Within the Insurance sector, there is always a form of anxiety that builds up between agents and insurance carriers. Insurance carriers view agents as maverick service providers that are difficult to control and pass on increased costs and commission rates. Agents, by discordance, view insurance carriers as large, successful businesses with a number of employees, cutting-edge technologies, financial resources and the owner of 85% of the revenue they acquire.
Due to the variable differences between how an insurance carrier works versus that of an agent, the role of a CRM system has become vital for agencies as they have evolved into their own customer engagement models. While this may seem as a great approach, the challenge for many agencies is that they are small and have limited resources.
What needs to be understood is that the business requirements for an insurance carrier with agents deviate greatly from a property and casualty insurance policy that retails its products through the independent agency system. Although there are equivalents between an agency and one that uses independent advisors, brokers, or agents, the all-in-one solution isn’t going to work. Based on how CRM solutions have evolved over the past few years, it has become easy to see why people think that since CRMs perform contact management or sales management, it would be the ideal choice for any insurance company. In fact, if we take a look at various statistics and reports on vendors for CRM solutions, we can see that these solutions have become the “all-rounder” of technology. With the perception that a particular CRM solution will meet requirements for a plethora of use cases, this opinion is an important stumbling block for all insurance companies to be aware of.
It does not take long for insurance carriers to realize that their agents and brokers are ahead in the game integrating and using CRM technologies. As slow as carriers may be to adopt CRM technologies, they have nonetheless implemented it in many ways. The problems with these CRM systems tend to be directly or remotely related to the following:
- Insurance products have become commoditized and customers tend to get influenced by multiple channels to make their decision. Additionally, advertising efforts are being spent by comparison portals and aggregators.
- Companies continue to face stiff revenue targets spread across too many stakeholders. These stakeholders struggle to deal with too many processes, systems and locations where they reach out to their target audiences.
- The challenge herein is to be able to effectively collaborate with a network of agents and other stakeholders so that they get a better view of sales funnels, processes, cycle times and mitigation of revenue leaks.
- Other questions include; How to communicate the intermittent regulation changes?, How to influence corporate buying decisions?, How to guarantee optimal service quality? and How to handle a complete portfolio of policy holdings, risk profiles, claims, premiums and other features of the insurance agency?
Expectations from the Industry
The goal any insurance business is to increase the profitability of teams, field-sales representatives and partners. It has become increasingly important to study the background, benefits offered, solutions required and challenges faced by these agencies in their daily business operations. It has, therefore, become vital to:
- Increase sales and renewals of insurance products by connecting digital, call center, sales processes & teams.
- Increase the engagement rate from bankassurance channels with end-to-end monitoring of branches & relationship managers.
- Increase sales velocity of agency partners with mobile productivity tools and tracking their on-the-ground performance.
- Increase productivity of all feet-on-street teams with mobile applications and on-the-ground tracking.
- Increase efficiency and effectiveness of customer centers by routing the right inquiries.
- Build better lead quality indexes by automatic distribution and qualification that verify documents for agents.
- Avoid missing or rerouting any policy inquiry.
- Instant up-sell or cross-sell opportunities for multiple policies.
- Automate application processing & connect all teams in the agency.
- Timely and personalized communication for customers and agents relating to renewals and important notifications.
- Complete performance reports for teams, products, regions and relationship managers.
Approach for Insurance Companies
The goal is to understand that there are different processes that work for different customer segments. Is the CRM solution able to address this? While there may be a diversification of multiple segments in the industry, it is also important that the CRM provides a sense of a “One Vision” policy across the board. Explainer videos, training sessions, and webinars should focus on the following components as the sales strategy of the CRM:
- The system builds different processes for different customer segments.
- The system eliminates multiple channels for reporting and instead focuses on data reconciliation.
- Provides real-time insights for actions and offers intelligent dashboards for reporting.
- Identifies and increases the FTR and TAT for customer servicing needs.
- Reduce the cost of existing multiple systems by a considerable margin.
- Increase the capability of customer retention.
- Offer advanced integration capabilities with better-streamlined processes.
- Implement standard integration practices and consolidate data segments across various teams.
- Build actionable data for underwriting claims, policy management, etc.
- Consolidate partner and customer profiles for agents and third-party stakeholders.
- Manage referrals, policy issuances, and the team’s campaign strategy.
- Segregate sales processes for corporate, government, retail and wholesale teams.
- Develop flexible listings for multiple products and services.
- Integrate uninsured leads and build a means to sell to them by knowledge-sharing.
- Tier 1 and Tier 2 City Integration
- Position insurance offerings strategically to relevant groups of customers.
- Build segmentation that archives customer behavior to assist in the planning and prioritization of action items.
- Create greater operational efficiency and quick response times to customer queries which in turn increases CSAT scores.
- Offer a tech infrastructure worth petabytes of capacity and be able to automatically maintain multiple copies of archived data.
- Help businesses build a scalable work-flow that works with the long-term goal of the insurance company.