What the Zenefits Shake-Up Means For Your Insurance Agency

By Erica Kiefer on February 9, 2016 in Technology

Zenefits Office

Image Credit: Zenefits

What the New Zenefits CEO Plans To Do

There’s been a recent shake-up in the insurance and benefits world. Zenefits, an HR tech company, has recently undergone an executive leadership change. That may not sound newsworthy to insurance agents/agencies, but the new CEO has some big goals for dominating the insurance world, and with over $1 billion in investment, they have the muscle to take a shot.

The new CEO, David Sacks, looks to market Zenefits to small business owners directly, circumventing agencies, for group HR and insurance solutions. Though Zenefits is known for its HR tech solution which allows businesses to ditch the paperwork and streamline the hiring process, it also serves as an insurance brokerage. Insurance agents should definitely pay close attention to what Zenefits hopes to do.

Sacks said the small business market “is a great market for us because (1) it’s huge (with many million small businesses in the US); (2) it’s ‘greenfield’ (meaning that it’s under-served by technology—in fact an Excel spreadsheet is often the main competitor); and (3) the free aspect of our product is extremely compelling.”

So, how can you make sure your agency is ready to compete?

Fight Technology With Technology

1. Get an Agency Management System/CRM set up. Now. Unfortunately, Sacks is right. Far too many agencies are still using Excel spreadsheets to manage their book-of-business. If you’re still doing that, you’re simply falling behind and extremely vulnerable to more technically advanced competitors. Honestly, the most you can do with Excel spreadsheets is look up contacts, make notes and filter some information to run basic reports. You need an AMS/CRM in order to effectively follow-up with prospects, maintain positive relationships with clients, and monitor the health of your agency.

AgencyBloc Agency Management System

AgencyBloc's Dashboard Analytics

2. Start using email marketing. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to communicate with your clients, prospects and even internally with your own agents and staff. We know now that it can take 7-13+ touches to qualify someone as a sales lead. By automating some of these touches as emails, you’ll be able to reach these 7-13+ touchpoints without a ton of effort on your part. Best case scenario: find an AMS/CRM with built-in email marketing capabilities.

3. Set up a referral program. Referrals from your current clients can provide a steady stream of leads for you, and referrals tend to be your strongest leads because the lead is receiving a testimonial of sorts from your client and is introduced directly to you for you to work with them. Rocket Referrals is a company that helps insurance agencies find their best referring clients and helps them utilize them to their fullest.

4. Optimize your website. Your website is your virtual front door, and it’s where your prospects will most likely first “meet” you. So, your first impression is crucial. Having a cleanly-designed and SEO friendly website will create the positive first impression you’re looking for. Here are 5 signs you need to redesign your website.

5. Consistently use social media to communicate your brand. Just like your website, social media (and a blog!) is another virtual front door to your agency. Not to mention, social media provides some really powerful and cost-effective advertising tools, like Facebook ads. The way you portray yourself on social media is vital, and it does require some time. If you’re worried about being able to commit time to keeping up a blog and posting updates to social media, you can always hire someone to manage it for you or you can hire a freelancer.

6. Be you. Technology is an enabler of efficiency, not a replacement for humanity. There is no replacement for you, the agent, when a client is confused and in need of a knowledgeable and comforting guide through the often chaotic world of insurance. Use technology to enhance your ability to connect with people and you’ve already won.

Don't be scared. Our book outlines how to easily implement technology strategies to sell to the modern insurance consumer:

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Erica Kiefer
Erica Kiefer

Erica Kiefer serves as Vice President of Marketing and Sales at AgencyBloc. She creates strategic direction for revenue growth and brand building, while removing obstacles for sales and marketing team success. Favorite quote: "For the ocean is big and my boat is small. Find the courage, lead with love." - Alanis Morissette More articles

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