., a commissions processing platform or compliance management tools) can come at a hefty price. Additionally, your team isn’t guaranteed that the customizations will be supported indefinitely. The platform could make an update at any time that could wipe out the changes you made. They can also create a security risk if they aren’t supported or are running on old software, which could leave your team vulnerable to security threats. 

Using tools made for your industry can alleviate these issues. An industry-specific management platform, like AgencyBloc’s Plus Suite, is made for one specific industry. For us, it’s the health, benefits, and senior market insurance space. Our solutions come pre-built with your specific industry niche needs in mind. This reduces your need to build out costly customizations or the need to support them. Instead, it’s all ready to go for your team right away. Explore our suite of industry-specific solutions to learn more


An AMS provides many tools beyond contact tracking. It can help you:

  • Manage contacts (leads, prospects, clients)
  • Manage groups, enrollments, and elections
  • Track agents, agencies, and downlines
  • Track policies
  • Process commissions
  • Send mass and targeted emails
  • Communicate efficiently with workflow automation
  • Manage tasks
  • Analyze your business performance
  • Run industry-specific reports
  • Manage your sales process

With generic software, you may have to run 2-3 different systems concurrently—like running a CRM, sales solution, and commissions-specific software in parallel. This often creates data silos. Data is crucial, and the ability to share data from system to system and team to team is essential. If you run 2-3 different platforms at once that cannot integrate, you start to silo your data and make it much harder to get a comprehensive view of the well-being of your company. Common data silos include:

  • CRM
  • Commission software
  • Email marketing tool
  • Carrier/enrollment websites/software
  • Quoting software
  • Call center software
  • Sales management software

Totality also means it’s all in one system. 

An industry-specific management platform, like AgencyBloc, has all of those capabilities in one centralized location, plus they’re tailored to your industry’s specific needs! This allows your teams to streamline their processes, create efficiencies, simplify compliance management, and be more productive.


A management platform that provides both specificity and totality means your team is more productive. Not only because everyone can cohesively work together, but because the system just makes sense. Using industry-specific software allows your team to streamline the day-to-day operations and focus more on revenue-generating opportunities. 

Ready to move to a new AMS?

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Finding the Right Management Platform for Your Insurance Agency, GA, IMO/FMO, or Call Center

When looking for an industry-specific management platform, it’s crucial to know if it’ll fulfill your needs and help you meet your goals. Let’s break these down:

  • Wants: The features/capabilities you’d like to have to help you take your business to the next level.
  • Needs: The features/capabilities you must have to maintain your current operations.
  • Goals: Where you want to go — your needs and wants should work in tandem with your goals. 

Once you have your wants, needs, and goals outlined, then start your search. 

It’s crucial to ask questions to help ensure the system is the right fit for you, your team, and your needs/goals. Here’s a list of features that might be important for your business:

Feature Generic AMS AgencyBloc
Industry-Specific AMS
Policy Management
Individual & Group Benefits Tracking **
In-House & Downline Agent/Agency Management **
Task Management & Integrated Scheduler ** **
Insurance Automation **
Email Marketing & Mass Communication ** **
Compliance Management & File Storage **
Integrated Insurance VoIP & Click-to-Call ** **
Lead Routing & Assignment **
Lead & Sales Management **
Lead Vendor Integrations, Lead Import, & Lead Posts **
Commissions Processing & Tracking **
Missing Commissions Identifier **
Customizable Commission Payout Builder **
Group Benefits Quoting Tools
Customizable Proposal Software
Integrated Medical Health Questionnaire
Customizable Reporting & Data Analysis ** **
Cloud-Based Access ** **
Data Backup
Customizable Security Groups & Employee Access ** **
Tiered/Customizable Pricing ** **

**Varies software to software, check with your provider to see if that feature is available

Another crucial element to consider is the people behind the software. The industry-specific management platform you choose is not only a tool your business will use, but the vendor should also be a true partner. 

When looking at vendors, do your due diligence. Use our free Beyond the Product Vendor Research Tool to help you know what to research, what to ask, and where to focus.

“AgencyBloc has streamlined our business. It has operationally helped us in more ways than one. We’ve been able to take our business to the next level and grow because of our partnership with AgencyBloc.”
—Cristin H., The Brokerage, Inc.

An Insurance-Specific Management Platform Can Help!

AgencyBloc is the #1 Recommended Insurance Industry Growth Platform serving the health, benefits, and senior insurance space. Our suite of insurance-specific solutions can help your independent insurance agency, GA, IMO/FMO, or call center remain compliant and accelerate growth.

Schedule A Live 1-on-1 Demo

Posted by Allison Babberl on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 in Customer & Policy Management

  1. data management
  2. vendor vetting

About The Author

Allison Babberl

Allison is the Content Lead at AgencyBloc. She manages the creation and schedule of all educational content for our BlocTalk and Member communities. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Ku ... read more