The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to change many
elements of our lives. For businesses, it created a quickening effect on plans
to increase tech use and move to digital. With those changes, many agencies
turned to their insurance websites as hubs for their business, whether or not
their site was optimized to take on that level of responsibility.
Marketing automation sends messaging to interested
prospects and clients when they take a particular action, like clicking
“request a quote,” or at a specific time such as when they’re up for renewal. When
integrated with your website, you can set up marketing automation to send
messaging at the ideal times to engage prospects and customers. Research shows
that marketing automation provides works:
Close to 90% of customers now demand more
personalization from businesses, much of which can be done through marketing
Insurance companies that leverage marketing
automation sell 20% more policies per producer (Velocify)
Pay Attention to Your Site’s SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to your
site’s success. Your SEO status dictates how easy it is for your target
prospect group to find you in an online search. Independent agencies that specialize
in serving their local community benefit from quality SEO by targeting localized
search phrases like “Ashville NC auto insurance.” Your search ranking is
important as statistics show more people are turning to online searches to find
Almost 70% of insurance customers run
online searches before making a purchase (LSA)
Online searches for “insurance near me” have
grown by 100% in the past two years, making it more critical than ever to
have your SEO locally targeted (Google)
Optimize for Mobile
More people are accessing the web via mobile than
ever, and your website needs to adjust. Ensure you’ve optimized your website
design so it can be easily viewed on any device. Mobile access is taking over
as the most popular way to view online content:
Mobile devices (excluding tablets) accounted for
almost 55% of global website traffic in the first quarter of 2021 (Statistica)
Highlight Customer Reviews
Whether it’s from social media, a review site, or
an email message, show off the feedback you get from happy customers. If you
don’t have many examples yet, encourage customers to go to places like Google Reviews
or Yelp and comment about your service. Integrating your social media feed and
these review site comments into your site gives a boost, too. We know authentic
reviews make a huge impact:
Close to 60% of consumers say they go to social
media to influence their purchasing decisions (Marketing
People are up to four times more likely to
purchase a product or service with at least five reviews (Review24)
Get the Custom Website You Need
If you’re looking to upgrade your site to bring
better service and higher-quality insurance leads, look no further than the
experts at Partner Platform. Our latest agency website
offerings are personalized sites custom-designed, thanks to our trusted
Partner Allies. Each site offers integration with marketing automation, customer
service tools like our Client Portal, and secure infrastructure to keep you
and your customers safe.
When it comes to your insurance prospects and
customers, there are three main areas to focus on:
Improving ease and speed of service
Personalizing prospect and customer experience
Gaining data for expert advice
Each of these areas answers the question, “what do insurance customers want?”. Are you leveraging the right insurance sales software and processes to respond to these needs?
Improving Ease and Speed of Service
The best way to improve your service is by being
accessible and responsive. The two key technologies to make that possible are
your agency management system and your website.
Your agency management system needs to present
information quickly and accurately so you can respond to clients and have the
right analytics to measure and improve results.
If you need a Ph.D. to pull reports, you may want to reconsider your
options. The faster you can interpret your customer data, the faster you can
respond to needs.
An often-overlooked service tool, your agency website
can be a meaningful communication platform – when set up correctly. Make your
site intuitive to navigate and include
a client portal that’s integrated with your management system. Client
portals are essential in today’s digitized service experience. With a client
portal, your customers can view coverage, print insurance cards, and check on
claims processing 24/7. That immediate and always accessible service is vital.
Personalizing Prospect and Customer Experience
Prospects and customers now expect personalized
service. With an integrated Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), you can gain
the data you need to personalize the entire prospect journey and build better relationships
with your customers. Reminders to follow-up on tasks to engage with your
prospects come with a comprehensive picture of the prospect so you can target
each conversation to their individual needs. Timing and content are critical
when communicating with a prospect. Good timing with good information improves
the probability of a quality conversation, the catalyst for driving new
Automation adds another level of personalization with custom marketing
campaigns that speak to different prospect segments. Each campaign gains
information on individual prospects and their segment, allowing you to improve
personalization with each message.
