The Big List of Need-To-Know CRM & AMS Terms

CRM & AMS Terms

Glossary of CRM and AMS Terms

Before we dive into this 70+-word glossary, let’s define AMS and CRM.

AMS - stands for agency management system; an agency management system is SaaS (software as a service) technology that insurance agencies use to organize their book of business and more effectively run their operations. Usually, an AMS is built for specific niche markets within the insurance industry, like life and health or property and casualty.

CRM - “Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the principles, practices, and guidelines that an organization follows when interacting with its customers.” (Investopedia) So, CRM software is a tool that helps businesses carry out these best practices more efficiently and effectively. 

What’s the difference between the two? As the definitions pointed out, a CRM is generic and an AMS is specific to the insurance industry. Both systems help businesses better manage contacts like clients and prospects, but an AMS also has capabilities specifically for insurance agencies to more effectively run their business, like policy management and commissions processing.

To learn more, check out: The Agency’s Guide to Understanding an Agency Management System vs. a CRM.

Now, let’s get to the CRM & AMS terms you should know. Please note that not all of these terms are used uniformly across different CRMs or AMSs.

The terms in green are AgencyBloc-specific terms. AgencyBloc is an AMS built specifically for life & health agencies, so there are terms to discuss that are related to the system that may or may not be relevant to generic CRMs or other AMSs.

We've also marked the AgencyBloc terms in green with which area of AgencyBloc they are related to: INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM, COMMISSIONS PROCESSING, AUTOMATED WORKFLOW, and/or EMAIL MARKETING.


CRM/AMS Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Account
A group or business that the salesperson is trying to sell to/gain as a client.

Actions | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
Events that happen in AgencyBloc when a workflow is triggered. These events include creating and assigning activities, and sending emails. A workflow requires at least one action to function, but you can add as many as you want.

Activities
Tasks or to-dos within a CRM or other software that can be assigned to users. They can often have due dates, notes, attachments, and more. 

Administrator
The user on a CRM or other software account who has rights to adjust settings, add new users, and other high-level actions.

Advanced Search | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
A search within a record area (Groups, Individuals, Policies, etc.) where a user can select specific criteria and fields. 

Agency | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
The business that sells and services policies to Individuals and/or Groups.

Agent | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
Insurance agent or advisor that works directly for an agency or is contracted with an agency.

Agent Statement | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
Statements including premium paid and amount owed for each policy that can be downloaded and given to agents with their paycheck; agents can also be given a special login to AgencyBloc to view their statements online.

Analytics / Real-time analytics | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
Graphs and charts that are created within the CRM based on the data in the account. Real-time analytics are analytics that are updated automatically whenever data is updated.

API
“...stands for ‘Application Programming Interface.’ An API is a set of commands, functions, protocols, and objects that programmers can use to create software or interact with an external system. It provides developers with standard commands for performing common operations so they do not have to write the code from scratch.” (TechTerms) (See Open API)

Association | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
A way of tying different types of records together; for example, associating an Individual or Group to a Policy record.

Automated Workflow | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
A series of actions (examples: emails or task assignments) that are carried out when a specific event or scenario (trigger) occurs.

Bounce (Email)
A “bounced email” is an email that returns to the sender because it could not be sent to the recipient. There are two types of bounced emails: hard bounce and soft bounce. “Hard bounce email is permanently bounced back to the sender because the address is invalid. Soft bounce email is recognized by the recipient's mail server but is returned to the sender because the recipient's mailbox is full, the mail server is temporarily unavailable, or the recipient no longer has an email account at that address.” (TechTarget)

CANSPAM Act
“...a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.” (Federal Trade Commission)

Carrier | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
The insurance company or carrier of the policy products.

Commissions Processing | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
The process of taking carrier commissions and splitting out payments to agents, the house, and other payees. 

Contact Type (or sometimes Status)
What a person in a CRM database is, such as prospect, lead, client, etc.

Criteria | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
Additional conditions that must be met to trigger the workflow; criteria help target specific records within AgencyBloc that meet the trigger conditions.

CSV File
“...a set of database rows and columns stored in a text file such that the rows are separated by a new line while the columns are separated by a semicolon or a comma. A CSV file is primarily used to transport data between two databases of different formats through a computer program.” (Techopedia) (See Data Migration)

Custom Fields
Fields that are custom-built to hold unique data when that field is not currently offered from the CRM or other software. 

Dashboard
The “homepage” upon login to a CRM or another software. Each software differs in what is shown here, but activities and analytics are two common items. Some software allows for customized dashboards.

Data Export
The process and tools used to move data points out of a CRM or another software, sometimes by using reporting tools. For many systems, a data export is via CSV or Excel file export.

Data Import
The process and tools used to move data points into a CRM or another software, sometimes by the way of a CSV file. 

Data Migration
The process of moving data from one system to another; can include data import and export or custom migration solution.

Drip Email
An email campaign that sends a series of pre-written emails to a single audience over a specific period of time. For example, one email sends this week and another is scheduled to send two weeks later.

Email Blast
A single message sent to a single audience via email. One example would be a company’s email newsletter.

Email Campaign | EMAIL MARKETING
One email or a series of emails, like announcements and newsletters, sent to a targeted list of recipients.

Email Marketing
A methodology used to communicate with prospects and clients using email.

Fields
The mechanism for users to store and organize data points within a CRM or AMS, such as First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, etc. There are many field types, such as open text, drop-down menu, checkbox, and more. 

Group | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
A company, employer, or organization the agency does business with.

Group Policy Election | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
Group policyholder information including dependents of an Individual enrolled in the policy.

