It’s Not Them, It’s You: Why Your Insurance Prospecting Software is Failing

It’s Not Them, It’s You: Why Your Insurance Prospecting Software is Failing

Prospecting in any industry takes a combination of the right “stuff” (technology, data, people) and the right execution (systems and processes). Though it may be tempting, purchasing the best insurance prospecting software isn’t a solution on its own; you and your team need to understand how to leverage it.

We’ve worked with countless agencies to help them get their insurance prospecting software to work with and for them. Here are some common pitfalls we see in agencies struggling to put their software to work.

1. They’re not gathering the right data

What you put into your prospecting software matters. Quality data brings quality results, and outdated or incomplete data brings poor outcomes. Information like your customer’s age ranges, marketing preferences, and what they value most in their coverage is essential to understanding who you should target in your prospecting. The days of blindly calling or emailing hundreds of contacts are over – you need the right data to narrow down lists to the best fits for your agency.

2. They’re not putting data into action

Gathering the correct information is just the beginning – it’s what you do with it that affects your growth. Your agency needs to interpret data and determine how to use it. When you understand your customer’s contact preferences and pain points, the next step is to schedule marketing automation to send targeted content addressing their needs via the methods they prefer at the times that work best. You can also see opportunities for cross-selling and referrals in your data, capitalizing on your established relationships to grow your book of business.

3. They don’t have the right people in the right roles

Mismatching people and their roles in the agency is a common misstep. Especially in independent insurance agencies, staff take on multiple roles and do a lot of learning on the job. While these are valuable skills, it often means people are stuck learning or doing something that doesn’t fit their strengths.

Work to identify individuals who excel in data management and sales, targeting people with the skills and the drive for these challenging positions. Once you have the right people in the right place, add support through training and mentorship to keep them motivated and successful.

4. They’re reaching out too much or too little

Communicating with prospects is a delicate dance, and each group or individual is different. A common mistake salespeople in all industries make is using the same tactics on every prospect or lead. Personalization, especially around outreach, is highly valued in today’s sales landscape. Again, data comes into play, informing your team of how often to reach out to their contacts to keep them engaged enough without overwhelming their inboxes.

5. They’re staying stagnant

What worked last year, or even last quarter, won’t necessarily work today. It can be tempting to set up a workflow for contacting a specific group of prospects and letting it run for perpetuity, but you’ll soon find your results will wane. Habits and preferences quickly change in our digitized world, and your agency needs to stay vigilant. Update your database regularly, reevaluate processes, and continually adjust to improve results.

Make Prospecting Work for You with Partner Platform

Our Partner Platform team stays updated on prospecting in insurance, adding a host of essential technology over the years. Each enhancement comes with testing and training to find the best tools that integrate seamlessly into agency life.

With in-person, custom training, always accessible online tutorials and FAQs, and a responsive customer service team, we are confident our Partner Platform agencies have the best tech and training to make effective prospecting a part of their daily lives.

Find out more on what our Partner Platform agencies have to say and see for yourself how our sales & marketing technology works at sisparterplatform.com.

Beyond Insurance Agent Software: How to Gain and Retain Top Agency Talent

Beyond Insurance Agent Software: How to Gain and Retain Top Agency Talent

Recent surveys found the average insurance agent is just shy of 60 years old. That means two things: there are a lot of experienced agents out there, and there are a good number of agents reaching retirement age. As these agents retire, they’ll take their experience and wisdom with them. Don’t let that valuable asset leave when retiring agents do! While investing in insurance agent software, you should also invest in insurance agent talent.

As Millennials and Generation Z take over the workforce, get them into your agency before your experienced agents leave. Here are some tips on what to look for and how to attract young talent to keep your agency growing for years to come.

What to Look for in Agency Talent

The independent insurance industry is unique: it has a small business, community feel and relies on technology to navigate a complex system that affects people’s safety and livelihood. Such a multifaced industry requires unique people. When hiring for your agency, look for people who are:

  • Flexible, meeting people where they are in their insurance needs
  • Resilient enough to hear “no” multiple times before getting a “yes” on signing a policy
  • People-driven as the drive to serve others is a major motivating factor in the business
  • Great communicators whether listening to a customer during a crisis or working with their team to resolve an issue
  • Tech-savvy enough to understand the latest in insurtech

Ultimately, you want someone who wants to help others and can handle the challenges and opportunities of a service-oriented industry. At the same time, you also want a team member willing to learn and grow in this evolving market.

How to Gain and Retain Talent

Insurance doesn’t have the apparent perks of flashy tech firms or start-ups, yet many elements appeal to Millennial and Gen Z job-seekers. It’s your job as an employer to highlight these assets:

  • Technology: wide-spread tech use is important to the next generation. Highlight how you’re using technology and emphasize your focus on leveraging tech to improve communication and sales.
  • Diversity: Mercer named one of the top 2021 global talent trends “an increasingly diverse…workforce.” Diversity in your office is important to new hires, so you should also start taking it seriously.
  • Training: The best way to keep hires around is to prevent burnout. That starts at day one with training, equipping them to understand their role and your agency. The more prepared they feel, the better.
  • Mentorship: Beyond training, new hires are more likely to stay if they feel supported. One of the best ways to show that support is through targeted mentorship – a dedicated person who walks them through new situations and provides advice on tackling new challenges.
  • Culture: According to Cordia Resources, more than 1/3rd of Americans say they would “pass on the perfect job” if they didn’t fit with the culture. Culture is a crucial differentiator in independent insurance and something you can highlight in your agency as a significant asset.

Where to Get Support

One of the best places you can get support when hiring new employees is your management system provider. That’s right – your management system can help you onboard new employees with targeted training and make your agency a desirable employment option. That’s something we do a Partner Platform: we created an intuitive, customizable, efficient agency management suite backed by an oft-praised training and support staff.

And we work each day to improve our system and training to make it that much easier for your agency to grow. Notably, our Partner Platform Community offers a wealth of educational opportunities and chances to connect, mentor, and grow with other like-minded agents. Find out more about this innovative system: get in touch at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6, to request a demo today.

Using Your Insurance CRM to Gain and Retain Quality Leads

Using Your Insurance CRM to Gain and Retain Quality Leads

When your focus is community-minded, personalized insurance, it can be challenging to translate your skills to sales, marketing, and lead management. It can seem like a herculean task to figure out an insurance CRM and how it can help you identify and gain your ideal customers, growing your book of business.

When everyone in your agency is doing two, three, or more jobs, how can you manage to keep up with sales and marketing, too?

Our Partner Platform agencies can attest that it’s easier than you think. With our integrated management system and insurance CRM, we take the guesswork out of creating and managing customer and lead profiles in a CRM system. When everything is linked in one place, you can leverage the sales and marketing power of an insurance CRM with relative ease[SD1] .

Identify Your Best Customers

One of your insurance CRM’s jobs is to help you identify your ideal customer. The data in your CRM can answer questions like, who has stayed with us for years? Who continues to grow as a customer? And what do each of these people have in common? Once you have a handle on your ideal customer profile, you can use your CRM data to determine critical factors like their common coverage needs, ideal price points, and barriers to purchase.

This customer knowledge also helps determine your niche market. A niche could be anything from serving a specific geographic area to specializing in insuring a particular type of business. Once you know your niche, you can explore ways to expand on it for other opportunities. For example, if you specialize in serving residential real estate, can you pivot to providing coverage for individuals who are Airbnb and VRBO hosts? Test out these new opportunities, gathering data along the way to determine what to pursue and what to rethink.

Understand How to Reach Your Ideal Customer

Part of discovering your ideal customer is understanding how to reach them. What are their preferred contact methods? How did they find you? And how can you translate that information into a strategy to find more long-lasting customers just like them?

