Columbus, OH – Strategic Insurance Software (SIS), providers of Partner XE, a leading agency management system for independent agents, today announced the upcoming release of Partner XE 2016.
This latest version reflects the ongoing collaboration between SIS and its client. The update promises to deliver improved agency workflows and efficiencies by reducing clicks and streamlining processes. Updates include multiple customer-requested features, including enhanced certificate and document management. (more…)
When you think of branding, what comes to mind? Perhaps you feel your agency has a solid brand, or maybe branding seems like a nebulous, confusing exercise.
No matter where your agency falls, defining and maintaining your brand is an essential part of insurance customer retention and prospect outreach. You need to know who you are and what value you provide before convincing others why you’re the best choice.
Quality insurance providers know what is at the heart of sales: relationships. Independent insurance sales in particular focuses on getting to know prospective customers, and connecting them with the coverage. True insurance sales is helping people get what they need.
A Powerful Sales Tool – Your Agency Management System
Successful salespeople use a variety of tools to convert opportunities and chances are, your agency has at least one of these tools: an insurance management system. The data input/output abilities of your agency management system, coupled with its ability to centralize information, makes it perfect for prospect conversion.
Harnessing the Prospecting Power
Your insurance management system allows you to capitalize on the key elements of sales: know your prospect, stay in touch, and be there when the time is right.
Know your prospect
Get referrals from current clients and connect records so you can cross -reference the relationship.
Synch emails directly to automatically generate records of what was said and when. Synchronization means that even replies are saved in your system.
Scan in paper artifacts such as handwritten notes or receipts from meetings. Save them in your system to document each point of contact.
Keep in touch
Keep notes on calls, emails, and meetings in one place to give a complete picture of all points of contact you’ve had with a prospect in a given time.
Set reminders to get back in touch. These can be a week, month, or years out depending on need.
Be there when the time is right
Look at records to see when a prospect replied to an email or picked up a phone call: this information tells you best contact times.
Access quotes as you’re speaking with a prospect. Providing them on the spot increases chances of conversion.
Use eSign plug-ins to send and sign contracts as soon as a prospect is ready to commit.
Other Insurance Management System Benefits
The reporting functions of your system are a huge asset to your independent insurance sales process. Read outs can show how often a prospect was contacted, by what means, and other pertinent information. And, it’s all easily exported to Excel so you can manipulate data and views as needed.
Centralized storage of prospect information is another asset. When information is recorded in your agency management system, it is tied to your agency, not the producer. This distinction is important – a producer could potentially leave your agency, taking all that hard earned data with them. In your management system, it’s accessible to your agency for years to come.
If your agency management system doesn’t have the above capabilities, talk with your provider. Find out what they can offer and ask about other ways to utilize your system to boost sales.
At SIS, we enjoy hearing from our clients, gaining insights into their areas of concern and adapting our Partner XE to their needs . Have an idea you’d like to share? Contact us – we’d love you from you!
This phrase has become commonplace – the answer for everything from “what are those song lyrics?” to “which car should I buy?”. The internet is now the number one source for information gathering and decision making. This means your insurance agency website design is critical: it is where most of your prospects and customers will interact with your brand. It may even be how they find you in the first place.
Your insurance agency website design plays an important role in gaining new business and retaining customers. So it needs to make an impact – and a positive one at that.
An effective insurance agency website is one that is attractive, informative, useful, and engaging.
Use pleasing elements, such as a “sticky menu” that stays glued to the top or side of the screen. A sleek design– something clean and bright – provides a positive user experience. Stick to one or two colors and minimal graphics, all of which should communicate your agency’s brand. Less is more here. Don’t overload pages with text. Get to the point using bulleted lists or other methods to break things up. Finally, stick to one or two font styles as anything more makes your site seem chaotic.
People come to your agency website to learn: about your team, your services, and what makes you stand apart. Bring the most important information to the forefront such as links to your contact, about, services, and request a quote pages. Users should be able to navigate to these pages from anywhere on your site. Include a search bar at the top of each page to allow users to easily find the relevant information they need.
Your insurance agency website design must serve users’ needs. Prospective customers need access to online quotes and your service list, but they will also look for ways your site serves your current customers. Online payments, access to policy information, printable ID cards, and online claims processing are appealing. Any way to make service faster and more convenient is a plus.
Users should be able to interact with your agency website, and access your agency through it – from anywhere, at any time, on any device. The first step is a responsive design, meaning your site will adapt depending on what is used to view it: phone, tablet, laptop, or another device. Adding social streams (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) increases users interaction. Finally, an interactive help center can help your customers troubleshoot issues faster. The ability to live chat with agents or get an immediate email response to resolve issues creates a positive user experience.
Other Marketing Resources
Your website is an important part of your agency’s brand and a valuable marketing tool. SIS has a multitude of resources to help you build your brand, including more tips on how to continually improve your online presence. Check out our other agency resources here, or contact us to find out how our team can help your agency grow.
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.