The Key to Stepping into Insurance Sales Software

The Key to Stepping into Insurance Sales Software

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 insurance agency.

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 Insurance Leads

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.

Get the stats on customer retention and how it can benefit your agency

Update Your Sales Mindset

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.

Gain insights on how to build up your agency referrals on our blog

Update Your Sales Software

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.

See more on the software essentials for your agency here

Understand Your Options

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.

Discover how the Partner Platform team can equip your agency: get in touch to schedule a demo today.

The CRM for Insurance Agents: A Step-by-Step Guide

The CRM for Insurance Agents: A Step-by-Step Guide

More than 90% of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM to manage their business better. This includes insurance agencies – yet a targeted CRM for insurance agents can be hard to find and can be even harder to implement.

Independent insurance agents using the Partner Platform agency management system are looking for a CRM that fits their agency-specific needs. They’re looking for a CRM that:

  • Builds a meaningful pipeline and tracks it in a single system
  • Uses shared information to deliver meaningful coaching to producers
  • Better manages companies by providing insights into why “Company A” responded to a quote while “Company B” did not
  • Increases understanding of lead sources and win percentage

…all within the unique constructs of independent insurance agency operations. When confronted with this challenge, we suggest agencies take the following steps to bring the right CRM into their agency.

Tap into other agency software sales solutions in our latest blog post

1. Identify the right system

Independent agencies are unique in how they sell and manage new business.  Your CRM system should reflect how you do business and provide structure for greater efficiency and improved results.

 A quality CRM experience starts with a system that integrates with your agency management system. Once you have an integrated CRM, the next step is to ensure customizable workflows, dashboards, and reporting, along with high-quality training and support. With full system integration, customization, and continued support, your agency has a solid base for successful CRM usage.  

2. Audit and clean your data

Up to 30% of data stored in CRMs is considered “not useful” to the businesses that use it. That useless data usually stems from database neglect, with agencies declining to clean data before transferring it to their CRM. If you start with clean data, you’ve already saved dozens of hours of backtracking and deleting or editing incomplete or outdated information. Save yourself the headache and get ahead of data cleansing.

Learn more about the power of data and how to leverage it in your agency

3. Structure data to work for you

Think about how you want to use your CRM to align processes with sales activity. Do you want to look at producer progress? See how one industry responds to messaging versus another sector? Are you looking to identify lead sources and win percentages?

Your answers will determine your CRM structuring: naming conventions, critical data fields, and reporting, among other areas. Identify these structures at the onset to avoid confusion and eliminate backtracking to rename misallocated information or find lost data.

4. Identify prospect segments and test how best to reach them

Data segmentation and grouping is the hallmark of a CRM. Identify segments within your data and begin organizing. Segments include prospects in the same geographic location, businesses by industry, current versus lost customers, and a host of others.

Once you segment your data, you can determine and implement targeted outreach tactics for each group. The more segmentation you have, the easier it is to understand how different groups respond to tactics. Segmentation can also help you identify niche markets so you can pursue clients in those markets and communicate your value.

See what steps to take for successful insurance prospecting in your agency

Gain the Prospecting Tools and Training You Need with Partner Platform

Get the customization, integration, and training you need to get the most out of your CRM with Partner Platform.

Our integrated experience means all you need is a single data transfer to access our agency management system and Producer Results Manager CRM among other tools. This all-in-one system provides data and training consistency, ensuring your entire agency is connected within one solution, improving your selling process and results.  

Discover more about our sales and marketing solutions here. And, get in touch at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6 to connect with our team.

The Top 5 Must-Haves for Insurance Websites to Stay Competitive

The Top 5 Must-Haves for Insurance Websites to Stay Competitive

Research shows almost 70% of insurance consumers do an online search before making their purchase. That means 70% of your prospects are looking for you online. Are you one of the insurance websites that will keep them engaged?

