Learn how to determine your agency's value (and ways to increase it).
Are you selling or passing on your book of business? Or maybe you’re just wondering if the current state of your business would be valuable to others. Some agency owners are nearing retirement age, and are beginning to plan for what’s next. They’re thinking: Who will I pass my book of business on to? Is it ready to sell or pass along to a family member?
Others may be wondering how useful their book of business is, and what they can do to increase its value.
The value of your book of business is determined by several factors—some in your control and some not. Here are five signs you have a valuable book of business (plus how to optimize it).
5 Signs Your Book of Business is Valuable
1. Your Data Is Extremely Organized
Ask yourself: How quickly could another agency (or even your own fellow agents) pick up my book of business and begin working? For example, if they got a call from a client immediately after purchasing your book of business, would they be able to readily answer any of the client’s questions based on your notes? You want your book of business to be organized enough that anyone could pick it up and run with it.
When a book of business is housed in multiple places (which creates data silos) or lives in spreadsheets, paper files, or a cumbersome CRM, finding key information quickly can be difficult. An agency management system (AMS) that’s searchable through keywords, ties related records together in a clear way, and is accessible anywhere can help with this; it creates efficiencies and enables great customer service.
In addition to using a powerful AMS, clean data is essential to an organized book of business. To keep your data “clean,” you need to use the right tools and processes, and all agents need to adhere to both.
For instance, one person may enter “UHC” into your database, while another enters “United HealthCare.” This creates discrepancies that can quickly make your book of business difficult to sort through. Decide on the standard procedures for data entry and ensure company-wide compliance.
An industry-specific AMS that has dropdown menus for fields enables you to keep things consistent. However, everyone still needs to be on the same page when it comes to data entry and maintenance.
Overall, showing a potential buyer how organized your data is is a strong selling point.
2. Your Contact Records Are Very Thorough
How detailed are your individual clients' and groups’ records and how diligent are you about keeping their information current?
A contact’s record is never static; it should always evolve. Each time you speak with your client, something new should be added to their record. Even if it’s just a few notes from your conversation, you’ll rest assured knowing that the next time you speak with them, you’re able to pick up where you left off. Or–even better–the next person who picks up their file can start off with them on a more personal level.
A “good” book of business includes:
Thorough books of business take it a step further. They include lead source data, completed and upcoming activities, email open and click history, aggregate carrier information, plus helpful tools for agents, like agent E&O and licenses, lead forms, and more.
See the screenshot below to get a look at how AgencyBloc’s insurance client management software enables you to easily track detailed client information.
AgencyBloc Individual Record
Data is powerful–the more you have, the more complete the picture is of your contacts. Hence, you’re able to build healthy client and prospect relationships easier and, consequently, make better business decisions.
If you don’t have a way to house all of this information, consider getting an industry-specific AMS so that you can start as soon as possible.
Highly detailed records of your clients and prospects is much more appealing to buyers than a book of business that has the bare minimum, so this is another great selling point.
3. Your Data Is “Smart”
What can your data tell you? Can you quickly find your most profitable lead sources? Are you able to generate reports that show your agency’s carrier and product makeup, group versus individual business, top producers, and top carrier products?
These are just a few data points that potential buyers might be interested in. Being able to pull up your book of business and easily navigate through these different graphs shows that you’ve been proactively analyzing your data and, in turn, growing your business.
AgencyBloc’s Dashboard Analytics (shown below) allows agencies to look at all of these items and more.
AgencyBloc's Dashboard Analytics
4. You Have a High Retention Rate
Having loyal clients that continue to buy from you is another selling point for buyers. While the average retention rate for insurance agencies is 84%, the best agencies aim for 90-95%.
There are a few different ways you can improve client retention.
Cross-selling is a powerful sales tactic that can keep your clients happy. Being able to easily and quickly identify cross-selling opportunities is also a valuable feature to have for your client list. This blog outlines how to identify and act upon cross-selling opportunities immediately.
Having a client communication plan laid out–which we’ll discuss next–is another major added bonus for buyers that can also boost your client retention rate.
With these tools, they will feel more equipped to maintain that high retention rate you worked so hard to achieve.
5. You Have a Client Communication Plan
A consistent client communication plan goes a long way. Not only does it help make the transition smoother for your clients and the buyer, but it also supports client retention. In fact, poor communication is the number one reason clients leave their insurance agency.
Many insurance agencies have a hard time knowing how to communicate with their clients in a way that increases their retention rate. You should have dedicated communication touchpoints identified, a plan to make those touchpoints a reality, and corresponding automated emails created for those touchpoints. These could be for things like:
- Policy renewals
- Policy changes
- Enrollment season notifications
- Industry updates, and more
Our Number One Tip for Creating a Valuable Book of Business
Overall, creating a valuable book of business relies on how disciplined you are with data management. Ensure you have a safe, sustainable place to store and manage your data. Doing this helps make it easier to sell insurance and service your clients, and can also increase the likelihood your book will sell when the time comes.
Choosing an AMS, like AgencyBloc, that has all the features you need to efficiently, effectively manage your agency can help set you up for success now and in the future.
Schedule a Demo With AgencyBloc
Want to see how AgencyBloc can help your agency? We’re here to help with a live, one-on-one demo!