If you’re looking for solutions to streamline your sales process and retain clients, you’ve come to the right place.
As an independent insurance agency, GA, FMO/IMO, or call center, at least one of the following is likely your company’s main goal:
- Grow your book of business
- Create more efficiencies through automation
- Hire additional team members
- Expand your product offerings
- Expand into new territories/locations
- Sell your agency
To achieve any of the above goals, you must have processes in place that make your company more efficient and effective.
One of the first things to consider is your team’s technology.
When looking at technology for the individual health, group benefits, and senior insurance space, it really comes down to two options:
- Generic customer relationship management (CRM) software
- An industry-specific agency management platform
While the features present in a generic CRM or sales solution can be robust and helpful, using technology that isn’t built specifically for the insurance industry can create inefficiencies that cost your team more time and effort.
An insurance agency management system (AMS) is software that is designed for your industry’s specific needs. These are often “out-of-the-box” solutions that require little to no customization since everything you already need is there, but the best are scalable to grow with you as your needs evolve. Keep in mind that even though there are several insurance AMS options, they are not all built the same with equal capabilities.
As the #1 Recommended Insurance Industry Growth Platform, AgencyBloc has a suite of solutions built specifically for the individual health insurance, group benefits, and senior market space. We have an array of tools you can use to attract prospects, convert leads, and keep loyal customers:
- AMS+ helps you manage leads and create an efficient sales process, then manage the servicing side with client retention-focused tools that help you manage clients, policies, and more.
- Quote+ helps you quote plans and products and create proposals efficiently for group benefits.
- Commissions+ helps make commissions processing and management easier, saves your team serious time, and can help you uncover thousands of dollars in missing compensation.
Let’s walk through how our insurance agency management platform can help you save time and better serve your clients throughout your sales cycle.
Use Centralized Data To Get a Clear View of Your Sales Cycle
First things first: You need a place to put all the data you plan to track and manage in your sales cycle. Many agencies use a combination of spreadsheets and generic solutions, but these can be error-prone and create data silos. Plus, they give you limited ability to automate your current processes and can be quite tedious to manage and parse through.
This is why cloud-based data storage is the ideal solution. AMS+ enables you to store and manage all your prospect, lead, and client data in one, secure data cloud. This means that you and your team can access your records anytime, anywhere, enabling you to safely and easily grow and retain your client base.
Use Sales Enablement Tools to Stimulate Sales
Managing your sales cycle can be a huge drain on productivity when it comes to your day-to-day operations, but conversion doesn’t have to require so much from you. One of the most important sales enablement tools you can use is automation. Automation can help you simplify your sales cycle and make it more effective. Plus, it’ll be more efficient since automation takes care of some of it for you.
When we discuss automation, we don’t mean robots or fancy AI equipment. Instead, we’re referring to software that can automate the daily tasks that feel like “busy work.” Think administrative tasks, lead follow-up, policy application monitoring, and even client servicing tasks like new client onboarding and policy renewals.
Did you know these redundant tasks consume about 60% of your time on average? You could be using those hours to focus more on revenue-generating opportunities or using that time for more personal-focused activities.
Simply put, automation allows you to do more work in less time and with less effort.
Automation is beneficial in many areas of your business and will bring efficiencies you were unaware could be there. It simplifies client and prospect communications, helps you maintain compliance with industry standards and E&O, and ensures you never forget a task.
But automation isn’t the only sales enablement tool that can take your agency’s sales processes to the next level. Adopting a system that has additional features can be a huge benefit.
Here are some ways your agency can use sales enablement tools to prospect and sell.
Speed-to-contact is critical when it comes to insurance sales. In fact, salespeople who contacted their prospects within an hour of inquiry were 60 times more likely to qualify the lead than those who waited over 24 hours to reach out.
So it begs the question of how to capture these leads, get to them quicker, and convert them. It seems daunting, but this can be accomplished by integrating your lead forms with your system’s workflow automation.
