Partner XE User Group to Host Conference
October 4-5, 2012, Embassy Suites, Columbus Ohio
Partner XE agencies are invited to join the NASPA board and SIS team October 4-5, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in Columbus for a day and a half of networking, educational sessions and small group training sessions with SIS and NASPA members. Sessions have been designed to benefit the actual users of the system, as well as the Agency principals.
Conference highlights include guest speakers, Cal Durland, Director of Member Relations, ACORD, Bill Tedrick, CEO, NxTech, Nathaniel Seevers, Social Media Expert, Paul Fuller, EVP – Product Management, SIS and Alex Deak, CEO, SIS. A packed agenda also includes multiple sessions on NASPA approved best practices for your agency using Partner XE and roundtable discussions that will help shape the future of your Partner XE agency management system.
Here’s a sampling of what you can expect:
- Best Practices Workflows in Partner XE – Setting your Agency up for Success!
- Real Time, Transformation Station, & Weblink – Maximizing the Time you Have Through Real Time!
- Agency Accounting Principles and Practice using Partner XE
- Social Media Marketing for the Independent Insurance Agent
- Making your Producers More Productive – Leveraging Partner XE with Some Great Sales Best Practices
Agency to Agency…
An Interview with Kirk Stubblefield
Stubblefield Insurance Agency, LLC – www.stubblefieldinsurance.com
Location: Abilene, Seymour and Olney, TX
A few months ago, Kirk Stubblefield of Stubblefield Insurance Agency in Texas graciously agreed to do an interview with SIS talking about his experiences with the Partner XE agency management system and the service he receives from SIS. During that interview Kirk mentioned that one of his favorite aspects of Partner XE is the flexibility it gives him to run reports that really drill down on various aspects of his business. What follows here is a much shorter version, intended to be part of a best practices series for those already using our software.
Can you give me examples of how you use the customized reporting feature to analyze your business?
I can use Partner XE to run a complete list of what each employee has brought into the business at any given time. I can see where they are and give bonuses based on what they are able to bring in without advertising. The reports I have set up will tell me exactly whether an employee has brought in new business, what type of business they brought in and the premium that each one of them is doing. Running and reviewing the reports allows me to get to the point of what I need to work on with each employee. Is it that they aren’t doing anything or is it that they don’t know what to do? I can use the reports to uncover where I need more training.
In addition, I can specify reports based on lines of business, office location (note: Stubblefield has three offices), new policies, lapsed policies, growth, attrition, etc. If I can see one office is growing and another is not, I can step back and figure out what one office is doing that the other is not.
We can also use the reports to adjust our marketing efforts. We can compare clients to clients to uncover which type of companies or lines of business are more profitable – then we can target our marketing efforts using those parameters… Where things are working the best for you that is what you need to expand on.
How often do you look at these reports?
Depending on the report, I look at it daily, weekly, monthly annually. I look at what each office is doing as a whole and know how we are doing as an agency.
Where do you pull the reports?
The searches under clients and policies are the best reports. You can also customize to create your favorite parameters. When you come up with one you like you can save it. You can really build reports to do almost anything you want.
Agency to Agency…
An interview with NASPA Board Member Steve Kramer,
Kramer Insurance Agency, Langhorne, PA.
Length of time on Partner XE: 1 year
Question: How do you use Partner XE to market your business?
You want multiple policies per client because the higher your ratio is per household the higher your retention rate becomes. The Search features within Partner can be used to identify where you are missing out on client business so you can actively cross-sell to them. For example, you can run a sort of clients with auto, but not home coverage and then actively begin pursing their home policies as well. It works the same with commercial lines too. Do they have a business policy, but not commercial auto? Market accordingly.
WIN BACK LOST ACCOUNTS
The other thing we do is when a client becomes inactive… if they left us for one reason or another we do a “win back” campaign. We can run a search in Partner XE to identify these folks, we already have their basic information in the system, so we will go back and call them and say “hey, how can we win back your business.”
RENEW & RETAIN
We use the Partner XE Scheduling tools to set reminders… to keep what we need to do and on what day. Client renewals for example, if a renewal is coming up on the third of February we are calling him on the third of January so we are ahead of the game, not behind.
We also do quarterly contacts with our clients. We schedule in Partner when to call them or when it’s time to reconnect – the system keeps us on a schedule.
The NOTES feature really helps us with customer service. When a client calls in the first thing we are getting into the habit of doing is opening the notes to the last conversation. It helps you from a marketing standpoint. If you have that history in front of you and know that client better when you are talking to them it gives you a more professional position working with the client.
GET NEW BUSINESS
We do a lot of email marketing. We send out an average of 30,000 targeted emails per month. One specific campaign we do is to used car auto dealer. We have six or seven different solutions for them, from liability insurance to odometer insurance. We design the emails and the advertising on a one year campaign, hitting them hard in the beginning then spreading it out over time so that the client isn’t getting hammered with an email every day and getting annoyed. We find that it takes three to four sometimes even six months until we get a bite. We are chumming the waters and waiting for the fish to bite.
We probably get six auto dealers a month calling and out of those six we will close four of them.
