Overcoming Technology Adoption Fears
Many insurance agencies continue to use outdated, ineffective, and inefficient technology to help them manage their books of business. If you’re unfamiliar with why legacy technology can be a problem for your business, check out our blog that identifies the 4 Downfalls of Generic, Overly Customized Software.
For the purpose of this blog, legacy systems include:
- Homegrown solutions
- Outdated CRM software
- Paper files
Even though agencies know they need to change, the fear of adopting new technology still persists. Today, we’re going to dive into four of the major fears you might have about new technology adoption and discuss how you can overcome each.
The 4 fears we’ll cover are:
New Technology Fear: Expense
Let’s tackle the big one first.
During software purchases, the conversation will inevitably turn to finances. Yes, money is a significant factor to consider, but it shouldn’t be the sole driver of your decision.
If your processes are inefficient and your growth is nonexistent, then you should be taking a hard look at your technology. It could be costing you more even with its perceived smaller price tag.
Ask yourself: “Is our system allowing us to create efficiencies and save resources? Is our system encouraging growth at our agency?” If your answer is “it’s not”, then, it’s time to start searching.
The reality of searching for a new technology partner is that you must see the value. If the software is going to help facilitate your growth and allow you to reach your goals, then the price point becomes less of a roadblock.
Consider this comparison: buying running shoes. You can go to your local Walmart and pick up a pair of tennis shoes for a relatively low price. They’ll do, yes, but they’re not what you’d likely choose to run a marathon.
To run the marathon, you’d probably search around for the shoes that have the most value for you. The ones that hit all of your boxes like comfort, stride correction, and support. You will likely also spend more on those shoes than you did for the ones at Walmart, but they’re the ones that fit your needs to help you be successful in your venture.
Yes, you should still discuss the numbers, but they don’t have to dominate the conversation.
Leveraging the savings vs. the cost
Another way to overcome the fear is to consider the savings you could experience with an updated system. Those savings alone can make up the difference in price point.
These savings come in the form of resources saved by allowing your team to achieve more in their day (i.e. more sales, increased client retention, etc.). This can be especially handy during the busiest times of the year like Open Enrollment Period and Annual Election Period.
As Cheryl Perez, President of BIG-HR, says: “Processes = Efficiency. Efficiency = Profit.”
New Technology Fear: Training
Another common fear agencies have revolves around training for the new system.
When you begin using new technology, there will be a learning curve, but it’s really no different than anything else you start. You start a new hobby, a new game, start selling another type of policy, etc., there is a learning curve associated with all of these.
Going back to our marathon example; you don’t just show up and run a marathon; there is training building up to it.
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”
If the learning curve is a fear that’s holding you back, then ask your vendor the following questions:
- What does the training schedule look like?
- Are there additional fees associated with training?
- Is there a way I can learn on my own, like a help center?
- Are there tools available that are overviews of specific features (i.e. articles, videos, guides, etc.)?
- If I have questions, what do I do and how much does it cost?
A true software partner will give you a variety of ways to learn and understand the system.
Everyone learns in different ways, so your vendor should supply you with a few different formats for training. In addition to your initial personal on-boarding, AgencyBloc provides a substantial help section filled with articles, images, videos, and more to give you both high-level overviews and step-by-step instructions.
Appoint Experts Within Your Agency
Another way to help ensure your agency’s success with the new software is by appointing experts within your company.
Appoint multiple experts in different areas within your agency so your staff always has someone to turn to. Not only does this help with employee buy-in, but it’s also a great way to encourage intrapreneurialism and maximize your investment.
The more self-reliant your team is, the more efficient and empowered they will feel.
New Technology Fear: Security
This is a fear that we hear most from agencies who are moving from on-premise options like spreadsheets, paper files, or a legacy CRM to cloud-based or hosted systems.
To understand the differences, check out our blog On-Premise Software vs. Hosted Software: What You Need to Know.
Security is a very important conversation to have with your potential vendors from the beginning. Make sure to ask questions like:
- Is your software cloud-based or on-premise?
- Who do you use to host the software & my data? (Only for cloud-based systems)
- What levels of compliance are in place? (Ex: HIPAA)
- What options do you offer for additional security of my data? (Ex: two-step authentication)
- Who has access to my data?
- Can I restrict access to certain parts of the system from others in my organization?
- Who owns my data?
Knowing answers to questions like these, you can get a better scope of who the vendor is and if they’re the right fit for you. If security is high on your list of fears, then make sure you bring it up to your sales rep. Then, ask all of your questions.
Prepare for those security conversations with these resources:
New Technology Fear: Change
Change is scary, but change is also necessary.
Many fear change due to complacency. You’re happy where you’re at or you’re a bit in denial of anything that needs to be changed. Ask yourself, are you just surviving or are you thriving?
As Henry Ford says: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
I would add to that by saying “you’ll always get what you’ve always got or less”. Not changing can cause stagnation, which can impede growth.
Knowing When to Change Your Technology
It can be hard to know when it’s time for a change, but understanding your business and keeping a pulse on the health of your agency is crucial to knowing when. This means running monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports on your business.
To help you set up your reports, check out our free report templates and build from there. Also, check out our recorded webinar, The 13 Performance Metrics Your Insurance Agency Should Track (And How!), for more metrics you must be tracking.
Managing the Technology Change
To help you overcome the fear of change, implement some of the same ideas from the training section: appointing experts within your agency.
Identify those experts early on before you start the buying process so they can be a part of everything. This way, you’ll get their opinion and buy-in of the software, which will make the process of change substantially easier.
If you’re hesitant to get too many people in the room, check out our blog 7 Steps to Making Effective Group Decisions About Insurance Technology.
Overcoming Your New Technology Fears
If you’re plagued with one or all of these fears, discuss them with your potential vendor’s sales rep. Also, explore all of your technology options and take advantage of their demos and trial opportunities.
Ultimately, you want to ensure that the vendor you choose is the right partner for you. To thoroughly vet potential vendors, check out these resources:
At the end of the day, you need not only great software, but a great team behind it to help you achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself, your employees, and your agency.
This blog was originally published on October 31, 2018, and updated on October 29, 2019.