With customizable lead forms in AMS+, for example, you can create a lead form that’s tailored to your agency. Just choose the information you want to capture (name, phone number, email, etc.), then place the lead form on your website.
Keep lead form best practices in mind when building your lead form. For example, you don’t want too many required fields because it could scare away a lead. Stick to three to four fields at most. It’s wise to add an optional comment box that they can fill out if they wish. Other details can be added during your preliminary conversation.
Then, set up a workflow automation in AMS+ that triggers any time a new lead comes in. To increase your speed-to-contact without actually having to call every lead as they come in, you can have the workflow trigger an email or a text message that is immediately sent to the lead. You may also want to set up a workflow to do one (or both) of the following:
- Send the agent an email or text message alerting them to the new lead
- Create a task to reach out on the agent's “to-do” list
Workflow automation and lead forms work directly together to ensure a lead never falls between the cracks and also help you improve your speed-to-contact, thus boosting your odds of conversion.
You can do this the same way with leads you’ve purchased from lead vendors. AMS+ currently integrates with several reputable lead vendors that you can leverage to grow your book of business.
Additionally, AMS+ provides lead routing capabilities that automate the lead assignment process, ensuring new leads are assigned to the right agent immediately. Based on criteria like lead source, state, or county, leads can be routed round-robin or to a particular agent based on your preferences.
Integrated Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video conferencing tools built into your insurance-specific CRM can make your team more efficient than ever. When you use a system without these features, you’re more than likely subscribing to separate providers for these tools. This means switching between systems, manually logging call notes and recordings, and most likely spending more money on siloed solutions.
By using a system that has built-in VoIP and video conferencing functionalities that are designed for the insurance market, your team can make and receive calls directly from the system and automatically store and log call information and recordings.
Lastly, the insurance industry changes constantly, and with that comes new rules and regulations quite frequently. AMS+ makes complying with these regulations easier than ever before.
Manually sending out Scope of Appointment (SOA) forms or ACA Consent to Contact forms is a thing of the past. Send forms via email or text message right from AMS+, where prospects and clients can electronically sign with just a few clicks. Then, the necessary documentation is automatically stored for you in the system, so you can rest assured your agency, GA, or IMO/FMO is meeting compliance requirements.
Once you get a lead, you can add it to AMS+, which allows you to categorize leads into buckets, such as hot leads, warm leads, etc., and build sales-focused automation that can help you move each lead toward conversion.
For example, following up consistently is the key to converting leads—and you want each follow-up to meaningfully build your relationship. You can use workflow automation to remind the agent to follow up with prospects promptly, send follow-up emails automatically, or add the lead to a call queue with the dialer built-in to AMS+.
Plus, with the scheduling capabilities in AMS+, setting up meetings with your leads has never been easier. Simply send the generated link to the prospect, where they can then pick a time on the calendar that works for them to meet. Then, set up automatic meeting reminders to be sent at your desired cadence via text or email.
To take your customer service and communication up a notch, keep date- and time-stamped notes with each lead in AMS+, so you’re always prepared whenever you speak with them. Use the Notes tab to jot down information and keep track of conversations you’ve had with your leads. In the Files tab, you can see any saved Scope of Appointments or other files you may need to store, like call recordings, for safekeeping. Plus, you can send an email or text message to the lead, generate an SOA or ACA Consent to Contact signature request, or call the lead—all directly from the lead detail screen.
Activity List in AgencyBloc
Activities give you a clear view of what happened and by whom. Plus, they’re permanent so you never accidentally delete essential information.
Close Group Leads More Efficiently With Quoting and Proposals Tools in Quote+
Creating quotes and proposals for groups can be a time-consuming, tedious task. With AgencyBloc’s quoting and proposal solution, Quote+, you can save time on new (and renewal!) business quoting, benefits proposal creation, and enrollment.
