How an AMS Can Benefit Your Role at Your Agency
Whether you’re the CEO, part of the commissions team, or an agent, an agency management system (AMS) can help you work smarter not harder. You might be wondering how an AMS can benefit your specific role or roles, so that’s what we’re going to cover today. We’ll discuss how your whole team can use an AMS, like AgencyBloc, to stay organized and work more efficiently.
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AMS Tools for the C-Suite
As the CEO, CTO, CFO, etc., it’s important to have a pulse on the health and well-being of your insurance agency. Visual representation, like a dashboard, is a great place to start.
This gives you the launching pad from which you can determine where you need to investigate further. From there, you can make informed decisions for the future in regards to staffing, what you offer, and what types of goals you should be setting.
The key to knowing this information is data analysis. Check out this blog: The What, Why, & How of Data Analysis for Insurance Agencies.
Data analysis is crucial to understanding the health of your organization. But what does that mean? Basically, it’s knowing how your agency is performing and whether it’s on track to reach the goals you’ve set.
The main component is knowing and that’s where Dashboard Analytics comes in.
Dashboard Analytics are interactive, digital graphs, charts, and lists that help you keep a tab on the well-being of your insurance agency. They give you a broad overview of various aspects of your business to clue you into where you should delve further for more in-depth analysis.
Dashboard Analytics from AgencyBloc
Dashboard Analytics allows you to inspect things like:
- The breakdown of all the groups or individuals in your agency
- The number of in-force policies
- New policies vs. old
- Adds vs. drops
- Incoming commissions vs. paid commissions
If you aren’t sure which graphs or charts you might want to monitor, check out our infographic: Which Stats Your Insurance Agency Should Be Paying Attention To.
AMS Tools for the Commissions Manager/Staff
Commissions processing is one of the most important parts of a growing insurance agency, but it’s also one of the most time-consuming tasks. An industry-specific AMS like AgencyBloc can help make this task significantly easier and faster.
"We've been able to cut our time processing commissions by 75%, saved nearly $33,000 every year in employee time, and have gained 90 hours back every month. Switching to AgencyBloc was the best decision I made as a commissions manager."
—Leslye G., JTS Financial
Trying to track, manage, and process your commissions manually or in a system that’s not made for the insurance industry can take serious resources and still leave you with errors—88% of spreadsheets contain errors!
In addition to saving both time and money during processing, AgencyBloc’s Commissions Module helps you identify missed commissions.
You don’t want to rely on the carriers to ensure you’re being paid correctly—especially during busy times like OE and AEP. Carriers can be 2-3 months behind on making payments, so tracking everything manually can quickly become a headache.
Keeping tabs on what you’ve received compared against what you expected helps you uncover any payments you’re due but haven’t received. In fact, one of our agencies was able to recover $20,000 in unpaid commissions in their first year with AgencyBloc!
To learn more about streamlining your commissions processing with AgencyBloc, check out our free eBook: The Agency's Guide to Commissions: Efficient Processing, Uncovering Misses, & Analyzing Performance.
AMS Tools for the Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Likely, your job entails a number of things like fielding phone calls, answering client questions, and keeping the business in order. So how would an AMS like AgencyBloc help you? Let’s discuss.
First off, AgencyBloc is a contact-based system. Here’s a definition from our blog 3 Major Benefits of a Contact-Based Agency Management System:
A contact-based system is a system that tracks information based on the contact. What this means is that the base of the system is the contact and everything streams from that (policies, agent, commissions, carrier, etc.) Each individual is tracked first with their information tied to it; so, if a client has 4 policies, the client will be in the system once and all of the policies will be linked to them.
So, when you pull up a client record, everything is there. Here’s a snapshot of what this looks like:
Individual Summary View in AgencyBloc
That way, when someone walks in or calls your office, you know who they are, who their agent is, what types of plans they have, etc. It allows you, as the frontline, to provide them with better customer service.
But that’s not all.
You can view your agents’ tasks lists via list style or calendar view to see how much they have on their plate each day. Since you know what their schedule looks like, you can better assign tasks to them when they’re able to take care of it.
For example, say a client calls in “Hey, I want to set up a meeting with my agent about changing my policy.” You could then say, “Of course, what’s going on?”
You find out the client is pregnant and not sure what steps to take next with their coverage. You then take all of this information and put it into the notes section of the contact’s profile. That way the conversation is recorded and the agent will be able to see all the information and be able to work from there.
That helps communication within your agency improve and helps your agency provide better customer service overall. Now, that agent not only knows to contact that client but they also know what the client needs. This saves both the client and the agent time of having to re-hash everything you’ve already discussed with them.
Beyond manual task assignment, you can also help set up automated ones via AgencyBloc’s Automated Workflow. Set up the requirements once, and then tasks are created and assigned automatically each time the criteria are met. Those details are then sent directly to the agent either by creating a task on their dashboard/calendar or alerting them via email.
For example, if you set up a workflow to notify both the agent of record and the client of an upcoming policy renewal 90, 60, 30, and 14 days out, a task will be created for the agent and an email sent on each of those days to the respective parties. This helps ensure your agent never misses a beat and no client or prospect ever falls between the cracks.
"Automated Workflow has helped our team stay organized and operate in the most efficient manner possible. It has really helped us build out our client service model and stay organized as we continue to utilize their great products going forward."
—Ned H., Havern Benefits Strategies
AMS Tools for the Sales Manager
As a sales manager, you want to ensure that you have the right agent working with the right prospect/client at all times. By using an AMS with integrated lead vendors, you’ll be able to control the workloads of all your agents so no one is overwhelmed and no one is twiddling their thumbs.
