Overcoming Technology Adoption Fears
When it comes to business management, technology is a standard. But not all technology is made equally, and sometimes, you have to change your technology to achieve your agency’s goals.
Even though agencies know they need to change, the fear of adopting new technology 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 four fears we’ll cover are:
The technology focus of this blog will be adopting a new agency management system (AMS) for life and health insurance agencies. If you’re unsure what an AMS is, here’s how we describe it: “An agency management system, or AMS, is a SaaS (software as a service) technology that insurance agencies use to organize their book of business and more effectively run their operations.”
New Technology Fear: Expense
Let’s tackle the big one first.
Any technology purchase naturally includes a conversation about finances. Money should be a factor to consider in your decision-making process, but it shouldn’t be the sole driver of your decision.
ASIDE: Did you know? Agencies using AgencyBloc have grown their book of business by 40%, saved 100+ hours on client communications during enrollment season, and spent 75% less time processing commissions.
When weighing your options, consider the benefits new technology could bring to your agency and how those benefits could turn into efficiencies in the long run. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Is our current technology allowing us to create efficiencies and save resources?
- Are there manual processes or duplicated tasks that we have to do now that we could streamline?
- Is our current technology encouraging growth at our agency?
- Is our current technology working with us?
Any expense conversation should include a value conversation. Ask yourself:
- Do you see the value of the new technology?
- Will it help facilitate your growth?
- Will it help you achieve your goals?
- Will it create efficiencies that help save or better utilize your resources?
Consider this comparison: buying shoes for a marathon.
You can purchase a pair of running shoes from any discounted shop for a relatively inexpensive price. Will they work? Yes. But they may not be the best fit for running a marathon. They may not give you adequate support, could cause unfortunate blisters, or may not offer the comfort you seek during your run.
To run a marathon, you want to have the best tools at your disposal. You’d probably search around for shoes that have the most value for you. The ones that are comfortable, work with your running style, provide the support you require, etc. You’ll spend a significant amount of time in those shoes, so you want to ensure you have the best pair for you.
Technology is the same. When adopting a new agency management system, you’re adopting a technology that you will use daily. It will be an integral part of your business and something you will rely on for achieving your goals. You’ll spend a significant amount of your time in that system, so you want to be sure it’s a system that provides value to your agency.
New Technology Fear: Training
Another common fear of adopting new technology is training and learning a new system.
When you begin using new technology, there will be a learning curve. But it’s no different than anything else you start. There is a learning curve when you start a new hobby, buy a new game, or sell a new type of policy.
Going back to our marathon example: you don’t just show up and run a marathon; you train for it.
If the learning curve is holding you back, ask your potential vendor the following questions:
- What does the training schedule look like?
- Are there additional fees associated with training?
- Is there a way I can do some learning on my own, like a help center?
- Are the training sessions 1-on-1, group-led, or a mixture of both?
- Are there tools available that are overviews of specific features (i.e., articles, videos, guides, etc.)?
- If I have questions, what do I do?
Everyone learns differently, so your vendor should supply you with different ways to learn. At AgencyBloc, we offer 1-on-1 and group learning opportunities, courses, webinars, videos, and many written articles.
Another way to help ensure your agency’s success with new technology is to appoint AMS experts within your company. Doing this can help with employee buy-in, streamline questions and answers, 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
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)
- Do you have a SOC II Type 2 Report?
- 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?
With 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.
Prepare for those security conversations with these resources:
New Technology Fear: Change
Change is scary, but change is also necessary.
It’s easy to become complacent. But you must ask yourself, "are you thriving or are you just surviving?”
Knowing when to make a change can be difficult, but the best way is to monitor your agency’s progress and KPIs (key performance indicators). Some top KPIs we suggest tracking include:
- Actual vs. Expected Commissions
- New Policies (per week, month, quarter, year, or per agent)
- Agent Production
- Top Performing Lead Sources
- Retention Rate
Not sure where to start? Here are some report recipes you can use to monitor your agency’s wins and keep a pulse on the future.
Once you are making the change, managing the change comes into play. Take the idea from the training section earlier: appoint experts within your agency.
Change is scary for everyone, so having people on your team championing the new technology and supporting your agency is crucial. Not only does this help you get your whole team up and running faster, but it will increase employee buy-in and improve your chances of finding success with the new technology.
Overcoming Your New Technology Fears
If you’re plagued with one or all of these fears, discuss them with your vendor’s sales rep. Also, take advantage of the vendor’s demo and trial opportunities to get a more complete experience pre-purchase. Then, read client reviews.
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:
This blog was originally published on October 31, 2018, and has been most recently updated and republished on October 25, 2022.
by Allison Babberl on Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Insurance Agency Management System