Insurance Distribution: How Insurance Technology Motivates
Independent agents are an invaluable part of the insurance sales model. While national carriers can and do market directly to the public, customers view agents as trusted advisors in a complex landscape. They’re right to do so. Armed with significant industry and local knowledge, offering multiple products from multiple carriers, agents have the vantage point to help individuals find the policy that really fits.
How to keep your agents productive?
Independent agents have a personal incentive to be productive: their income relies on it. The insurer, too, has an incentive to support their productivity. In fact, you could say it’s one of the most important check marks on your to-do list: these players in the sale process can be a powerhouse for your growth.
Try to force the issue, however, and it’s sure to fail. Independent agents are exactly that: independent. “You can’t make a 1099 do anything,” said Darren Sugiyama at Voluntary Benefits Magazine. “However you can inspire a 1099 to do a lot.”
So, how can you inspire your long-standing independent agents to proactively market your products and services?
The answer has a lot to do with new tech
Last year, Property Casualty 360 said that big data was one of the forces that are currently transforming the independent agency. “In 2015, the accessibility to basic data analytical tools provided by vendors will increase dramatically among smaller independent agencies as a result of expansion and refinement of reporting capabilities,” said Contributor Bruce Winterburn. “Today, analytics technologies can be integrated within core agency management systems, which help agencies of all sizes easily unlock and leverage the powerful information already hiding within their systems.”
This year, IA Magazine confirmed the prediction. Data analytic capabilities “have significantly changed how insurance carriers make underwriting, servicing and marketing decisions and create major opportunities for independent agencies to enhance their prospecting, marketing, sales, servicing and management processes,” said IA Mag Contributor Ron Berg, executive director of the Agents Council for Technology.
How to drive agency sales with tech
According to Jenny Vance, president of the B2B sales lead generation company LeadJen, the number-one way to improve the effectiveness of your reps is to provide them with better data. Her advice:
- Invest in a quality data source
- Structure data strategically
- Implement a call cadence (a predictable, efficient way to refine the pattern of customer interaction you engage in)
Investing in technology is nothing if not crucial. A strong core system not only supports your goals; it makes your agents’ lives easier, which in turn helps you motivate – as well as retain – the producers who fuel your growth. “Rather than further widening the gap between large and small agencies, all agents can reap the benefits of properly applied technology – often even helping to level the playing field,” Winterburn said.
At Silvervine, using tech to make life easier for carriers, brokers and policyholders is our business. Talk to us about what we can do to improve yours. Download our “Losing Your Legacy” report to learn more.