We cannot do bulk emails directly out of the Partner XE system (yet… that’s one thing I’d love to see happen!) but we can export our prospect lists out of XE and then import them into our emailing system. Once they come back as leads it is all tracked in Partner XE.
Thanks for a Terrific Year!
A letter from Alex Deak | President + CEO
Greetings from SIS,
On behalf of the entire SIS team, I would like to take a moment to thank you for helping us make this past year one of tremendous innovation and progress.
2011 saw a 50% increase in the number of individuals using Partner XE. While this is undeniably good for our business, it is also good for yours. These increasing numbers make continuing product investment possible and collectively strengthen the voice of the National Association of SIS Partner Agents (NASPA).
So much has happened over the course of the last year, that I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve done and where we are going. Here are some of the highlights from 2011:
Ongoing Product Development:
2011 saw two different version releases of Partner XE as well as the release of a new and improved Outlook Plug-in. These releases combined to provide you with:
- Enhanced marketing campaign functions,
- New searches and reports,
- Enhanced certificates workflow,
- The ability to open documents with a Windows default viewer,
- Improved ACORD 125 forms printing,
- New accounting reports,
- Improved server communication, overall performance and response time
- And much more.
New streamlined features in the Outlook Plug-in include the ability to sync recurring appointments, add an entire email folder to Partner XE at one time and tag emails with a category.
Increased Service Staff:
In keeping with our commitment to providing excellent customer service, we have increased our service staff by 50% over the last six months. We’ve also added experienced developers to accelerate the pace of product enhancements and adjustments. With these additions, we now have the operational scalability we need to best serve our customers now and well into the future.
A New Online Resource:
In addition to increased service personnel, we’ve also created PartnerNet , a centralized online support website intended to reduce the volume of service requests and allow our service staff to delve deeper into product and workflow issues as needed.
Increased Capacity & Security:
Not only have we improved our product and added staff, we’ve also upgraded and migrated to the latest Cloud technology for increased system performance and capacity and added a redundant offsite backup to insure that your data is safely stored in multiple geographic locations.
What you have in SIS today is a growing organization focused on continuous improvement. We are committed to making Partner XE and our service delivery the premier solution in the industry for our customers.
Having invested in technology, people, and process to scale, we are now well positioned to do that and are looking forward to more improvements and an even broader customer base in 2012. We’re working with NASPA to form workgroups defining priorities and deliverables, because the old adage is true:
Together Everyone Achieves More.
Independent insurance agents get a vote of trustworthiness from small business owners
We’d like to share with you a few excerpts from a letter we recently received from ACT Executive Director, Jeff Yates that speaks to the level of trust small business owners have for independent insurance agents and highlights what factors are most important to them in working with an agent.
The figures Yates references are taken from a recent survey of 501 small business owners (with less than 30 employees) conducted by The Pert Group and sponsored by Hanover Insurance.
A majority of the small business owners surveyed found their insurance agents to be trustworthy – the highest percentage of any of the types of financial services firm identified: 48% more than banks, 97% more than healthcare companies, and 295% more than stock brokers.
Those surveyed trust P&C carriers: 25% more than banks, 66% more than healthcare companies and 150% more than stock brokers.
On Overall Influence Factors:
Small business owners said that trustworthiness was the most important factor they look for from their property insurance agents. The top factors were:
- Trustworthiness 86%
- Competitive pricing 82%
- Responsiveness 81%
- Value 79%
The above information is good news for independent agents and good news for SIS as well because we work hard empower your agents and customer service reps with technology that can improve their responsiveness, help them track conversations and emails, facilitate personalized mailings and build a foundation of trust with their clients and prospects.
Features like Search Navigation, Contact and Client and Policy Management for example, put the information you and your reps need at your fingertips, enabling you to respond to your customers quickly and efficiently. Outlook integration streamlines your workflow by pulling your Outlook communications into your agency management system. New streamlined features include the ability to sync recurring appointments, add an entire email folder to Partner XE at one time, tag emails with a category when bringing into XE and more.
As one of our clients, Kevin O*Brien, so aptly put it, “Independent insurance agencies are sales and service organizations. When a system takes care of those little tasks it gives us the time we need to interact with current and potential clients. The key is having the right agency management system that lets us interact more with clients – like Partner XE does.”
We are consistently working on enhancements to make sure your Partner XE agency management system enables you to give the highest level of service possible and appreciate our clients’ feedback. If you would like to get involved in one of the National Association of SIS Partner Agents (NASPA) work groups to provide the SIS team with user input and suggestions on on-going product enhancements please contact John Heinszat firstname.lastname@example.org or(636) 946-2266.
SIS Enhances Partner XE Support with the Debut of PartnerNet
New online resource to support Partner XE Agency Management System 24/7
Columbus OH, September 20, 2011 – SIS is pleased to announce the debut of PartnerNet – the official online resource for insurance agencies using the Partner XE agency management system.
According to Alex Deak, President and CEO of SIS, PartnerNet is one of many continuous improvements resulting from the company’s ongoing investment in their product and commitment to customer satisfaction.
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