How to Integrate Your AMS into Every Aspect of Your Agency

How to Integrate Your AMS into Every Aspect of Your Agency

A Whole-Office Industry-Specific Agency Management System

You’ve probably seen different customer relationship management (CRM) software and agency management systems (AMS) use the term “whole-office system/solution.” We here at AgencyBloc use it regularly. But what does it actually mean? Today we’re going to discuss how you can incorporate an industry-specific AMS like AgencyBloc into every role at your insurance agency so that it becomes your whole-office solution.

To us, the whole office solution means that we are handling all the core business processes & teams that it takes to run a modern insurance agency. And we are focused on meeting those needs in the form of our motto - Organize, Automate, and Grow. We will never try to become an enrollment or HRIS system - that's not our purpose. There are hundreds of great complimentary tools to achieve those needs. But when it comes to core agency operations, we're all in.

C-Suite

It’s important for you as the CEO, CTO, CFO, etc. to know the health and well-being of your insurance agency. In order to do so, you need to have detailed illustrations that help you better understand where your company is, what your future landscape looks like, and which steps should be taken next. The key to knowing this information is data analysis. 

A few months back we wrote a high level blog about how insurance agencies can use data analysis to help them achieve their goals. For a refresher, check out the blog: The What, Why, & How of Data Analysis for Insurance Agencies. Like I said, data analysis is crucial to understanding the health of your organization. What does that mean? Basically, it’s a question of whether your company is heading in the direction you want it to. Is it growing at the rate you’d like? Is it achieving the goals you’ve set forth? Your goals can be anything from growing your book of business to preparing it for sale. But the important part is knowing where you’re currently at, and that’s where Dashboard Analytics comes in.

So how can this be achieved with an AMS like AgencyBloc? The Dashboard Analytics feature in AgencyBloc lets you inspect various aspects of your insurance agency in real-time. Every time you log into the system, you are presented with visual graphs that give you insight into how you’re doing, where you’re struggling, and where you’re hitting it out of the park. 

Dashboard Analytics

Dashboard Anlalytics from AgencyBloc

With this feature you can 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

Pro Tip

In AgencyBloc, you can personalize your dashboard to show you all the graphs, charts, and lists that are pertinent to you. All you have to do is “star” the item and it will show up on the opening screen every time you log in. Learn more about the Personal Dashboard enhancement in our overview video.

In addition, you’ll be able to run reports on any part of your book of business to get an even more in-depth look into the health and wellbeing of your insurance agency. Learn more in our infographic: Which Stats Your Insurance Agency Should Be Paying Attention To.

Commission Manager/Commission Staff

Commissions processing and tracking is one of the most important parts of a growing insurance agency, but it’s also one of the most time-consuming tasks. It’s stressful and rarely all that much fun. 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
JTS Financial

Trying to track, manage, and process your commissions manually or in a generic CRM that’s not outfitted for the insurance industry can not only be a time suck, but it can create an erroneous record. Research has found that tracking commissions via Excel or paper files means they’re more prone to error with 88% of spreadsheets containing errors. In addition, Gartner Research found the following:

"Organizations that abandon manual processes and spreadsheets and adopt...incentive compensation technologies, reduce errors by over 90%, processing times by over 40%, and IT/administrative staffing for ICM by more than 50%."

In addition to saving both time and money, AgencyBloc’s Commission Module allows you to track your commission payments. You don’t want to have to rely on the carriers to make sure you’re being paid correctly, especially during busy times like Open Enrollment and AEP. Using the Actual vs. Projected graph in AgencyBloc, you can accurately track the payments you’re receiving vs. the payments you expected. This will alert you on payments you might be missing so you can work it out with the carriers. In fact, one of our agencies was able to recover $20,000 in unpaid commissions in the first year!

Check out the overview video below to learn more about projecting commissions in AgencyBloc: 

Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Likely, you’re on the phone fielding phone calls—talking to the clients, the prospects, the leads, and the wrong numbers. So how would an AMS like AgencyBloc help you? Let’s discuss.

Contact-Based System

AgencyBloc is a contact-based system. Here’s a simple way to understand what that means 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.

How does this help you? Any time a client, prospect, lead or x-client/prospect calls into the office, you’ll be able to pull up their entire contact record/history instantly. Here’s a snippet of a contact record in AgencyBloc:

Contact Record in AgencyBloc

From there, you’ll be able to more accurately assist whoever is calling. Maybe they have a question about when their policy expires or they forgot when their meeting time was with their agent. You will be able to answer those questions easily and the person on the phone will avoid any wait time. To be honest, whoever is calling in is likely in a hurry. They don’t want wait forever for you to filter through cabinets looking for their file, especially if their question only requires a simple, high-level response. 

Overall customer satisfaction is improved by 74% just by simply cutting down wait time; so the faster you can help your client/prospect, the happier they’ll be and the more good you can do! This can also help boost referrals, because remember, happy clients are 3 times more likely to refer.