Through this tool, you can compare group employee benefits quotes for medically underwritten, community rated, and ancillary products from multiple carriers and build presentation-ready proposals in one location. Once the employer groups have made their choices, map that data directly to the carriers, streamlining the enrollment process and saving your team valuable time.
Throughout the quoting and proposal process, you can use Activities in AMS+ to ensure you get your quotes and proposals in front of leads on time. Then, use the sales enablement tools to track their progress toward conversion and use Automated Workflow to keep you on track.
Boost Retention with an Insurance CRM
Awesome! You’ve sold the prospect, they like you, and you’re all done, right? Not quite.
Closing leads is half the battle. Retaining your client base is just as, if not more, important. Plus, if you provide great customer service, you may even be able to get referrals from your clients or cross-sell them more products in the future.
Retention is essential to the health and longevity of a book of business. To reach your company’s goals, you need to have a retention plan in place. A big part of retention rides on the continued service the client receives from you after the sale. AMS+’s Insurance CRM helps you better serve your clients and, in turn, keep them.
This is where Activities and notes come back to the forefront. Track your client communications regarding benefit questions, adding/deleting employees, and more all in AMS+. Track the client communications through Activities (remember, they’re permanent and cannot be edited) so you have a detailed, indisputable record of engagement. This is critical for compliance issues and E&O.
The notes section (remember, these can be edited) is a good place to track additional information. How are the client’s kids? How’s married life going? Are there important events coming up? It’s also a good place to note topics to avoid.
These tools help your team level up their client servicing and communications throughout the year.
Another way to make your clients smile is to wish them a happy birthday or other well wishes. AMS+ has a workflow just for that! Set it up once and it’ll email all your clients (and prospects!) a happy birthday greeting every year. You can also text clients directly from AMS+ to send them real-time messages, too!
Birthday Workflow in AgencyBloc
From upcoming policy renewals to policies that get sent back for revision during the enrollment period, and everything in between, AMS+ can help you create and manage your policies.
Utilize the workflow automation tools in AMS+ here, too, to help you streamline your team’s policy management. With this, you can easily stay abreast of important policy updates promptly.
Policy Renewal Management
Policy renewals are a serious, time-consuming task. Manually sending out emails to each client is exhausting and not a valuable use of your team’s time. Thankfully, the policy-specific workflows in AMS+ have a section just for policy renewals. You can set it up on any timetable with any action (email or task).
Many users choose to set up an email that’s sent to both the client and the agent alerting them that the policy will need to be renewed in three months. From there, you can set up any additional notifications for the client and/or the agent as the date approaches. This helps to get everyone on the same page and puts insurance at the top of the client’s mind.
Automating your policy renewal reminders can drastically cut down on the number of emails you send out and give your team valuable time back. Agencies have found that they can save over 100 hours every renewal period by using the policy workflows in AMS+ to send out renewal reminders to their clients.
Reporting and Data Analysis
Cross-sells are an extraordinary opportunity to capitalize on your current data and build your book from within. Acquiring a new prospect is five times more expensive than keeping one you already have. Plus, since your team has already established trust with a current customer, they won’t have to spend as much time selling the client more products.
Identify these possible “gold mines” quickly with AMS+ by running a simple cross-sell report. The report itself is pre-built, so all your sales team needs to do is clarify what kind of cross-sell opportunities they would like to target. Some options include:
Once your team determines the type of cross-selling opportunity they want to target, click “Run,” and the report will generate almost instantaneously (the speed depends on how big your book of business is and the size of your report). Then start reaching out—build an email marketing campaign, call them up with the built-in dialer, send a text message, or discuss their coverage gaps the next time you meet.
See AgencyBloc Solutions in Action
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. We have solutions to support your company’s goals no matter where you are in your growth journey.
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This blog was originally published on February 14, 2018, and has been most recently updated and republished on April 25, 2023.
by Allison Babberl
on Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Lead Nurturing & Automation Software
- client retention
- data management
- lead nurturing