With that data, you can create expert proposals
with the help of an integrated
proposal creator. With a proposal creator, you can create a professional proposal
in minutes by flooding policy and submission information. This tool is excellent
for conducting an account review and offering cross-selling opportunities as
Get all the Best Insurance Sales Software in One Place
We know the value of each of these tools because they’re just what our Partner Platform agencies asked for to enhance their sales and marketing experience. See how you can get all these sales and services tools and more in one system – contact us to view a Partner Platform demo today.
This shift to online prompted our Partner Platform team to think more about agency websites and how to optimize them for sales and service. We now work with agencies to help them create a custom site to grow their business after seeing several common mistakes. Here are some of the ways we saw agency websites missing the mark – and how we helped them correct their missteps.
Yes, you want your site to give visitors an idea of
who you are and what you do, but there is such a thing as too much information
online. Your site should focus on the essentials: your agency brand, the
services you offer, and how to get in touch. Too much text is overwhelming and
can turn away a potential customer.
What to do: If you’re having trouble being
concise, use videos as an alternative to provide deeper descriptions of your brand
There is a lot that can be done with a website
these days, but you want to be careful about going overboard. Too many dynamic
elements can cause your site to render differently on mobile devices and even
from browser to browser. More
than half of internet users said they wouldn’t recommend a business with
poor mobile design, so you need to ensure your site renders well no matter what
device visitors use.
What to do: To ensure your site will render
well on any device, begin with the mobile design or design both mobile and
desktop versions concurrently.
While pricing and service offerings are certainly
important, you don’t want visitors to lose sight of who they’re researching or
doing business with. Your brand is the most valuable element you have to offer,
and you want people to associate the positive experience they have with your
What to do: Use your branding colors
throughout the site and have your agency name, logo, and (if short enough)
motto on a sticky menu that users will see no matter where they are on your
The last thing you want is for users to get lost when
they’re on your site. If they came there to see your auto offerings or request
a quote, it should take them only a few seconds to find what they need. If your
navigation isn’t properly organized or seems confusing, it will be difficult
for visitors to find what they need, and they may abandon your site.
What to do: Use sticky drop-down menus so
users can navigate to any part of the site no matter what page they’re viewing.
The prospect and customer information you gain from
your site’s interactions needs to be stored in your management system. When all
your prospect and customer data is in one place, it’s easier to see what certain
groupings or individuals need and the best ways to serve those needs. When your
data is decentralized, or you enter it manually, you lose efficiency and sales
Identifying the right insurance sales software and
systems requires understanding the balance of quality and quantity for valuable
insurance leads. The concept of “living
on renewals” is great – until it’s not.
Intentional, proactive, professional insurance sales demand the right
mindset, strategy, and systems to make the desired impact in an independent
Rethinking your insurance sales software and systems doesn’t have to be a major project. Start with knowing what you want, bringing that into your sales mindset, and finally acclimating to new tech. It only takes a step at a time.
Know What You Want: Quality or Quantity for
Most agencies desire quality over quantity. Quality
insurance leads resemble your best clients and provide your agency with the
greatest opportunity to deliver your unique expertise and the right coverage at
the right price. Your number of insurance leads depends upon available
resources to respond quickly and professionally, engaging with leads the moment
they show interest.
A quick response will improve your close ratio and the
likelihood a prospect becoming a long-term client. Regardless of the quality or
quantity debate, the meaningful question is how to capture, organize, and
communicate with the individuals or businesses seeking a policy.
The most significant shift you need to make as an
agency is to focus on the importance of new business acquisition via better
communication. This is a long-term
goal that can be executed on in the short term. Perhaps you’re already
there as an owner or agent, but you need to motivate your agents to do the
same. Long-term, you’ll need a shift in processes and infrastructure, but in
the short term, you need to shift where agents spend their time: communicating
with prospects and customers.
Part of long-term thinking is a shift to focus on customer
retention and growth rather than exclusively net new business. On-boarding
a new customer requires multiple times more resources than growing a current
customer through cross-selling, up-selling, or gaining referrals. Communicate
the value of service and customer growth to your team to help you stay
competitive in the long-run.
The prospect of adding new software can be the
biggest hurdle for an agency. Implementing insurance sales software is an
intentional effort to support your growth goals and develop systems to purposefully
build new relationships and win new business.
