It is tempting to blame what's not working on not having the right technology.
If you could just find the right comparative rater, productivity would improve. If you had the perfect agency management system, you'd retain more clients. If you had the right insurance website design, you'd have more leads.
Are you using the right technology for your agency? Before you kick your current software to the curb, take a hard look at your current software.
Are you using your current insurance rating system to its fullest potential? Are you taking advantage of everything available to you in your agency management system? Are you doing everything with your insurance agency website you can to attract traffic?
The insurance agency software you're already using may fill your needs. You just might not know it if you're not fully using what you already have.
We have many conversations with agents about their insurance agency software. Here are the most common technology features or capabilities we see agents not using.
Agency Management Systems
Is your management system calculating the commissions carriers owe you for every policy you write? You can reconcile the statement with what carriers are sweeping from your trust account. Plus, it'll help you determine whether your producers are entering the correct amounts.
Some agency management systems offer mobile access as a premium feature. If you're paying for it, make sure your producers are using it. If they're not, find out why. Maybe they need it but forget about that option. Maybe they don't. Either way, you need to find out.
Are you reviewing your agency's performance? What about producer performance? If you're not looking at your reporting weekly, you're missing an opportunity. Because you can't improve what you don't measure.
Do you look for opportunities to round out accounts? Cross-sell reports are critical for this task. They help you identify sales opportunities with people who only have one policy with you. Remember, you have a greater chance of closing these sales than trying to attract a prospect who is not familiar with you.
Like with agency management systems, there should be reporting capabilities in your rater. Find out the number of quotes your agency is doing by producer, location, line of business, company, and lead source. Plus, so much more. Checking your reports weekly keeps you on top of what's happening in your agency.
There is a field in your rater for lead source for every policy you quote. Use it.
When you are inconsistent with this data, you can't know for sure which marketing is working. Consistency in your lead sources is critical to your marketing which can mean more sales. Hold your producers accountable to filling in this field 100 percent of the time.
It's easy to let following up on every quote slip when there are so many other things to do. Don't.
You'll find that following up with every prospect can improve your close ratio. Even if it's just twice for each quote.
Create follow up reminders on every quote so you don't forget. Even better if your comparative rater integrates with an agency marketing system. An agency marketing system can do automatic follow up on every quote you make.
So many insurance agency websites I look at have default content on the home page. Some even have a blank About Us page.
Why should you update your website content? Well, search engines for one. They reward websites with unique content. Especially you update it often.
The other big reason? Your clients and prospects.
Would canned content that says nothing about what makes your agency special impress prospects? I promise it won't.
Will clients feel reassured that your agency is the best choice if they can't learn about you on your About Us page? Probably not.
Blogging is the best thing you can do for your website. Search engines like it. If your blog has helpful information, consumers like it.
It is hard work to blog. You need to be consistent and provide good information people will find valuable. But, when you do it right and you do it consistently, it's worth it.
Most agents aren't using marketing automation at all. Here's how you know if you're ready to start.
Before you make a switch in insurance agency software, look at what you're currently using. Make sure you're using everything you can in the system you're already paying for.
The Modern Agency is a monthly blog series in which we discuss various topics related to the success and growth of independent insurance agencies in the modern market.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder