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Partner XE Regional Learning Recap: Michigan

Partner XE Regional Learning Recap: Michigan

Last month, the Partner XE User Community met at the Michigan Association for Insurance Agents (MAIA) for another successful Regional Learning event. Beyond lively banter about Buckeyes, Wolverines, and Spartans, the focus was on getting the most from Partner XE. We reviewed the latest Proposal Creator and Client Portal updates and heard from community members on how they’re maximizing these enhancements.

Get a demo of the new Partner XE Client Portal here

Our Michigan partner agencies shared some innovative ideas to help simplify workflows and make it easier to manage complex commercial business in Partner XE. SIS National Account Manager Luke Purnell led the training as a familiar name and voice to many of our Michigan clients. In addition to his energy and passion for helping agencies improve, Luke added in his natural humor, making these events both engaging and informative.

See upcoming Regional Learning locations here

Alison Van Wyk of Partner XE agency Van Wky Risk Solutions was one of the Regional Learning attendees. “The Partner XE event in Michigan was an informative event, helping us better utilize Partner XE,” Van Wyk said of the Regional Learning. “We’ve used (Partner XE) for over three years, and it continues to improve. Our motivation to attend was three-fold: to learn about and take advantage the new capabilities, to share our ideas for further improvements, and to engage with the vibrant Partner XE agency community.” She added, “Listening and continuing to improve is what Partner XE is about.”

SIS thanks MAIA for hosting the event. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with such a community-focused organization and look forward to more Regional Learnings to help strengthen the Partner XE independent agency community.

Look for upcoming events in Indianapolis, Nashville, and Columbus this year! Check out our events page at partneragents.com for more information.

What’s Your Insurance Marketing Strategy?

What’s Your Insurance Marketing Strategy?

Insurance agency marketing is a game of results. Whether you hire an experienced producer or build a sales team from scratch, there are performance expectations.  But, expectations without structure is a recipe for disappointment.  Consistency and focus are key ingredients for any person or organization to sell successfully,

How can you create structure that encourages consistency and focus within your agency? Below are a few steps to get you started.

First, establish good data habits.

Rather than an exclusive focus on results only, pay attention to the habits that breed them. Reliable, complete data entry is one such important habit. Once you’ve established a culture of entering data in your management system, you can access the building blocks to sales success: quality data and performance metrics.

  • Quality data means data that is complete and accurate. Get your employees in the habit of filling out prospect and client information in a set way. Incomplete or inaccurate data can throw off your entire sales strategy.
  • Performance metrics are established using the quality data you have to know where you are and plan where you want to go.

Read more on establishing and tracking metrics to inform agency growth

Next, identify leading indicators.

Leading indicators are the actions that happen leading up to a sale. Take a look at what you’re doing to gain customers and record what’s working. Establish goals with each and map out sequencing for prospects. Examples of leading indicators include:

  • Phone calls: net new phone calls, as well as follow up. Differentiate between the two as they drive different results.
  • Conversations (including emails): pay attention to the quantity and quality of conversations you’re having and who they’re with (prospect vs. client).
  • Appointments: how many net new appointments and follow up appointments are held each week.

Find out how to motivate your producers for sales success

Finally, measure results-driven indicators.

Coming after leading indicators, these are the results that show something has happened. Examples of results-driven indicators include:

  • Quotes or proposals requested: establish stages for requesting and track them.
  • Quote submitted and reviewed: identify these as well-qualified selling opportunities.
  • Quotes won and lost: …and the reasons why. Use these indicators to determine how to improve your sales process.

Learn more on tracking and predicting customer behavior

Sales excellence is not a one-time event nor does it happen randomly. Anyone can win a few deals. To build a career, it takes attention to doing the little things right each day and building on that.

Your agency management system is a big part of those small steps. Recording, reporting on and analyzing agency data are foundational to identifying performance metrics and sales indicators that help form an effective sales strategy. If your management system is intuitive and adaptable to your agency, it’s reflected in your sales process and overall agency performance.

See how Partner XE adapts to your agency’s needs with personalized workflows

At SIS, we pay attention to and understand this ripple effect. That’s why we regularly update our Partner XE management system based on our partner agencies’ input and direction. Thanks to this close partnership, we continue to improve Partner XE system operations, making data storage and processing easier so you can run your agency better.

Find out what Partner XE and SIS can do for your agency. Get in touch with us to view a demo and talk with a SIS staff member today.

The Power of the People

The Power of the People

The Power of the People How Partner XE Stays a Perfect Fit

As a company, we cannot evolve without our clients. Each client interactions is an opportunity to grow: to understanding expectations, market forces, and ultimately how we can best serve our partner agencies. Conversations with our support team, Regional Learning Events, Industry Events and work-groups all contribute to making Partner XE its most efficient.

Read a recap of our recent Regional Learnings in MA and CT

Through these interactions, we gain innovative ideas to enable greater agency effectiveness for each role.  This approach enables our clients to grow, add revenue producing roles and never outgrow Partner XE.

At a recent Boston Regional Learning, a client shared their initial skepticism about Partner XE’s growth abilities around commercial lines. When they first invested in the system, the capabilities weren’t quite there…yet. Now, they’ve not only grown at a rate well above the industry average, they’ve kept support staff the same and improved productivity. That’s a great win – for all of us.

Hear more from Partner XE users on our client stories page

It’s one thing to say you want to hear from your clients. It’s a whole other to actually change.  We’re intentional about listening and about follow through with a sense of urgency.  This creates greater trust and collaboration – acting as a true partner – working with our clients.

Get to know the Partner XE and SIS community

We’ll continue to drive innovation through this important partnership. We welcome you to share your agency’s needs with us. Get in touch at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6.

The Independent Insurance Agency Community: Boston and Hartford

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Many thanks to Arbella Insurance for hosting the Boston Regional Learning!

This past week, the Strategic Insurance Software (SIS) team and I headed east for two Partner XE Regional Learning events in Hartford, CT and Boston, MA. Both events were well attended by our Partner XE community members, some coming from hours away to participate. Attendees enjoyed learning how to maximize their Partner XE experience and collaborating around improvements for future releases.

Read about our November Regional Learning in Nashville, TN

These events are some of my favorite parts of my job – engaging with and strengthening our independent insurance agency community. Some may question the need to travel and meet in-person. In our ever-connected world, why not just hold a webinar or online meeting? Though there is a time and place for that, the feedback we receive from our Partner XE community members say it all:

“I always appreciate a chance to learn more and get better within the system.  We appreciate you guys doing these in-person events.”

“The meeting was well done. I certainly picked up useful information, and I’m glad I made the 2-hour drive.”

“Partner XE continues to get better with each release. Thanks for continuing to meet with us and help us get better as an agency.”

This was our fifth time in Boston and second in Hartford, but each time feels new thanks to the thoughtful ideas we hear from our clients. I look forward to our next Regional Learning in Brandon, WI on May 2nd, where we’ll no doubt gain even more insights from our community in the Midwest.

Want to bring a Regional Learning to your area? Contact us!

I continue to receive positive feedback from last week’s attendees, and each note reaffirms the importance of these in-person meetings. We at SIS are continually inspired by the service-minded independent insurance agencies in the Partner XE community. Thank you to all who shared insights, and I look forward to many meetings to come!

Best,

Michael

The Independent Insurance Agency – Still Built to Serve

The Independent Insurance Agency – Still Built to Serve

The insurance industry continues to change. Many big names are offering online-only, self-service models, and mobile access among other trends. These new movements speak to a growing demand for convenience, responsiveness and cost effectiveness. On the surface, they seem to hit the mark. But, many soon find marginal time and money savings are outweighed by a loss in service.

Why I Choose Independent

I know this first-hand. I recently switched agencies and carriers. It had nothing to do with price, but ended up being about service. I needed to make additions to my policy, so I called my provider of seven years to adjust my policy…and got no response. I reached out a second time. Still no response.

Learn how to improve your customer experience here.

My final call was to let them know I was leaving. Instead of asking “why?”, they assumed my move was based on rates. But it had nothing to do with price. It had everything to do with how I was treated. Now I’m with a new independent agent. They take my calls, respond when they can’t, and I trust them to take care of my family and I. It was their willingness to connect and listen that made all the difference.

What Makes Independent Great

In my experience, personal connection is what moves good service to great. And independent insurance agencies are in the know here. Despite the threat of large-scale providers, many independent agents are running profitable, growing agencies. Those experiencing success have three things in common: they’re smart, they work hard, and they give back to their employees and their community.

Find more ways to engage your agency in the local community.

This trifecta of determination and care can give independent agencies the edge in customer retention and growth—if they work for it.

Like the big names in the industry, independent agencies need to pay attention to macro trends around demand for faster service.  But, they must do so with an eye to their individual customers’ preferences. It’s about striking a balance between harnessing new technology for faster response, yet keeping responses personal.

Customers have endless insurance options, but a personal relationship and trust differentiate the independent agency.

How We Support Independent

As SIS President, I’m bullish on independent agents seizing their opportunity to flourish. It’s not easy—and it never will be. But, with anything worthwhile, commitment and hard work increase chances for success. And as an agency management system provider committed to the independent channel, we look forward to continuing to help independent agencies improve and harness their full potential to serve.

Get in touch with us to find out more about SIS and our full-feature agency management system, Partner XE. You can reach us at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6.