Through the simple implementation of an integrated
CRM, your agency can implement more effective and dependable client and
prospect communications. Coupled with integrated marketing automation,
you’re able to respond faster to inquiries and stay connected consistently.
Change is difficult for any business, and your
agency is no exception. As you move to rethink your sales mindset and systems,
there are many paths you can take to get to your goal.
When you’re ready, let the experts at Partner
Platform guide you to discover the best insurance sales software options for
your agency. Our hands-on team will meet with you to discuss the outcomes you
want and provide you with the insurance sales resources and support you need to
make those outcomes a reality.
The year 2020 brought transformation across all
industries, including insurance. Insurance agency software continues to evolve
in response to these transformations, prompting savvy agency owners to update
their tools and processes to respond to the needs of 2021.
A recent Chief Executive article pointed out several broad trends within the independent insurance agency: more digital interactions in the sales process, increased focus on digital customer experience, the convergence of sales and marketing, and the need to apply values in a new way.
Ken Branch echoed similar points in a recent PC360
article noting that in 2020 technology became more strategic, staffing and
communications shifted to digital, and customer service was heightened in
How can your agency respond to these changes and
apply your values in a new digital way?
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the
digital shift, and it isn’t going away.
What does that mean for independent insurance agencies?
From both a sales and customer service
perspective, independent insurance agency software systems must support more
digital interactions. These digital interactions help agencies streamline sales
and customer support, including integrating digital tools into your agency
management system for one digital agency “ecosystem.”
Upgraded digital agency sales software includes:
Upgraded digital customer experience software
More digital interaction not only means you need
the right digital tools, but you also need to reimagine how you use them. The
increased focus on customer experience means you need to know more about your
customers. Much of that information comes from your sales and marketing tools which,
when integrated, maximize your data stream.
A management system with built-in insurance CRM helps
you improve prospect targeting, allows you to segment audiences, and empowers
your team to use management system data to initiate conversation in informed
ways. For example, you can craft an upsell/cross-sell campaign offering clients
with active Auto and Home policies but no Umbrella policy information,
emphasizing why they might consider Umbrella and a link to schedule a conversation.
Better coordination like this improves outreach at
all levels, including helping you target the appropriate number of calls and
emails to reach a prospect without the producer having to do it all manually. Embedded
CRM and marketing allow you to schedule and send emails, texts, and letters in
bulk while simultaneously prompting producers to call at the appropriate time.
This integration of processes increases your effectiveness and decreases time
4. Find a partner to equip you for 2021 and beyond
Need an experienced partner to help you implement
and manage your agency software and digital tools? The Partner Platform team is
equipped to bring a top-of-the-line agency management system embedded with powerful
tools such as an insurance CRM, marketing automation, client portal, agency
mobile app, and agency website into your ecosystem.
Your insurance agency marketing goal is to stand out among the noise. Identifying and investing in serving a niche market is one of the most efficient and effective ways to achieve this challenging goal.
When you serve a niche market, you have less competition, making it easier to gain new customers in a specific arena. Your agency is set apart as providing “X” type of insurance, making you distinctive. PIA National’s 2022 Independent Agent Survey found that respondents devoted more than 20% of their book of business to a niche market. You, too, can capitalize on this valuable strategy.
Over the past few years, there has been a surge in insurance agency management transitions. Mergers and acquisitions specifically are on the rise, with an estimated 550 deals, up 12% from the previous year, in the first quarter of 2021. While these transitions can be profitable for owners, they can come with significant trepidation and worry from employees and customers.
As an owner, you need to start thinking ahead about how to prepare your agency for its eventual ownership transition. Whether you plan to perpetuate internally or externally, it’s essential that you prepare. That preparation includes setting your agency up for its highest valuation, prepping your team, and investing in tools and processes to bring your agency into the future.
Good partners and partnerships are critical to success in any business, but it’s crucial in technology where the pace of change and breadth of innovation is high. Insurance tech is growing fast, and it’s critical to look to progressive partners to keep up with the pace.
Why Partnerships Matter
Innovations happen everywhere, every day. Things like electric cars, an increase in IoT, the interconnectedness of tech systems in healthcare and our own homes, and other innovations significantly impact our industry. These tech advances inform how insurers can gain data to inform policies and process claims.