Your insurance CRM has all this data. Start by discovering where most of your ideal customers found you. Whether it be an online search, postcard, review, or referral from a friend, start capitalizing on that method. Investigate which outreach methods secured the sale – phone call, email, text, or other – and how many times you needed to follow up on average. Armed with this information, you can construct a winning strategy that fits your agency.

Keep Track of Your Customers’ Journeys

You may notice that a big part of leveraging your insurance CRM is that it needs to have data on your agency and customers. That means your team needs to track each customer’s journey. When you have customer data, you can get the big picture on your agency’s clientele, showing how they found you, when they engaged with your outreach, and the exact sequence of events that led to them signing their policy with you.

Get your team in the habit of recording their contact with prospects and customers. And, do targeted outreach to your ideal customers to find out what “secret sauce” brought them on as a customer and keeps them around. This outreach can be phone calls, email surveys, texts – whatever is best for your customers. Perhaps you include a few questions in your annual check-ins around renewal time. Just keep in mind it’s better to keep your questions short to get a response – people are more likely to respond to something that takes ten minutes rather than twenty.

Be Ready for Change

Your ideal customer and their preferences are not the same today as ten years ago, nor will they be the same ten years from now. The most important part of your CRM management is keeping up with data and continually checking how your strategies are working. Stay on top of the market’s evolution with regular re-evaluation of who your ideal customer is and how they’re responding to your outreach.

That constant re-evaluation is a central tenant of our practices at SIS. Our Partner Platform team is always on the lookout for how the industry is changing and stays engaged with our Partner Platform agencies to understand how their needs evolve. Most recently, we expanded our business insights reporting to allow for greater report customization. That’s just one of the many ways we’ve continued to put our agencies’ needs first.

Want to know more about how we work with and serve our Partner Platform agencies? Find out what they have to say here, or get in touch at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6, to find out more.

The 5 Ws of Insurance Agency Marketing: Questions to Hone Your Prospecting

The 5 Ws of Insurance Agency Marketing: Questions to Hone Your Prospecting

If you’re still wondering how to improve your insurance agency marketing, the answer is: data.

While that one-word answer is simple, the process of gathering, analyzing, and acting on data isn’t so easy. But if you put in the effort, it’s worth it; that’s why Everest Company found data analytics use in the industry could quadruple in just one year.

With over 70% of consumers looking for insurance quotes online, the data is out there for you to capture. Get your team started with honed marketing by breaking data analytics down into five parts.

#1: Who are Your Customers?

As always, you start with the “who.” Who are your customers? You may think you know, but there is always more to learn. How old are they? Where do they live? Where are they in their careers? How do they like to communicate with you? These are just a few of the questions you can ask to get a picture of who you’re serving.

You want to know as much as possible about your customers so you can determine different ways to categorize them. Customer segmentation is a critical factor in executing a successful insurance marketing campaign. The more groups you can create, the more you can personalize each outreach experience.

#2: What Do Your Customers Want?

Part of understanding who your customers are is knowing what they want. Once you pay attention, it’s not too difficult to determine your customers’ preferences. Marketing automation data can show you different groups of customer communication preferences, and you can see what content resonated with them based on engagement. With that information, you can change your marketing tactics to coincide with their choices.

#3: Where are Customers Finding You?

Your insurance CRM and marketing automation can answer this question. Different customer segments will likely come to you from different places, and you’ll need to make yourself known in those spots. Possible origins could be a Google review, family or friend recommendation, or marketing email. Make sure you’re tracking and asking each new customer how they found you – the more you know, the better you can maximize your marketing presence.

#4: When is the Optimal Time to Contact Your Customers?

Once you know who you’re connecting with, where to find them, and what methods to use, you can further hone your outreach by understanding when to reach out. Again, each segment will have different preferences. For example, customers who like phone contact may prefer evenings and weekends, while those who like texting might want to get in touch weekday afternoons. The best times to reach out are not limited to the time of day and days of the week. It also includes the time of year or period in their policy cycle.

