Are you losing 4 hours in your work week?
Many people in the insurance industry are losing 4 hours a week without even realizing it. How? They’re still using a majority of paper files or Excel spreadsheets to organize their data. Studies show that people waste an average of 4.3 hours a week searching for paper files when that’s the main way their data is organized. And if you’re using Excel spreadsheets, you may be subjecting yourself to errors (88% of Excel spreadsheets contain errors due to manual entry) as well as wasted time.
When you’re unorganized, searching for a client’s record or policy documentation can be incredibly frustrating. It can be equally as frustrating for your client if you have to place them on hold while you’re searching for their file and your notes.
So, how do you get those 4 hours back and eliminate the errors? Consider switching to an agency management system.
How an Agency Management System Can Help
Operating your agency from an agency management system (AMS) trumps using paper files in 5 ways:
1. Increase in productivity. 44% of agencies report feeling “significant” productivity increase after implementing an AMS. Why? Unlike paper files, an AMS allows for quick searching. When a client or prospect calls in, you have their information at your fingertips.
2. Mobile access. Productivity rises even higher if you have an AMS that’s mobile—you can pull up information from anywhere you have an internet connection. In fact, a recent study attributed mobile CRM access to an average 14.6% uptick in sales productivity. As you’re traveling from meeting to meeting, you can service your clients and prospects without having to call the office for information.
3. “Living” data. If your book-of-business is maintained in an AMS, it’s “living” data, meaning it can be easily edited, it can be commented on, it can be analyzed. Most important, people can collaborate on it. Sure, you can print off copies of a paper file for your team, you can write notes on your copies, you can use sticky notes—but then what? Those papers end up at your own desks with only your own notes. There’s no real collaboration there. Below is AgencyBloc’s Activities Dashboard. This is where important items in an insurance agency are posted with comments, due dates, priority status, and the people who are working on them.
4. Accuracy. Since an AMS requires far less manual entry, it’s much more accurate than paper files or Excel spreadsheets. This becomes especially important when dealing with commissions calculations. Excel spreadsheet formulas can be accidentally deleted or altered, but an AMS is designed to calculate behind the scenes. You enter the information, and it does the work. The same goes for storing client, prospect and policy information in Excel. Accidental deletions or alterations can happen in Excel spreadsheets anywhere since all of the fields work the same, but an AMS is specifically built to maintain client, prospect and policy information.
5. Data analysis. Like we said with “living” data, data within an AMS can be analyzed. An AMS with advanced reporting and real-time analytics capabilities takes your data, like group and individual lead sources, policy coverage types, and commissions received vs. expected to name a few. It takes this information and turns it into actionable information for you. For example, if you see that you were expecting $418 on a policy in commissions, but you’ve only received $370, you now know to reach out to the carrier to see what happened. Or, you see that many of your group policies are coming in from your website, so you know where to continue to place marketing resources. Without these insights, you might be guessing about the performance of your agency.
Find the Right Agency Management System for Your Agency
If you’re ready to switch from your paper or Excel files, the next step is identifying which AMS is the best fit for your agency. That starts with identifying your needs.
Your agency’s needs are any functions or features you need within a system to continue operating the way you do now. Your needs might include a list of “must-haves”: functions or features the system must have in order to justify the move.
Not sure what your needs are? Use this checklist to get started.
Worried About Data Migration?
You aren’t the only one. We’ve worked with hundreds of agencies who were nervous about moving their book-of-business from paper files or Excel spreadsheets (or other AMS software!). We help you, one-on-one, to make the move as painless as possible.
Another area of concern for many agencies is how their team will react to the change, so we created this eBook to address some concerns: