By Jason Liu, Chief Executive Officer, Zywave
Last year, Don Bailey and I introduced our e-book – The Sales Revolution – Digital Disruption Demystified: The Ultimate Guide for Driving Agency Growth. The Sales Revolution is a strategic guide for agency leaders as the insurance market continues to experience seismic market changes due to the evolving digital landscape. So much is happening in 2021 that we just released an update with a new chapter.
Change can be scary. But it can be much less scary when you have a plan of attack.
The new section walks readers through implementing insurtech into their agency, and includes tips and tricks for success. It’s all about sequence: the optimal order in which insurance agencies should implement technology solutions for maximum results. Putting it all together with a strategy, implementation plan and forward-thinking mindset will let you embrace market change and leverage technology to its fullest potential and come out on top. Let’s get started.
Sequence is Key
Six key business solutions are essential to the modern insurance agency. These can be broken down into three categories:
- Foundational data systems, including your agency management system (AMS) and customer relationship management (CRM)
- Automation force multipliers including your CPQ, marketing automation, and content and content management software
- Client value-adds, including a client portal, online enrollment system, HR applications and learning management systems (LMS)
Understanding the sequence is essential to ensuring that you get the most out of your insurtech solutions.
When you see the chart below, you may think it’s best to go for the quick wins – the solutions with lower investment costs and a quicker ROI. But if you don’t lay the groundwork with an AMS and CRMAMS, you’re not setting yourself up for long-term success.
Building Out Your AMS and CRM
AMS and CRM are foundational data systems, and are the pillar of any agency’s success. In combination, an AMS and CRM will ensure you are running a well-oiled system of record and customer tracking mechanisms.
When you are choosing the right solutions for you, it is important that you choose applications that are capable of integrating both data and workflows. There’s an ever-increasing amount of data that is passed between an AMS and CRM, so it is essential to select platforms that have open APIs and integration capabilities.
But it is also important to understand that implementing AMS and CRM systems is an immense amount of work, and will take a lot of time. Depending on the size of the agency, implementation can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 or more years. AMS and CRM are the biggest projects when it comes to implementing insurtech solutions, but they are also the cornerstone to an agency’s insurtech success.
Adding the Quick Wins
Here’s the great news: once you have started implementing your AMS and CRM, you can start adding in the quick wins, or your automation force multipliers. Every agency is unique and can use these tools differently, but overall a good game plan is to tackle the quick wins in this order:
- Small group CPQ
- Content and content management
- Localized email marketing automation
- Large group CPQ and centralized email marketing automation
You will notice that you should tackle small group customer segments before large groups. That’s because you can optimize your process with small groups before leveraging that experience when you begin automating your large group process.
As you are considering adding in your automation force multipliers, remember that these don’t all need to be implemented before you’ve completed the AMS and CRM implementation. You can tackle these solutions as your time and resources allow. But you should have all of these solutions implemented before moving onto the last stage – adding your external client value-adds.
The Last Step: Client Value-Adds
Once you have built your foundation with an AMS and CRM, and added in your automation force multipliers, the last key component is your external, client value-adds. These value-adds are client software that you as a broker provide to make your client’s jobs easier, such as online portals, enrollment systems, and learning management systems.
Just like the quick wins, these solutions don’t have to be added all at once. You can choose which are most essential based on your agency’s focus and clientele, and when you’ll have the resources to implement them.
It is also important to remember that introducing client value-adds one at a time will prevent you from overwhelming your customers. Imagine adding five new products and introducing them all at the same time – that would quickly overwhelm your clients. It can also cause portal fatigue and actually result in lower usage, thus decreasing your ROI. Proceed at a rate that can be reasonably absorbed by your clients.
Want to Learn More?
If you’re willing to take the time and energy to invest in quality insurtech solutions, imagine all the efficiency and growth that your agency will be able to achieve. Your opportunities would be endless.
To learn about the process of implementing an effective insurtech sequence into your agency, you can download your free copy of the Sales Revolution by visiting www.insurancesalesrevolution.com.
Want to learn more about the latest chapter from the Sales Revolution, and how Zywave can help your agency increase efficiency and effectiveness with our insurtech solutions? Visit the Zywave team at booth #202 at the American Agents Alliance 2021 Conference & Expo from September 23 – 25.