Before You Switch, Make Sure You’re Fully Using Your Current Technology

This post is part of a series sponsored by ITC (Insurance Technologies Corporation).

Productivity in your agency would improve if you had the right comparative rater. Client retention would be better if you had the perfect agency management system. More leads would come into your agency if you had the perfect insurance agency website.

Using the right technology in your agency is important. But, is switching systems always the answer?

Not necessarily. You should take a hard look at your current insurance agency software before giving up on it.

If your comparative rating system does more than rating, are you using it to its fullest potential? Are you using every feature available to you in your agency management system? Is your website designed and optimized to attract traffic and generate leads? Are you doing everything you can with your website to maximize what you get?

It is possible the insurance agency software you already have may be all you need. But, you might not know it if you’re not fully using the systems.

At ITC we talk with a lot of agents about their software needs. These are the most common features or capabilities we see agents not using in their systems.

Comparative Raters

Reporting

Your comparative rater needs to do more than rating. It needs to have reporting capabilities. The data in your rater is valuable and can tell you a lot about your agency and how you’re doing.

For example, the number of quotes your agency is doing by producer, location, line of business, company, and lead source. Reasons why your producers aren’t binding quotes. That quality of data entry and your closing ratio.

Make sure to check your reports every week. You will stay on top of what’s happening in your agency.

Lead Sources

If you’re not using the lead source field for every policy you quote, you need to be.

When your lead source data is inconsistent, you’ll never know which of your marketing efforts is working. Knowing where every lead comes from means you can focus you marketing budget on the tactics that work, which can mean more sales.

Make it a requirement for your producers to enter this field every time. And, hold them accountable to it.

Follow Up

It’s easy to forget to follow up on every quote when you have so many other things to do. Don’t let this happen.

Following up with every prospect can increase your close ratio. Even if it’s two follow ups for each quote.

Use follow up reminders so you don’t forget. If your comparative rater integrates with an agency marketing system, even better. You can set up automatic follow ups so you don’t have to remember.

Agency Management Systems

Reports

Just like with your comparative rater, there is valuable reporting in your agency management system. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. So don’t miss out on opportunities by not reviewing your reporting weekly. You’ll want to know how your producers are performing as well as your agency as a whole.

Especially look at cross sell reports. Remember, you have a better chance of closing a new policy with an existing client than trying to attract a prospect who is not familiar with you. Plus, the acquisition cost is considerably lower. The cross sell reports in your management system will help you find those opportunities to round out accounts.

Commission Reconciliation

Can your management system calculate the commissions carriers owe you? If you’re not using this feature, you need to be. You can reconcile the statement with what carriers are sweeping from your trust account. It will also help you verify if your producers are entering the correct amounts.

Mobile Access

Some agency management systems have mobile access as a premium feature. If you have mobile access, make sure your agency is using it. If you’re not, find out why. Maybe your producers need mobile access but forget they have the option. Maybe they don’t need it. (If they don’t and you’re paying extra for it, see if you can have it removed from your plan.)

Websites

Content

I see so many insurance agency websites with default content on their home page. Even worse? Some have an About Us page that is blank.

Why is it important to update the content of your website? One big reason is search engines. Search engines like to see websites with unique content. They’ll reward websites that have unique content with a higher position in search results. Especially if you update your content often.

Your clients and prospects are the other big reason. Default content that says nothing special about you or your agency does not impress prospects. And, clients won’t feel reassured that they made the right choice if your About Us page is blank so they know nothing about you.

Blogging

If you’ve optimized your website for search engines. If you’ve added quote forms or live quoting. If you’ve added unique content on all the main pages of your website, including lines of business pages. What’s the next thing you should do? Blog.

Blogging is one of the best things you can do for your website. Search engines like it because you’re adding fresh, unique content. Consumers like it because it has helpful information.

Sure, it’s hard work to blog. To be successful, it requires consistency and information people will find valuable. But, when done well and consistently, it’s worth it.

Marketing Automation

Most insurance agents don’t use marketing automation at all. But, marketing automation can be a powerful tool if you’re ready to step up your marketing game. Here’s how to know if you’re ready to start using marketing automation.

Before you switch your insurance agency software, look at what you’re currently using. Make sure you’re using everything you can in the systems you have. But, if you’re using fully using your current systems and they’re still leaving gaps, you know it’s time to switch.

About Becky Schroeder, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, ITC

Schroeder is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ITC, which provides websites, marketing, rating and management software and services to the insurance industry. You can follower her on Twitter at @beckylschroeder. To learn more about ITC, visit GetITC.com. More from Becky Schroeder, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, ITC

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