Notes & Activities

Integrating an AMS like AgencyBloc into your entire office will also improve communication and collaboration. Say, for example, you have a client call and say, 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. 

But that’s not all.

From there, you can then assign the agent a task via AgencyBloc’s Automated Workflow component to meet with the client on x-day at x-time. In the task assignment, you could put Client A is pregnant and would like to discuss additional coverage. This will help your agency become more efficient because everyone will be working off of the same information and be on the same page.

That task will then appear on the agent’s dashboard so they’ll see it the moment they log into their AgencyBloc account (or get the email).  In all, this will help improve internal communication because you will all be working off shared notes and be in the know. You’ll eliminate the threat of the piece of paper or sticky note being lost or thrown away, you won’t have to rely on anyone’s memory, and you won’t have to resort to email as a sole form of internal communication. Plus, every update is instantaneous, which means that when anyone updates anything in the AgencyBloc system, it is updated for everyone. There is no lag time and no worry that someone will be working off of out-of-date information.

“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
Havern Benefits Strategies

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 (AgencyBloc is integrated with a host of lead vendors like NextGen Leads, DataWerx, and more!), you’ll be able to control the workloads of all your agents so no one is overwhelmed and no one is twiddling their thumbs. 

In addition, you can capture leads that visit you online. Via AgencyBloc, you can 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 (don’t worry, this is much simpler than it sounds). The code is also easily sent to a 3rd party for inclusion on your website if you do not manage your site in-house.

Lead Form Builder in AgencyBloc

Custom Lead Form Builder in AgencyBloc

Regardless if you only use the lead form, an integrated lead vendor, or both, you can select who will receive the leads, and you can even automate lead distribution. Once a new lead comes in, it can be setup to automatically show on an agent’s or the sales manager’s dashboard. To make sure the lead is worked quickly, you can mark the task as urgent, so the agent knows it needs to be done ASAP.

“AgencyBloc’s software has saved us 6 hours per week every Annual Election Period just in lead distribution.”
Jason
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.

You can also keep an eye on your agents’ performance. By being a full user in AgencyBloc, you can view all of your agents’ books of business 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 Workflows, you can set up triggered email campaigns that will send out reminders to your agents so they never miss a renewal.

Lastly, you too can use the Dashboard Analytics feature 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.

PRO TIP:

It’s important to note that in AgencyBloc you can choose different agent hierarchies. You can adjust settings so your agents have one of the following:

  • Full access to the entire 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 dashboards so you will not be able to assign tasks to them via AgencyBloc)

Agents

An AMS like AgencyBloc helps you to stay on-top of your book of business while also doing more in less time. How? Let’s go through it.

Communication

With AgencyBloc, you can keep a detailed list of conversations and communications you have with your clients, prospects, and leads (recall notes from earlier). This is an essential tool for E&O issues and to help you continuously grow and nurture your agent-client relationships. Think of it this way: every time you connect with a client you can quickly pull up their client record, scan the notes to refresh your mind of who they are and what they want, and have an intelligent conversation that will be meaningful for both parties. Not only does this make you look more professional, but it will help your clients feel more connected to you. (Remember, 52% of insurance consumers are relationship buyers!) So, the more you appear to know and remember about your client, the better it will bode for you in the future (think referrals.) 

But communication with clients shouldn’t be limited to when they call in. 81% of insurance clients leave due to lack of communication. Automated Workflows in AgencyBloc helps you combat this. You can easily set up email campaigns that automatically send on a trigger-basis. So, for example, if you want to alert a client that their policy will be renewing soon, you set up an email to send 3-months out. Once that date is reached, the system will automatically send the message to your client. There are a number of automated campaigns you can set up for you clients, but here are a few:

  • Happy birthday
  • Policy application submitted/termed
  • Policy becomes active or is declined
  • Policy (group or individual) renewal

You can also set up reminders to call prospects, follow-up with clients, and work leads. This helps to ensure no one falls between the cracks and you have the highest potential of conversion. Relying on memory or sticky notes can be harmful to your growth, so automating your to-do list is essential to being the best agent you can be. Check out our video below learn more:

Selling

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. With AgencyBloc you can pull a report to see all of the potential cross-sells you have in your book of business. From there, you can set up an email campaign that will send directly to all those on that list offering the coverage they’re lacking. You can use this to grow your book from the inside and help ensure retention of your clients into the future. 

Accessibility 

The other major benefit for you of using an AMS like AgencyBloc is access. 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 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. 

Is AgencyBloc for your agency?

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. 

Honestly, the best way see AgencyBloc in action is to 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 integrate it into your process. 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.

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Allison Babberl

By Allison Babberl on October 12, 2017 in Technology

Allison is the Marketing Content Specialist at AgencyBloc. She creates educational content and designs videos to promote AgencyBloc's resources to help you organize, automate, and grow your insurance agency. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Kuzmeski  More articles

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