#5: Why do Your Customers Choose You?

Essentially, the last question to ask is, “Why us?” With so many options out there, what is it you offer as an agency that makes you stand out to your customers? You can gain this information through online surveys, but the best way is from personal outreach, asking the question (yes, people are still involved!). To make it easier on your customers, give them options – like “customer response time” or “personalized policy” – to increase the likelihood they’ll respond.

Gain and Process Data Better with Partner Platform

Gathering and analyzing data can seem overwhelming without the right tools. We equipped our Partner Platform agency management system and insurance CRM to simplify data collection and interpretation for our clients. The last thing you need as an agency is one more complex system with a litany of steps – Partner Platform is one robust system with straightforward, streamlined processes.

With our Partner Connect customer outreachProducer Results Manager CRM, and built-in Marketing Automation Manager, Partner Platform is one fully integrated data processing system. Plus, our customizable business insights make output just as easy as input when it comes to data.

Find out more about this robust yet simple management system experience: contact us at 800.747.7005, Option 6, or [email protected]

What’s the Deal with Data? Why You Need Insurance Tech Data and How to Use It

What’s the Deal with Data? Why You Need Insurance Tech Data and How to Use It

You know data is valuable. It’s what we use daily to make decisions, and it’s what we use to measure our successes. But are you using data effectively in your agency?

A wealth of insurance tech is available to capture and manage data, and the coronavirus pandemic accelerated data use in the insurance industry. According to a survey from Insurity, over 80% of agencies plan to “invest more heavily in data and analytics” following the 2020 pandemic outbreak. And with good reason – Willis Towers Watson found that over 66% of agencies say data analytics helped them reduce expenses, and 60% say it helped increase sales.

How can you better use data in your agency?

How to Use Agency Data

There are multiple ways you can use your agency’s data to overall improve processes and positively impact your bottom line. Some of those areas include:

  • Fraud prevention: Fraud claims amount to about $80 billion lost in the U.S. annually, and about 5-10% of insurance claims in the U.S. and Canada are fraudulent. By tracking and analyzing your claims data, you can minimize these fraud attempts.
  • Policy decisions: Predictive analytics can help you decide what policies to write, which to deny, and when to gain more information to make a better policy decision.
  • Policy pricing: Better data means better pricing for you and your customers, leading to improved customer retention and higher returns.
  • Claims management: Predictive data analytics can signal which claims need immediate attention, helping you better prioritize claims and improve service.
  • Customer retention: Quality reporting can signal customers who may be close to lowering or canceling their coverage and help identify ways to improve their experience.
  • Crossselling and up-selling: Reports can show you opportunities to increase coverage, benefitting your customers by keeping them safe.
  • Marketing and personalization: Customer data can tell you a lot about which marketing methods work and how different types of customers like to receive information. Leverage that data to improve your outreach.

The Insurance Tech You Need

Before you put data to use, you need to capture and effectively view it. The second half of that sentence challenges most agencies: data is abundant but can be challenging to organize and interpret.

Quality insurance tech solves this issue. Modern systems are designed with data input and output in mind. Some of the top tech elements you need are:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
  • Marketing automation system
  • Business insights reporting

Along with these essential pieces, you also need an agency management system that can connect with modern agency tech. Cloud-based systems are much more effective in integrating with new systems and provide more robust data security than in-house server-based systems. As you focus on gaining more data, you should focus on protecting it, too.

Put Your Data to Work with Partner Platform

At SIS, we’re always looking for better ways to gain and interpret agency data for our customers. Our forward-thinking Partner Platform agency community told us they needed better data integration and business insights reporting, and we delivered. Our integrated Partner Platform agency management system and insurance CRM brings cloud-based security, data systems integration, and custom business reporting together in one system.

Find out more about our data reporting and business intelligence, secure infrastructure, and sales and marketing integration today: get in touch at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6.