Succeeding with a New Agency Management System
Congratulations! You’ve done your due diligence, you’ve researched, and you’ve bought a new agency management system (AMS). Now, it’s time for the fun.
This blog’s aim is to help you better prepare yourself and your team for the coming change of your new AMS. The three tasks I’m going to cover are crucial for success with your new system.
#1 Business Process Management & Data Migration
Data migration is the “process of transporting data between computers, storage devices, or formats. It is a key consideration for any system implementation, upgrade, or consolidation.” Basically, it’s how you get your data out of your current system and transfer it to your new system.
The reason why data migration is such a crucial part of the transition from one system to another is because it’s the element that sets you up for success with your new system. Think of it like a work out. Before you can have a great workout, you have to get your mind right. Before you can find significant success with your new AMS, you have to get your data right.
Let’s talk about this a bit more.
Recently, we wrote about the importance of having Business Process Management (BPM) in your agency. What BPM does is allows you to put together goals for your agency and outline processes to help you achieve those goals and maintain continuity within your agency.
BPM is crucial to have set up ahead of time because it gives you direction and purpose. You moved to the new AMS for a reason; BPM helps you keep that reason at the forefront and helps to keep everything moving in the same direction towards the same purpose.
Part of this is setting up your data right from the start. It will feel like you’re working backward, but it’ll save you time and effort down the road. Create your BPM, get your processes in place, and THEN move your data. That way you have your data set up to match the goals and processes outlined in your BPM. From there, all of your efforts will be more streamlined because you have everything set up the way you want.
Once you have your data set the way you need per your BPM, you can then take it a step further and start setting up things like Automated Workflows. It will be significantly easier this way because you’ll already know what you want to pursue and achieve because you have it outlined in your BPM.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. A BPM is unique to each agency and will be focused around your goals, your agency’s future, and your team. Yes, it takes time, but it’s essential to put in this time up front to help you achieve a more streamlined, efficient, and effective agency down the road.
#2 Clean Up Your Data
We cannot overstate the importance of “clean data.” Clean data refers to data points that follow a prescribed and orderly fashion. For example, you always write social security numbers as XXX-XX-XXXX or names as First Last.
Clean data is really just organized data. But why does this matter so much?
Consider the acronym GIGO. It stands for garbage in, garbage out. It’s a quick and easy way to say, if you’re working off “garbage” then you’ll produce “garbage”. For life and health insurance agents, working off of “garbage” not only hinders your efforts to be a great agent, but it can make you look incredibly unprofessional.
One of the key times GIGO comes to the forefront is with your marketing efforts. This would include email marketing, snail mail marketing, and calling.
If you don’t take the time to clean and inspect your data prior to moving, the likelihood of incorrect, outdated, mistyped, and downright false information grows. You could be sending emails and letters to people who are no longer your clients, sending it to the wrong address, spelling their name wrong, or worse, they could be deceased.
A blunder like this can make you appear unprofessional which could be a sign for some of your clients that it’s time for them to leave.
Clean data means you’ve taken the time to go through your data with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it’s updated, consistent, and ready for the new system. Yes, it can be a lot of work. There’s no denying that fact, but it could be an opportunity for you to hire a short-term position—college kids are always looking for work.
However, the payoff is great because you’ll be working with the most up-to-date data, thus making your agency more efficient. It’ll also give the appearance that every prospect and client of yours is top-of-mind because you’re on top of your game.
#3 Gain Employee Buy-In
To make sure your new system is successful in your agency you need to have employee buy-in from your team. If they don’t use the system or put in the effort, the move is pretty much pointless.
So how do you achieve employee buy-in?
Well, hopefully, you included more than one person in on the decision for your new system. However, once the system is purchased, a great way is to appoint an “expert” in each department to learn the system and be the go-to for any questions or concerns from that department.
This means you’ll have a leader in customer service, commissions processing, sales, front office, etc. With the leaders on board, they can then go to their respective departments and get the rest of that team on board, too. It may be a bit of a slow going process and there may be some push back, but that’s completely natural.
Another way is to keep everyone informed and to celebrate the small successes. Get everyone together and throw a small party to celebrate the new system and be transparent about why you chose that specific software.
Giving your team insight into why the decision was made can make a big difference in how they feel about it. Instead of them feeling like it’s been forced upon them, they could see the benefit and give it more of a chance.
These three tasks may seem simple, but together they can make a big difference as you transfer to a new agency management system. Remember, you chose the system for a reason. You want to reach your goals and the system will help you achieve them, so make sure you’re taking all of the steps to make the move as successful as possible.
Ready to make the move to a new AMS?
Follow these 5 steps to help you choose the right agency management system for your health and life insurance agency. Remember, you're investing in a partner, not just a product.