With “insurance near me” online searches growing by over 100% in the last two years, you need to be one of the stand-out insurance agency websites to make an impression. To stay competitive, be sure your site includes:

1. Clear branding elements

Your agency website should clearly state: “This is us. This is what we do. This is what we value.” That means giving your agency name and logo prominence and using your branding (logos, colors, and text) throughout the site. Have your mission or value statement front and center and include photos of your community to show your personalized approach.

2. Succinct messaging and minimal text

There’s no doubt a lot you can say about your agency and why you’re the best choice in town, but your website isn’t the place for too much detail. Focus on getting across the services you offer, the value you bring, and how people can get in touch with you.

Despite the high volume of online searches, close to 80% of insurance consumers call an agency before closing the deal. You can fill in all the details and personal stories on the phone, but your website should get right to the point to get you connected.

Looking to upgrade your agency website experience? Discover what a blog can bring to your branding

3. Prominent call to action

To foster that connection, you need a consistent, prominent call to action throughout your site. This could be a “Contact Us” or “Get a Quote” button or another action-oriented callout. Prospects shouldn’t need to search to figure out how to get in touch – make it obvious.

4. Mobile access

More than half of online insurance searches take place via a mobile device. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile access, it can get scrambled when viewed on such devices, frustrating prospects and turning them away. Ensure your site can adapt so it looks its best no matter how someone finds it.

See what role data plays in your agency’s sales and marketing and what you need to track to grow your business

5. Connected Client Portal

As we have cited before, Microsoft found 90% of consumers worldwide expect organizations to offer a self-service portal. Insurance agencies are no exception. Besides providing an online self-service portal, you need to ensure your client portal integrates with your management system, CRM, and other customer data-driven software. The more your agency tools connect, the smoother your operations.

Get All Your Agency Website Must-Haves in One Place

If you’re looking for an experienced partner to help you craft an engaging, professional agency website, the Partner Platform team has you covered. We now offer custom, agency-branded sites to help agencies promote their brand and better serve their customers.

Find out more about our agency website offering here.

Let Us Help Your Agency Grow: The Top Insurance Prospecting Software from Partner Platform

Let Us Help Your Agency Grow: The Top Insurance Prospecting Software from Partner Platform

We work closely with all our independent insurance agency clients to determine and create the best agency management experience for their business. Over the years, we’ve tackled the highest needs of the time, ranging from accounting integration to cloud-based system security. Our Partner Platform agencies have made one need clear in the past few years: insurance prospecting software.

As small businesses, our Partner Platform agencies are working to keep up with the sales and marketing advances big insurance provides wield. Thanks to our hard-working, innovative team, we’ve been able to equip our agencies with the tools they need to promote client growth and retention, all within one system.

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Insurance Agency Software Sales Solutions: What to Look For in 2021

Insurance Agency Software Sales Solutions: What to Look For in 2021

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 priority.

How can your agency respond to these changes and apply your values in a new digital way?

Discover some of our best insurance agency marketing resources here

1. Upgrade digital interactions

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:

  • Insurance CRM
  • Marketing Automation
  • Text Messaging
  • Quoting
  • Proposals
  • eSignature

Upgraded digital customer experience software includes:

  • Client Portals
  • Agency Mobile App
  • Agency Website
  • VOIP

See what you need to become a digital insurance agent here

2. Integrate sales and marketing

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 spent.

Learn about the essential sales and marketing data points you need to capture

3. Improve digital customer experience

The move to digital requires new ways to support clients and a rethinking of the customer experience through the digital lens. Ask yourself:

  • How could our agency use technology such as a client portal, agency mobile app, and agency website in a way that enhances our unique relationship with our clients?
  • How do these tools offer our clients ways to conduct business seamlessly in the digital world?
  • Are we giving away that relationship by using generic versus company-branded tools?

Texting with clients has become a commonplace form of digital communication.

  • Do you support texting with your clients?
  • Can you easily document text conversations for E&O purposes?
  • Can you text clients automated policy renewal reminders?