Group Policy Enrollment | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
Group policyholder information including Individuals enrolled in a group’s policy. 

Highest Bounce & Spams (Graph) | EMAIL MARKETING
A graph showing which email campaigns have generated the highest number of spam complaints or hard bounces.

HTML
“...stands for ‘Hypertext Markup Language.’ HTML is the language used to create webpages. ‘Hypertext’ refers to the hyperlinks that an HTML page may contain. ‘Markup language’ refers to the way tags are used to define the page layout and elements within the page.” (TechTerms) With regards to lead forms, they can be copied and pasted as HTML onto your website. (See Lead Form)

Import Map | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
A commission map based on an Excel-based carrier commission statement that makes processing commissions from that carrier more efficient.

Individual | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
Clients or prospects the agency does business with.

Integration
“The combining of subroutines, software modules or full programs with other software components in order to develop an application or enhance the functionality of an existing one.” (PCmag) An integration is typically a more involved process between software companies than developers solely working with an API. 

Lead
Someone who a salesperson or marketer has potentially made contact with, has their contact information, and/or who is a potential customer; some businesses think of lead as a step further than a prospect.

Lead Form
A form a website that allows visitors to send a business their contact information.

Lead Management
The methodology or practices salespeople use to potentially convert leads to clients, often using marketing campaigns and automation.

Lead Source
Where or how a lead was obtained, such as website form, Google, social media, referral, etc.

Links & Clicks | EMAIL MARKETING
Metrics showing what within an email recipients are clicking.

Notification
An alert to a CRM or AMS user; notification types vary widely across different platforms, but one example is a notification of an activity/task assigned to a user.

Open API
“...commonly defined as an API that uses a common or universal language or structure to promote more universal access. In general, an API allows developers to use a specific software product in various ways, for example, fitting it into third-party projects.” (Techopedia)

Payee | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
The agent or other person who is paid on/from a commission.

Payee Schedule | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
Defines payees and payout amounts that will apply to policies with commission.

Policy | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
The product/coverage an Individual or Group purchases from the agent/agency.

Policy Coverage Fields Sets | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
A combination of data fields designed to capture relevant coverage information for particular policy types in the life and health insurance industry.

Policy Coverage Type | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
The type of a policy, such as Dental, Health, Life, Long Term Care, Vision, Worksite Benefits, and more.

Profile
A CRM or AMS user’s information, including username and password used to log in to the system, email address used to receive system-related information, profile image, and more.

Projection Tables | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
Tables that provide data to calculate the commissions an agency expects to receive. Each projection table includes a duration of time, a commission type, and expected amounts. Projection tables work in combination with policy data.

Prospect
Someone who a salesperson or marketer has identified as a potential customer or client.

Rate Tables | COMMISSIONS PROCESSING
Used to define standard payout scenarios and amounts that will apply to policies with commission.

ReCAPTCHA
"ReCAPTCHA is a free service from Google that helps protect websites from spam and abuse. A “CAPTCHA” is a turing test to tell human and bots apart. It is easy for humans to solve, but hard for “bots” and other malicious software to figure out.” (Google)

Recipients, Opens & Clicks List | EMAIL MARKETING
A list of recipients who opened the email and if applicable, clicked a link in the email content.

Record
A set of related data points on a single entity; for example, a client record includes contact information, communication history, purchased products/services, and anything else relevant to that client.

Relationship
The connection between contacts in a system, such as spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, etc. 

Reporting
The process and tools used to pull data from a CRM or another software based on criteria a user chooses. Reporting tools include preset reports as well as custom builders.

Saved Search | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
Search results based on criteria selected by a user that are saved/”starred” to return to later; these searches in AgencyBloc update in real-time as data is updated. (See Advanced Search)

Servicing Agent | INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC CRM
The agent who sold and/or services a policy and who is also generally associated to the policy within the AMS.

Settings
A CRM or AMS user’s administrator functions that determine the system’s settings, including security, customization options, user accounts, and more.

Spam
“Spam email is unsolicited and unwanted junk email sent out in bulk to an indiscriminate recipient list.” (Cisco) (See CANSPAM Act)

Thank You / Confirmation Page
The page that a website visitor is sent to upon submitting their information on a lead form. (See Lead Form)

Timeline of All Actions | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
A graph showing the number of emails sent and activities assigned across all workflows.

Timeline of Emails | EMAIL MARKETING
A bar graph showing the number of emails sent across all email campaigns.

Timeline of Engagement | EMAIL MARKETING
A graph showing when an email is opened, clicked, or a spam complaint occurred.

Trigger | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
A set of conditions that must be met to run an automated workflow.

Trigger Type | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
The record type that the trigger is based on, such as Individual, Group, Policy, Agent, etc.

Trigger When | AUTOMATED WORKFLOW
Event within AgencyBloc that triggers the workflow; events vary depending on the trigger type.

Users
Anyone who uses/has a login to the CRM or AMS.

Variable Data | EMAIL MARKETING
Special fields that populate with information from records in an account. For example, agent and client names, addresses, and policy information. Variable data is useful when sending information that is unique to each recipient, such as contract numbers or policy numbers.

Want to learn more about AgencyBloc?

This 5-minute overview video is a great way to get a high-level look into AgencyBloc, the #1 Agency Recommended management system for life & health insurance agencies.

Watch Now!

Kelsey Rosauer

By Kelsey Rosauer on November 25, 2019 in Database Management

Kelsey is the Marketing Brand Specialist at AgencyBloc. She plans and creates educational resources to help our customers organize, automate & grow their insurance agency. Favorite quote: "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." —Charles R. Swindoll  More articles

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