Insurance Agency Management System vs. CRM
Have you been on the hunt for software to streamline your insurance agency? Depending on where you’ve been searching, you may be more familiar with the term “CRM” or customer relationship management software. CRM is defined as “a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.”
In our eBook, 5 Steps to Choosing an AMS, we define an insurance agency management system (AMS) as “a SaaS (software as a service) technology or client-based software that insurance agencies use to organize their book-of-business and more effectively run their operations.”
So, what’s the difference?
An AMS is a CRM and then some. It includes CRM capabilities like tracking clients and prospects and setting up email marketing campaigns, but it also has specific features that insurance agencies need. Beyond tracking clients and prospects, a worthwhile AMS can also:
Commission Detail on Policy Record in AgencyBloc
Examples of common CRMs you may have come across are Hubspot and Salesforce. These are the big players in the space and are more expensive than offerings from smaller CRM companies. An example of an AMS is AgencyBloc, an AMS built for life and health insurance agencies. It's important to note that AMS software is often tailored to either L&H or P&C because each has their own specific needs.
Most important, an industry-specific AMS trumps a generic CRM in 2 ways:
- Specificity—it’s built for your agency, so you won’t be struggling to make it work for you
- Totality—it does more than just track your contacts, so you won’t have to use 2-3 more software solutions to do your entire job
Why use an AMS vs. a CRM?
We’ve found that insurance agencies who are currently using a CRM but are looking into an AMS are switching because:
- They can track clients and prospects, but they can’t track agents or policies
- They’ve found that they have to do a lot of manipulating—custom fields, editing reports after they export them because the language isn’t the same as what they’d use, etc.
- They have to use a separate commissions processing software
As mentioned above, an AMS trumps a CRM in two ways: specificity and totality. A CRM isn’t built specifically for insurance agencies, and insurance agencies have growing needs that can only be met by an AMS. Insurance agencies enjoy that an AMS is built for their industry and that they can complete all of their work in the AMS when it includes CRM capabilities, commissions processing and email marketing tools.
Finding the Right AMS for Your Agency
Though an AMS will likely serve your agency better than a CRM, not all AMS software is built the same. Some are made for life and health agencies, some are made for P&C, and some aren’t built as specifically.
The first step to finding the right AMS for your agency is to identify your goals. What does your agency do now that you’d like to improve upon? The features you need from an AMS will stem from the abilities you currently have and the goals you set.
To help you out, we wrote an eBook: 5 Steps to Choosing an Agency Management System. This eBook is meant to help you identify your goals, your needs, make a decision based on your budget, and gain agent and employee buy-in.
Here's an overview of what you'll learn in that eBook: