Many insurance agents still use unstructured, untrackable, and inefficient methods when it comes to prospecting and closing deals.
According to Insly, 60% of insurance agents and brokers still use Excel to track their sales. A program that doesn’t allow them to accurately monitor renewals, or easily track delayed sales opportunities, among other limitations. Most significantly, spreadsheets are notoriously unreliable — with up to 88% of all spreadsheets containing errors.
Operating with technology from the 1990s, these agents and brokers continuously drop the ball when it comes to recording deal flow. They don’t know where a prospect is in the sales process. And, they have an oversimplified sales “funnel”, consisting of people who have been called, people who didn’t buy, and people who bought. They are not keeping up with changes in today's insurance industry.
What about prospects who won’t buy now, but may buy later? The insurance sales process is often very complex and being able to effectively visualize it as a whole can give you insights as to what’s happening, how it’s happening, and why.
Explained below are the top benefits of being able to visualize your insurance sales process.
Easy to Manage and Track a High Volume of Deal Activities
Many insurance agencies engage in high volume deal activities. For example, let’s say your agency sells corporate life insurance. You want to keep tabs on the individuals in the organization who may qualify for this type of coverage as well as how much insurance coverage they already have. In addition to tracking this information, you want to know exactly where they are in the buying process at all times.
This is important because corporate insurance, or key man insurance for that matter, tend to be very substantial deals. At the same time, they’re also slow-moving deals that require weeks, sometimes months, of planning, negotiating, and underwriting.
If you’re working on 10 different deals at the same time (each at different stages within the sales process), it’s easy to mis-manage or slip up on parts of the process. In the insurance business, a slight mismanagement can quickly turn into a missed sale. Corporations won’t hand over thousands of dollars in premium to an agency who can’t properly manage their policies. A visualized representation of the sales process along with simple-to-understand follow up prompts, almost guarantees you won’t miss a deal due to poor management.
Even if you’re currently managing all your accounts without letting anything fall between the cracks, a visualized representation of your pipeline can alleviate the management burden considerably — saving time and mental energy.
Intelligent management platforms enable you to attach documents directly to the case file or send them to other departments with the click of a button, as soon as you enter a prospect into the system.
If it’s an existing customer, you can pull data in from multiple source files, including the client’s previous applications. The best systems also integrate with external applications, meaning you can use your existing email client. Relevant information will be automatically overlaid onto the user interface (in much the same way that a Chrome extension works) and the two systems will run data synchronization in the background — without anything required of you and without any learning curve.
A visual sales process can also boost agent performance because it allows agents to easily identify where they can focus their efforts and have the largest impact. Some management platforms can even show you where a prospect is in the application and underwriting process. You can “drag and drop” clients into folders or set them into a sales cycle to track their movement through the process. These visual “storyboards” allow you to get a 360 degree view of your insurance agency.
With an intelligent management platform you can see a visual-based representation of your workflow, including activity scheduling and time or condition triggered task reminders and suggestions. New prospects are easy to add and existing client information is just as easy to modify.
As agents complete cold calls to prospects or clients or get insurance applications signed, they are able to click and drag the insurance proposal through the various stages of the sales cycle — from prospecting to field underwriting to prequalification to formal underwriting to policy issue, and so on.
If you’re a manager tasked with monitoring the health of the sales pipeline, or the executive responsible for determining new business targets, or setting total revenue projections, that type of visual data representation is invaluable for making quick sense of hundreds or thousands of moving parts.
Improve Your Insurance Sales Process By Quickly Seeing Action Items
Instead of guessing what you need to do next, or relying on post-it notes and instinct, a more structured, pro-active and intelligent approach is in order. A digital management platform that helps you visualize your insurance sales process lets you see all action items that still need to be undertaken, items that have already been done, BI recommended actions, and items that have no status or are waiting to be assigned an action.
For example, if you’re selling business liability insurance, you can check the underwriting status of a prospect’s application and policy just by looking at a task list. Recommended action items, like emailing clients about the current status of their application, or required items, like contacting underwriting about relevant client details, can be managed with a few clicks (and scrolls).
Items that need to be acted on immediately are prioritized and highlighted in one color (typically red), while less pressing action items will be appear in a different color (say yellow, for instance). Past actions can be made transparent and collapsable, reappearing upon hover, while future items may be greyed out. It’s totally customizable to suit your needs and your visual processing preferences.
Items that need your attention, but that aren’t urgent can be placed lower down on the list of priorities and items which don’t yet have associated actions may trigger a warning for you to better define the protocol. This sort of arrangement ensures that you move from task to task quickly and in an intelligent manner. Instead of taking time to consider what your next move should be and with which account, the system manages your priorities and optimizes your workflow — telling you what your next move should be, based on all the moving pieces and how they’ll best fall into place within the bigger picture.
If you want to zoom out from your task lineup and take stock of the bigger picture yourself, there’s a wide array of dashboards that you can choose from and custom configure. Task completion meters can help you know:
- Where you stand in your workflows
- How you’re performing relative to your personal goals
- Where you stack up on the leaderboard
- How the whole team is performing
- How full the sales funnel is at each stage
In addition, profitability and performance reports let managers see how agents are spending their time and how productive they are being — visible in individual measurements, comparative measurements, longitudinal measurements, and aggregate measurements.
The result: your agency stays firmly on top of its sales process, has more insight into it, closes more policies, and let’s no prospects or clients ever fall through the cracks.
Optimize Your Insurance Sales Process With Back Office Data
Having proper access to back office data is integral for the insurance sales process. Normally, this data is locked away in client applications, fact finders, and other paperwork. However, by upgrading or replacing legacy systems you can take advantage of this valuable data to boost sales and find cross-selling opportunities.
With a fully-integrated digital management platform, you get a 360 degree view of the agency — you can see data from both the front and back office and actually use it in the sales process. These systems also use advanced analytics to predict what policies a prospect might need and identify instances of undercoverage, so you can act swiftly instead of missing sales.
For example, suppose a prospect recently purchased business interruption insurance. Before delivering the policy, you notice that this client also has liability coverage but the limits seem rather low given the type of business she’s in. Your onboard analytics suggests that perhaps this business would also benefit from an umbrella policy to extend coverage and fill in gaps not covered by existing policies.
As a result, you make two sales instead of one and you’re seen as a helpful advisor instead of a pesky insurance salesperson.
Digital management platforms have the ability to help clarify and bring to light a visual representation of the insurance sales process. They represent a major leap forward for insurance sales, taking your agency out of the “dark ages” and allowing you to properly manage your clients.
With a clear overview of where your clients are in the sales process, automatically generated action items, and complete access to all back-office data, you’ll gain the insight that’s necessary to optimally manage your insurance agency. Not only will you look more professional and forward-thinking, you’ll dramatically improve your sales process and efficiency.