If you’re looking for an agency management system to streamline your sales process and retain clients, you’ve come to the right place.
As an insurance agent or agency, it’s likely that at least one of the following is your main goal:
- Grow your book of business
- Maintain your book of business
- Work less by becoming more efficient
- Sell your agency
To achieve any of the above goals, you must have processes in place that make your agency more efficient, effective, and ultimately, more prosperous.
To do this, some agencies opt for generic customer relationship management (CRM) systems. While these have some helpful features, using software that isn’t built for your niche industry can create inefficiencies that cost you more time and effort.
Your best bet is an industry-specific agency management system (AMS). An AMS is built with insurance agencies in mind. These are often “out-of-the-box” solutions that require little to no customization since everything you already need is there–but they can be customized if needed. Keep in mind that even though AMSs are built for their specific industry niche, they are not all built the same and not all AMS software boasts the same capabilities.
As the #1 Recommended Agency Management Platform, AgencyBloc is an agency management system built specifically for the life and health insurance niche. We have an array of tools you can use to attract prospects, convert leads, and retain loyal customers; from our Sales Pipeline, which helps you manage leads, to Quote+, which helps you close them, to reporting and Automated Workflow, which helps you find and act on sales opportunities, and more.
Let’s walk through how our insurance agency management platform can help you save time and better serve your clients throughout your sales cycle.
Utilize Centralized Data To Get a Clear View of Your Sales Cycle
First things first: You need a place to put all of the data you plan to monitor and manage in your sales cycle. Many agencies use Excel spreadsheets and paper files to track their customer data. However, these can be error-prone and create data silos. Plus, they give you no ability to automate your current processes and can be quite tedious to manage and parse through.
Cloud-based data storage is the ideal solution. AgencyBloc enables you to store all of your prospect, lead, and client data in one, secure data cloud. This means that you and your team can access your records anytime, anywhere, enabling you to safely and easily grow and retain your client base.
Plus, we have a suite of health and life insurance industry-specific solutions and services, including Sales Enablement, Quoting, Client and Policy Management, Commissions Processing, and more. With the ability to tap into your client data instantly and the right tools, you can work more efficiently and effectively than ever, which is what we’ll discuss next.
Use Automation to Stimulate Sales
Managing your sales cycle can be a huge time suck when it comes to your day-to-day operations, but conversion doesn’t necessarily have to require so much from you. Automation can help you simplify your sales cycle and make it more effective. Plus, it’ll be more efficient since the automation takes care of some of it for you.
When we discuss automation, we don’t mean robots or fancy AI equipment. Instead, we’re referring to software that can automate the daily tasks that feel like “busy work.” Think administrative tasks, lead follow-up, policy application monitoring, and even client services tasks like new client onboarding and policy renewals.
Did you know these redundant tasks consume about 60% of your time on average? You could be using those hours to focus more on revenue-generating opportunities or using that time for more personal-focused activities.
Simply put, automation allows you to do more work in less time with less effort.
Automation is beneficial in many areas of your agency and will surely bring efficiencies you never knew you could have. It simplifies client and prospect communications while also making them more efficient, helps you maintain compliance with industry standards and E&O, and ensures you never forget a task.
Here are some ways you can use automation to prospect and sell.
Speed-to-contact is critical when it comes to insurance sales. In fact, salespeople who contacted their prospects within an hour of inquiry were 60 times more likely to qualify the lead than those that waited over 24 hours to reach out.
So it begs the question of how to capture these leads, get to them quicker, and convert them. It seems impossible, but this can be accomplished by integrating your lead forms with your system’s workflow automation.
With AgencyBloc’s customizable lead forms, for example, you can create a lead form that’s tailored to your agency. Just choose the information you want to capture (name, phone number, email, etc.), then place the lead form on your website.
Keep lead form best practices in mind when building your lead form. For example, you don’t want too many required fields because it could scare away a lead–stick to three to four fields maximum. It’s wise to add an optional comment box that they can fill out if they wish. Other details can be added during your preliminary conversation.
Lead Form Builder in AgencyBloc
Then, set up an Automated Workflow in AgencyBloc that triggers any time a new lead comes in. To increase your speed-to-contact without actually having to call every lead as they come in, you can have the workflow trigger an email that immediately sends to the lead. You also want to set up a workflow to do one (or both) of the following:
- Send you an email alerting you of the new lead
- Create a task to reach out on your “to-do” list
Automated workflows and lead forms work directly together to ensure a lead never falls between the cracks and also help you improve your speed-to-contact, thus boosting your odds of conversion.
You can do this the same way with leads you’ve purchased from lead vendors. AgencyBloc currently integrates with a number of reputable lead vendors that you can leverage to grow your book of business.
Use a combination of the Advanced & Saved Search function and Custom Reporting to get an in-depth look at your leads. See how many you’re bringing in, how they are converting, and where they’re coming from, so you can better improve your lead generation strategy.
Once you get a lead, you can add it to AgencyBloc’s Sales Pipeline, which allows you to track where each lead is in your sales cycle and build sales-focused automation that can help you move each lead toward conversion.
For example, following up consistently is the key to converting leads–and you want each follow-up to meaningfully build your relationship. You can use workflow automation to remind you to follow up with prospects or to send follow-up emails automatically, and in a timely manner.
To take your customer service and communication up a notch, use the Activities function in AgencyBloc to keep date- and time-stamped notes with each prospect, so you’re always prepared whenever you speak with them. You can use this section to write down any important life events and key takeaways from your conversations so that you can build a strong, trusting relationship with them.
Activity List in AgencyBloc
Activities give you a clear view of what happened and by whom. Plus, they’re permanent so you never accidentally delete essential information.
Close Leads More Efficiently With Quoting and Proposals with Quote+
Creating quotes and proposals for small groups can be a time-consuming, tedious task. With AgencyBloc’s quoting and proposal solution, Quote+, you can save time on new (and renewal) business quoting, proposal creation, and enrollment.
Through this tool, you can compare small group employee benefits quotes for medically underwritten, ancillary, and community rated products and build presentation-ready proposals in one location. Once the employer groups have made their choices, you can quickly map that data directly to the carriers, streamlining the enrollment process.
Throughout the quoting and proposal process, you can use Activities in AgencyBloc to ensure you get your quotes and proposals in front of leads on time. Then, update their status in AgencyBloc’s Sales Pipeline to track their progress toward conversion and use Automated Workflow to keep you on track.
Boost Retention with an Insurance CRM
Awesome! You’ve sold the prospect, they like you, and you’re all done, right? Well, maybe not.
Closing leads is half of the battle as an insurance agent. Since you’ve spent a lot of time trying to earn their business, retaining your client base is just as, if not, more important. Plus, if you provide great customer service, you may even be able to get referrals from your clients or cross-sell them more products in the future.
Retention is essential to the health and longevity of a book of business. To reach your goals, you need to have a retention plan in place. A big portion of retention rides on the continued service the client receives from you after the sale. AgencyBloc’s Insurance CRM helps you better serve your clients and, in turn, retain them.
This is where Activities and notes come back to the forefront. Track your client communications regarding benefit questions, adding/deleting employees, claim payment questions, and more all in AgencyBloc, keeping all of your notes and information in one secure unit. Track the client communications through Activities (remember, they’re permanent and cannot be edited) so you have a detailed, indisputable record of engagement. This is critical for compliance issues and E&O.
The notes section (remember, these can be edited) is a good place to track genial information. How are the client’s kids? Their puppy? How’s married life going? It’s also a good place to note topics NOT to discuss. Did they recently get divorced? Probably shouldn’t mention the ex-partner’s name. Did the dog die? Don’t bring that up, either.
These tools help you keep top-notch client communications. They’ll be impressed you remembered and it’ll mean a lot that you took the time to care.
Another way to make your clients smile is to wish them a happy birthday–AgencyBloc has a workflow just for that! Set it up once and it’ll email all of your clients (and prospects!) a happy birthday greeting every year.
Birthday Workflow in AgencyBloc
From upcoming policy renewals to policies that get sent back for revision during the enrollment period, and everything in between, AgencyBloc can help you create and maintain your policies. Plus, to help streamline the enrollment process, AgencyBloc has integrated with various enrollment platforms.
One key feature that helps you better manage your policies is Automated Workflow–with this, you can easily stay abreast of important policy updates in a timely manner.
Policy Status Workflow in AgencyBloc
Set workflows to notify you of any of the following updates for policies:
Policy Renewal Management
Policy renewals are a serious, time-consuming task. Sending out emails to each individual client is exhausting and doesn’t foster the growth you likely want to see for your agency. Thankfully, AgencyBloc’s policy-specific workflows have a section just for policy renewals. You can set it up on any timetable with any action (email or task).
Many people in AgencyBloc choose to set up an email that’s sent to both the client and the agent alerting them that the policy will need to be renewed in three months' time. From there, you can set up any additional notifications to the client and/or the agent as the date approaches. This helps to get everyone on the same page and put insurance at the top of the client’s mind.
Group Policy Renewal Workflow in AgencyBloc
Automating your policy renewal reminders can drastically cut down on the number of emails you send out and give you valuable time back to put toward your goals. Agencies have found that they can save over 100 hours every renewal period by using AgencyBloc’s Automated Workflow to send out renewal reminders to their clients.
Reporting and Data Analysis
Cross-sells are an extraordinary opportunity for you to capitalize on your current data and build your book from within. Acquiring a new prospect is five times more expensive than keeping one you already have. Plus, since you’ve already established trust with a current customer, you won’t have to spend as much time selling them more products.
Identify these possible “gold mines” quickly with AgencyBloc by running a simple cross-sell report. The report itself is already made, so all you need to do is clarify what kind of cross-sell you would like to target. Some options include:
- They have life insurance with you but don’t have health insurance
- They have health insurance with you but don’t have life insurance
- They are a group health insurance client but don’t have ancillary products like dental and vision
- They have life insurance with you but don’t have any annuities
- They have life insurance with you but don’t have short-term disability coverage
Once you’ve determined the type of cross-selling report you want, click “Run,” and the report will generate almost instantaneously (the speed depends on how big your book of business is and the size of your report). Then start reaching out–build an email in AgencyBloc’s Email Marketing, call them up, or discuss their coverage gaps the next time you meet.
Not only will this generate more business, but an extra policy or two will help boost your retention because the client is less likely to leave with so many coverages from you.
See AgencyBloc in Action
AgencyBloc is an agency management platform that helps life and health insurance agencies grow their business with an industry-specific CRM, commission processing, sales and quoting tools, and integrated business and marketing automation.
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This blog was originally published on February 14, 2018 and was updated on April 25, 2023.
by Allison Babberl on Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Lead Nurturing & Automation Software