Your quoting and onboarding process can be improved with digital tools as well.

  • How are you using digital proposals & eSignature to improve and streamline the quoting process?
  • Are you sharing proposals with the client in a secure client portal integrated into the agency website?

And you can improve your quality of service through digital systems.

  • How can you use your VOIP phone system with your agency management system to save CSRs time?
  • Do you provide CSRs with pop-up client information when they receive a call?
  • Can CSRs click to call within your agency management system?
  • Do you have easy recording and attaching phone conversations within your system?

These small improvements lead to an overall smoother and more fulfilling customer experience, leading to higher conversion and retention rates.

Read more about digital insurance consumers and what they expect from your agency

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.

Find out more about our offerings and request a demo to see how the Partner Platform system can bring your agency up to speed. Get in touch at 800.747.7005, Option 6, or sales@sisware.com.

Insurance Marketing Strategies: Starting a Blog

Insurance Marketing Strategies: Starting a Blog

Among the many insurance marketing strategies out there, blogging continues to be a popular and useful tool across the years. We consider blogging an effective method and have the facts to back it up: websites with blogs have over 400% more pages indexed in Google than those without a blog, and more than 60% of consumers made a purchase based on a blog post.

See why we ranked blogging among our top insurance marketing strategies to gain website traffic

Beyond the stats, blogging also provides benefits like:

  • Frequent new content, bumping you up in search results
  • A platform to show off your brand and values
  • More ways to directly connect with your community and build relationships
  • Additional sales content ready-made to deliver to prospects
  • Relatively low upfront and on-going costs, offering a potentially large ROI

So, how do you get started?

1. Start small and grow

As with any new process or strategy, start small with your blogging and scale as you go. Begin with one or two posts a month and slowly build as you get your footing. It takes time to establish your blog presence, but the wait is worth it. Focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity to start.

2. Designate a point person/people

Ideas may flow freely, but action can be sparse. Ensure you have a team or a team member heading up the blogging process. Ideally, you should have a few individuals devoting time to your blog to diversify ideas and spread-out responsibility. Still, there should be one point person dedicated to moving things forward.

3. Generate ideas

The first place to look for ideas is other blogs in the industry. Check out their topics and determine if any would resonate with your audience. Check-in with your larger agency team, too. Discover the common questions team members get from customers and ask what topics they think are relevant. No idea is a bad idea at the start – this is the time to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

4. Determine your keywords

To make your blog an effective marketing tool, you want to use relevant search words reasonably often in your posts. Your locality name plus “insurance,” or “insurance agency,” and other variations are an excellent place to start for most independent agencies. Another great combination is adding in your specialty for something, like “small business insurance Houston.” These key phrases have a lower competition since they focus on your local city or county, but they have a relatively high search volume.

Once you have a few phrases, you can discover more using tools like Google’s keyword planner to identify similar search phrases and rank your current terms by competition and search volume.

What’s your agency’s specialty? Discover how to determine and leverage your agency niche here

5. Make navigation easy

Before you start churning out posts, determine how you will categorize them. Take a look at your topic ideas and determine how you should group them (i.e., Auto insurance, Life insurance, Tips and Tricks, etc.). Organizing posts makes it easier for someone to continue diving into topics of interest, keeping them on your site longer, and increasing their engagement.

6. Spread the word

A blog without readers is like a tree falling in the woods – does it make an impact? The answer is no. Once you have a few posts up, begin sharing the news of your blog on your social media and via your regular newsletters. Add a “share” button on each post so readers can let others know about posts they enjoyed.

7. Make your website attractive to get your blog seen

No matter how great your blog content, if the site it’s hosted on is out-of-date or difficult to navigate, it won’t succeed. Ensure your agency has a professional, secure, and attractive landing place before implementing your blog strategy.

Partner Platform users can get a sleek, engaging custom website to promote their agency brand thanks to our Partner Connect agency website offerings. Find out more about how you can upgrade your agency’s website experience: contact us at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.