The year 2020 was one like no other: it provided
individuals and businesses worldwide with some interesting and rarely seen
challenges. Innovation, flexibility, and adaptation were required in increasing
measure to reduce risk and make the most of the opportunities that came our
For the Partner Platform team at Strategic Insurance Software, the foundational service principles we practice every day were exercised in new ways and to new heights, helping us turn the many challenges of 2020 into some amazing successes. The growth and achievements of the team are truly remarkable.
In this unpredictable and challenging year, our
team worked with the Partner Platform Community to improve the Partner Platform
experience and achieved significant accomplishments including adding and
enhancing features such as:
Through it all, we as a team welcomed a dozen new
team members, celebrated births and marriages from afar, and supported each
other and our Partner Platform agencies through each new test and transition
2020 brought us.
We are thankful for our Partner Platform Community,
who expressed encouragement and appreciation as we worked through the
challenges of 2020 together. Countless positive emails and conversations on
service team experience and product enhancements make us all exceedingly proud
of our team’s commitment, effort, and accomplishments in serving the Partner
We look forward to building on these successes and assisting our clients in growing and flourishing in the years ahead.
Last year, we began planning our 2020 Partner Platform National Learning Event. While we expected it to be different from our 2019 event, we never anticipated the COVID-19 global pandemic challenges. Yet, our innovative and adept team and SIS partners readily came together to form our first Virtual National Learning Event.
On October 15th and 16th, we
welcomed over 750 registered guests for two days of learning. Guest speakers
and our dedicated staff lent their expertise, and well over 3,000 views poured
in as attendees participated in an average of five sessions each.
Over the two days of the event, the Partner
Platform community encountered great insights from all who came, delving into
engaging questions and continuing to sharpen the Partner Platform tools and experience.
After a Partner Platform 2020.4 overview from Director of
Product Management Bryce Lee, the event turned to simultaneous
presentations on one of three learning paths: agency growth and retention,
valuation, and Partner Platform best practices.
Guest speakers included:
Chris Ryan, Partner at Donovan, Sullivan & Ryan, speaking on agency valuation
Immediately following the event, our team was
flooded with feedback – a hallmark of the Partner Platform community. Some of
the responses included:
I really enjoyed the webinars. I felt like I learned something in each one I attended. As always, I am very impressed with Partner and your team. Good job!!
seminar these past two days! Thank you for all of the great information and
updates. It was nice putting faces to names. It was also nice because we felt
heard. A lot of things we had inquired about and proposed were being addressed.
So, thank you and the Partner team for that.
wanted to thank Partner for the past two days of webinars. I learned so
much. It’s nice to know your company is
always moving forward with technology.
So user-friendly, so glad we become customers!
you!! We started using SIS at least eight years ago at my agency and have
always appreciated your customer service and willingness to listen to our needs
as an agency. You have come so far since the early days, and love all the
innovation and improvements.
Thank you to all who attended, provided feedback,
and contributed to our commitment to always innovate and grow.
If you have additional thoughts or feedback,
please get in touch at email@example.com.
And, if you missed sessions or want to revisit any of the workshops, all
Partner Platform users can access the recorded sessions on PartnerNet here.
Thank you again, and we look forward to seeing
everyone again next year!
Community, learning, and innovation are core
principles for the Partner Platform team. 2020 has provided many challenges and
opportunities for our team to exhibit these principles. We’ve worked together
to face the obstacles of social distancing and system interruptions, and innovated
with more virtual learning events,
enhanced webinars, and online learning to keep our community connected and
Industries worldwide have a lot to learn from the
unprecedented global pandemic that first hit the U.S. in early Spring 2020. The
virus’s impact will be widespread, and the insurance industry has been hit just
as hard as any other market.
Below are a few findings that speak to what we
know about the state of the digital insurance market almost six months into the
pandemic hitting U.S. shores.
Business owners know gathering information is only
the first step. Once you see the problem, what do you do about it? We suggest
insurance agencies consider the following.
Get on the cloud. A rise in work from home means you need secure, anywhere access to your agency systems. When your data and systems are on the cloud, employees can access them wherever there is an internet connection.
Provide mobile access. Both employees and clients need mobile access to your management system and agency website. State regulations are changing daily, and you must keep clients and employees alike informed. Mobile access means they can get the daily information they need instantly.
Diversify your markets. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to widen your service sphere. One thing the pandemic taught us is life is unpredictable. You need to have multiple market sectors to keep a steady income flow. Agencies servicing primarily travel or other hard-hit industries are feeling the pain. Don’t let your agency experience the same.
Leverage Artificial Intelligence. With more questions coming in due to the uncertainty of the pandemic’s impact, you’ll need more help prioritizing and addressing them. A.I. can provide answers to commonly asked questions, quickly decide who in your office should take a call, and provide an immediate response so the client or prospect feels heard.
Invest in paperless processing. When agencies moved to work at home, printing, and mailing, or even scanning and faxing, forms became near impossible. Those that invested in paperless were set-up to continue business as usual.
Bulk up cybersecurity. As more employees access systems at home, you need to increase your cybersecurity protection. Redundant back-ups, multi-character encrypted passwords, and regular staff training are all essential factors to keep your agency safe.
The Partner Platform team has worked to prep client
agencies and partners for the unexpected since the beginning. We strive to
equip Partner agencies with the best tools and systems to stay ready for any
change and provide
the community and service
they need to weather any storm.
Our Partner Platform agencies, like so many others across
the world, have been forced to embrace agency-wide remote work, sometimes with
days’ or hours’ notice. As we adjust to this surprise shift, we turned to our
trusted partners for help. See below for two guest webinars from Strategic
Insurance Software partners Brad
Reuben of Archway Computer and Mary Belka of Eisenhart Consulting.
It’s hard to believe a new decade is here, and it’s a
special one for us here at Partner Platform. We recently celebrated our 10th
anniversary and are looking forward to the decade to come. As an agency-focused
provider, we’re dedicated to giving our Partner Platform agencies the support
We’ve heard from our agencies and are now focusing on
providing smaller updates more frequently throughout the year to help them stay
up-to-date and on track to provide their customers with the best service and
experience possible. This change in update schedule will:
Make it easier for agencies to digest new
features and get staff up-to-speed
Provide targeted webinars, spending more time on
Allow for longer quality testing periods on each
Our big deal for the new year is the Agency
App release. This much-anticipated feature will go live in the first
quarter of 2020, adding to our already robust personalized digital offerings.
The Agency App brings Partner Platform agencies to the forefront in the industry,
propelling them to compete one-on-one with direct writers.
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.
With so many options and diverse needs, it can be challenging to determine how to choose the best agency management system for your agency. Are you looking for ease of use? Quality training? Integrated systems? Robust marketing? Is it possible to find a system that meets all your varying agency needs?
Chances are, there is a right system out there for your agency – if you know how to look for it. Narrow your options by starting with the base “must-haves” for any management system.
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.