From being a support function that just took care of the database, technology has grown in stature as an enabler for all critical operations for the insurance industry. Important functions like marketing, customer support and claims settlement rely heavily on technology not only for efficiency but also to build a competitive edge.
Insurers are increasingly using technology to help brokers serve more customers, perform better and grow faster. Insurance agents are seeing a substantial improvement in everything, from lead prioritization to post-sales service, thanks to the sales acceleration platforms insurers are using to help brokers grow.
Why insurance companies are leveraging sales acceleration platform for broker engagement
Insurance companies have seen the tremendous benefits of building digital capabilities, so they naturally want their brokers to enjoy the benefits too.
Here are 7 reasons why insurance companies are pushing technology by adopting insurance CRM and empowering brokers to get more done:
1. Increased sales productivity: Insights that analytics generate enable brokers to focus on leads that contribute to growth and a bigger broker wallet share.
2. Intelligent decision making: Predictive analysis, based on historical data, ensures brokers make better, more proactive decisions in everything they do.
3. Better time-management: Intelligent solutions nudge brokers to do the right thing at the right moment. This saves time and helps them prioritize actions better.
4. Substantial reduction in manual work: Tech allows brokers to automate a lot of tasks, and yet give a human face to technology while dealing with clients.
5. Wider product range: Automation and better data gives brokers more time to develop skills and capabilities for a wider product range.
6. Improved customer experience: By automating many tasks, brokers can focus on serving customers and delighting them.
7. Stronger coordination: Insurers have already digitized a lot of their inner processes. Brokers, by going digital too, can coordinate better with companies.
How insurers are leveraging tech for their brokers
There are still a handful of insurance companies that haven’t yet got rid of legacy systems and adopt modern insuretech solutions. These insurers risk a substantial drop in profitability, market share and time to market, for themselves as well as for their brokers.
On the other hand, insurers who have made the shift and invested in modern platforms for themselves and for their brokers are seeing a clear growth story. Their book is growing, their brokers are converting better and their customers are getting better service.
Here are the 6 ways how insurance companies are leveraging technological capabilities for brokers (and getting results):
1. Ensuring mobile-first technology
With virtually everyone having a smartphone, it only makes sense that insurance brokers get to do everything with their phones. And it’s not just about checking and sending emails, it’s about pivoting the entire insurance selling function around the device.
Insurance companies are investing in mobile-first insurance CRMs that don’t require brokers to, for example, manually feed data or reminders. These smart solutions capture data automatically, grasp the summary of the meeting with prospective clients, and do everything you’d expect a sales accelerator tool to do.
These tools house the customer engagement data and can even send follow-up emails at the right time. They help optimize the broker’s daily activities – that software sitting inside the mobile tracks meetings and suggests alternative actions if a meeting is delayed or cancelled.
2. Suggesting contextual actions
New-age technology solutions are great at not just faster number crunching but also about timely suggestions.
These solutions can provide contextual guidance using a wide variety of information. For example, these tools know the geography where the broker operates and understand the kind of products that are most suitable for that region. These tools know the profile, past achievements and previous performance of the broker.
Based on that, they do two things. One, they recommend low-hanging fruits and targets that the particular broker can achieve with relative ease. Two, they push the broker towards achieving slightly more difficult targets or pursue products they haven’t sold earlier. That way, the tool walks the tightrope of performance and motivation, and contributes to a bigger broker wallet share.
3. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence
As mentioned earlier, the technology that insurers use for their brokers includes one that helps in efficient calendaring. But smart scheduling of meetings isn’t all – there’s more that these tools do.
That’s because these tools use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). That lets the tool to keep learning and improving their own functioning. To begin with, the tool spots opportunities that aren’t yet capitalized and nudges the broker to explore them. It will do the heavy lifting in terms of processing data to suggest products that match both the broker profile and the kind of customers they normally engage with.
Data has always been used and processed by businesses to grow, but AI brings a unique capability that wasn’t possible till recently. Earlier, the data available was impersonalized, and hence the insights drawn too were generalized. Today, the AI that powers your new-generation insurance CRM can dissect individual interactions and find out what’s the next best action for that particular interaction. Thanks to the technology insurers are bringing to agents, AI and ML can help brokers prioritise tasks for more efficient outcomes, leading to wholesaler productivity and efficiencies that were earlier not possible.
4. Bringing automation to processes
At one end of the spectrum, customers are demanding more flexibility because they’re already exposed to the power of technology during their interactions with big tech companies like Google or Amazon.
At the other end of the spectrum are brokers who spend lots of time on documentation and paperwork. It’s getting increasingly difficult for them to carve out time to please customers, chase new business or sell different products.
Insurers know this well. Which is why they are adopting digital solutions for their brokers that will take care of most of the follow-ups and communications. They prefer the modern CRM for insurers that is intelligent and social-media savvy. It knows stuff like what kind of information should be shared in the early stages or how to engage prospects over social media.
It is capable of sharing the right documents at the right time and it makes sure the prospect moves smoothly along the sales funnel.
5. Building a sales acceleration platform as the single source of truth
Insurance companies are sitting atop mountains of data, accumulated through millions of business transactions over decades. And more data keeps flowing in, as data ingestion tools turn more sophisticated.
By deploying technology for better data-driven decisions for brokers, insurance companies are channeling their data towards frontiers where actual conversion takes place. Moving away from the traditional siloed approach, insurance companies are using insuretech in order to cement all their data together and build smart insights for brokers. These insights are not just extrapolations but are validated through multiple methods.
It improves efficiency of the wholesaler distribution function. Brokers get access to just the right amount of data and interpretations they need to woo customers, help assess risks and choose the right insurance cover. The centralized database, or the single source of truth, also extracts data from transactions and uses it continuously to improve its own algorithms.
6. Shaping personalized offers
While this technology isn’t perfected yet, we are already seeing the beginning. Take the case of an individual who’s planning to renew their health insurance. Historically, insurance premiums were the same for people in the same age group, irrespective of their physical condition. Some provisions were made for pre-existing medical conditions, but there was little beyond that.
With the help of analytics and wearable technology, insurance brokers will be able to offer highly personalized insurance plans. As a result, someone who takes great care of their health, exercises regularly, and eats right will enjoy better insurance terms versus someone who is careless about their health.
Learning about an individual’s behaviour on a regular basis, of course, poses multiple challenges, not the least of which is privacy. All said and done, personalized offers are fast emerging, thanks to the latest technology we’re seeing on the horizon.
The growth in massive computing power that’s both affordable and reliable has let organizations build competitive advantages by ingesting, storing, processing, sharing, and leveraging data. Insurance companies that have extended digital transformation to include their brokers see better growth and coordination.
Despite a number of people buying insurance without the help of an intermediary, insurance companies understand that brokers will remain a major channel through which to win customers and generate revenue. Ensuring better broker engagement to help them grow, therefore, is only natural for insurance companies, because by investing in technology for brokers, they are investing in their own growth.
For insurance companies that have not yet fully leveraged technology for their brokers, it’s important they begin exploring by speaking to experts and learning which modern tools will best fit their digital strategy. And the earlier the insurance companies do it, the better. That’s because using technology for insurance brokers is a question of how soon and not whether.