You can also store the agent’s specialties in AgencyBloc so the right prospects are being connected with the right agents. This allows you, as the manager, to work smarter and keep your agents motivated with leads they have a better chance of converting.
To take it up a notch, you can capture leads where they are—online.
Customize lead forms that you can place on your website. All you have to do is choose the information you want to capture and copy the HTML code to place on your website. The code is also easily sent to a 3rd party for inclusion on your website if you do not manage your site in-house.
Customizable Lead Form Builder in AgencyBloc
"With AgencyBloc, we save 6 hours per week every Annual Election Period on lead distribution and 100 hours every renewal period on client communications."
—Jason M., Milz Health Group
You’re 9 times more likely to convert a web lead if you follow up within 5 minutes. By distributing your leads to the right agent immediately, your agents are more likely to get to the lead sooner and have a higher likelihood of conversion. Remember, 50% of sales go to the first agent that reaches out.
You can also keep an eye on your agents’ performance.
By being a full user in AgencyBloc, you can view all of your agents’ Activities to ensure they’re following up with their prospects, completing tasks assigned to them, and maintaining a relationship with their clients.
You can also help your agents stay on top of things like their license and E&O expirations. With Automated Workflow, set up emails that will send out quick reminders to your agents so they never miss a renewal whether it’s their own license or their client’s policy.
Lastly, you can use Dashboard Analytics to see which agent is performing best, which carriers you’re most invested in, and which products/carriers you might consider dropping. This tool allows you to gain insight into the health of your sales machine so you can make proactive decisions for the future.
It’s important to note that, in AgencyBloc, you can determine different settings for users. You can adjust the settings so your agents have one of the following:
- Full access to the entire AgencyBloc system
- Limited access to only their book of business (they will still have access to their dashboard)
- Limited access to only their monthly commission statement (this level will have zero access to the dashboard, so you will not be able to assign tasks to them via AgencyBloc)
AMS Tools for the Sales Agent
An AMS like AgencyBloc helps you do more in less time.
"AgencyBloc has helped our agents to be more efficient and effective with our business and with our clients."
—Shirley V., Advantage Insurance Benefits
Customer Service & Organization
In AgencyBloc, you have both notes and activities to help you keep your book of business organized and up-to-date.
Notes are the perfect place for reminders you need to do a quick refresh before you meet with the client. Did they just buy a new car? Create a note. Are they a recent parent/grandparent? Note that, too, plus the kid’s birthday so you can keep track in the future! Notes are a great way to keep up on the more “personal” side of your clients’ lives so you can show you truly care
Activities are time- and date-stamped notes that stay forever to help you keep track of your to-dos. That means they’re perfect for E&O purposes! Did you ask if they were interested in LTCi or Cancer? Make sure to note that as an activity so you can refer back if necessary in the future.
Combine this with your Automated Workflow efforts to really boost the customer service you provide. A quick refresher of Automated Workflow: it creates tasks and sends emails to help you achieve more in your day while you focus on other revenue-generating activities. It automates some of your daily, manual administrative tasks that can be a significant drain on resources.
This includes setting up reminders to call prospects, follow-up with clients, and work leads. Relying on your memory or constantly searching for that specific sticky note can be harmful to your growth, so automating your to-do list is essential.
Although new business is great, we both know that the foundation of your book is built on repeat business and what better way to ensure repeat business than with cross-sells. On average, selling to existing clients is easier since they’re 50% more likely to buy from you. With a new customer, you stand a 5-20% probability of closing, whereas, with an existing client, your chances reach almost 70%.
With AgencyBloc, you can pull a report to see all of the potential cross-sells you have in your book of business. From there, set up an email campaign that will send directly to all those on that list offering the coverage they’re lacking. If the list is shorter, put it on your dashboard to make sure you reach out.
This allows you to leverage all of the business within your current client base to continuously grow your book.
The other major benefit for you of using an AMS like AgencyBloc is access.
"I recommend AgencyBloc to anybody who's running an agency and trying to keep track of agents, policyholders, and carriers. With AgencyBloc, you've got it all in one single place on the web, accessible 24 hours a day with backup. It's always been on for us. We've never skipped a beat."
—Lynn S., KHI Solutions
AgencyBloc is a cloud-based AMS which means you can log into the system from any device in any location. So you can work from the coffee shop, your couch, or your client’s office or dining room table. You’ll still have access to all the parts of AgencyBloc you’d have if you were on your computer at the office.
The world is steadily progressing to become more cloud-based. To learn more, check out this blog: On-Premise Software vs. Hosted Software: What you need to know.
Is AgencyBloc for you?
That was a lot of information, but you still may be unsure. There are a lot of parts of AgencyBloc’s system that could overlap. Maybe you’re both the commissions manager and an active agent. Maybe you’re the CEO, office manager, commissions manager, and agent. Maybe you have so many roles you can’t name them all. Whatever your role, you’ll define how AgencyBloc works for you.
If you’re curious about learning more, the best way is to see it live and in action. Sign up for a live, 1-on-1 demo with us. We’ll go through the whole system to show you exactly how you could use it in your role. You’ll be able to ask all of your questions and see the whole system for yourself.
See AgencyBloc in Action
Schedule your personalized 1-on-1 live demo with one of our industry experts to see how AgencyBloc can help organize, automate, and grow your agency today.
This blog was originally published on October 12, 2017, and updated on October 22, 2019.