Improve Results at Your Agency by Managing Your Data

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

Do you know your close ratio or retention rate? And, I mean really know it. Not just an estimate. Do you know where each of your leads are coming from?

This is information every agency owner should know about their business. Why? Because having this data can inform your decisions in a way that can help you improve and grow.

Data is a game changer, but you have to track it.

Why Data is Important

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. This is why data is so important to your business.

There is data available to you right now. When you start to track and analyze it, it can have a positive impact on your agency. And, it doesn’t matter the size of your agency. Smaller agencies can learn just as much from their data as a larger agency.

When you track data, you know where you currently are and how you’re doing. This knowledge helps you better plan your goals and what steps you need to take to achieve them.

When you track data, you’ll be able to spot trends. And, if that trend is not going the way you want, you’ll be able to take steps to correct it before it becomes a bigger problem. If the trend is positive, you’ll know to keep going or try putting more resources into what you’re currently doing.

The more you know (about your customers, agency, what works), the more successful you’ll be.

What Data to Track

You can track data on your agency performance. Like closing ratios, retention and loss ratios. As well as revenue by line of business, carrier, location.

You can track data by producer performance. Like quality of data entered into your comparative rater. Or, quotes made vs bound. Or, number of calls made or taken.

You can track data on your customers. Like lead source, locations, emails, dates of birth, or current carrier.

Where to Collect Data

The good news is you already have the technology in your agency that can give you all this data and more. You just need to pull the reports and analyze your data.

Comparative Rater
Your comparative rating system can give you insights into your sales process. Like your closing ratio and how many quotes you did in a day, week or month.

Raters with extensive reporting can tell you the closing ratio by location, by carrier, by lead source. If fast service is important to you, look at how long it takes your producers to quote.

As an owner, you should also look at the quality of data entered on fields like email address and lead source. Because your reports are only as good as the data available. And, if your producers aren’t entering data correctly, your reports will be off.

Agency Management System
The data in your agency management system can tell you about the current state of your agency. It can also give you insights into your sales and service activities.

Pull a report on the new business you wrote last month. Then, compare it to the new business you wrote in the prior month and the same month last year.

Look at your cancellations and expiring policies. Don’t forget to monitor your agency fees and reconcile your commissions, if you’re not already.

Looking at the analytics data for your insurance agency website will tell you how your marketing is doing. Look at where your traffic is coming from. Is the marketing you’re doing driving the traffic you want?

Check how much time your visitors spend on your website. If it’s not very long, you might need to update your website design and/or content. Look at how many pages they went to. Do you have a page with a lot of bounces? Work on improving that page to encourage your visitors to stay on your website.

And, the ultimate website data point… conversions. How many visitors converted into leads?

Don’t Forget
When tracking data, there is one thing you must remember to do… Train your employees to collect data.

You may be able to set certain fields as required in your comparative rater or management system. (If your system allows it, I recommend that you do so.) But, making fields required only does so much.

If an employee chooses a lead source at random instead of actually asking the question, that data still doesn’t help you.

Explain to your staff why this data is so important. Help them understand how tracking data is going to help them and the agency.

Tell them what data you need, what questions to ask and where to put that data when they have it. Then, start looking at your reports regularly. Hold your staff accountable if they’re not entering data or entering bad data.

Know Your Data!

If you want to grow your agency, data will be a critical part of that plan. The best part is it’s already available to you in the systems you’re currently using.

Check out your comparative rater and agency management system. Pull those reports, and start analyzing them. Look at your Google Analytics.

Ask yourself questions about the data and what could be influencing what you see. Try making small changes to your marketing or sales process. Then, see if they change.

Educate and train your staff to help collect data. Their contribution is critical. You won’t get a clear picture with incomplete data.

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 More from Becky Schroeder, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, ITC

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