Insurance agents have their work cut out for them because the way consumers access their products and services has shifted. When you’re part of a trillion-dollar industry, it’s important to stay on top of trends to capture the market. Millennials make up a substantial part of the consumer market, and 70% of this group now has a life insurance product. This is a massive 48% jump from 2010, and much of it is because the recession of 2008 affected this group immensely. The need for protection is important, but this generation won’t allow agents to sell to them. How do you boost your productivity with a generation that doesn’t appreciate the traditional hard sell? The answer is customer relationship management software.
Understanding CRM and How It Fits in with the Sales Strategy
Establishing a relationship is a key factor in getting the millennial to decide on their insurance goal. A groundbreaking way to market to younger generations is to collaborate instead of focusing on closing the sale. The only way to achieve this is to know what the other party wants before they act. Knowing this will lead to knowing the client.
Loosely defined, CRM software takes customer information and processes it in a usable format for the end user. For insurance agents, the information they gather from their clients can reveal usable information, such as risk, wants, needs, goals, and more.
A typical example would be insurance agents who wish to deal with clients in their portfolio who don’t have funeral cover. Agents would be able to single out this information and adjust their sales strategy accordingly. They would be able to approach the client with not only the required information but also a solution.
Eight Ways CRM Boosts Productivity in Insurance Sales
While this current generation doesn’t like being sold to, the need for insurance products still exists. As millennials enter more senior positions at work, they can afford their own mortgages. Other large ticket finance items are also on the cards. A survey on the millennial’s response to various financial industry objectives revealed that the need for a CRM insurance system is strong.
Here are eight ways CRM can boost productivity in insurance to this tough crowd:
- CRM allows the insurance agent to build a relationship with the client – this is an important factor to consider as the survey shows that millennials are open to robo-advisors. A CRM system provides agents with the tools to keep in touch for the right reasons, not just selling.
- Once an insurance agent gets used to it, CRM saves time – The initial training on the system will take time but once this is done, time is one of biggest resources this tool will save. It minimizes the need to keep external notes or diary entries, integrates important facts and information, and stores vital data for future use. Agents will have all they need at their fingertips. Less time spent looking for information means more time available for insurance sales.
- CRM provides comprehensive support – The more advanced an insurance sales CRM system becomes, the more roles and functions it can perform. This means it requires fewer support staff members to produce the same output, with less work. An integrated system also provides simple access points for support staff members, which means less time spent on training. This leaves the insurance agent free to build relationships with their clients, knowing their support staff can handle the administrative tasks.
- Risk analysis and product recommendations can form part of the algorithm – This is an industry where the wrong advice could land a customer out of pocket and an insurance agent in hot water. In fact, according to the above survey, a large percentage of millennials second-guess investment opinions. This leaves the door wide open for robo-advisors once again. An Insurance CRM system designed for this industry will take factors in the decision-making tree into account when providing recommendations to the client. This brings the robo-advisor closer to the mark and the client more at ease with the outcome.
- Centralized information leads to proper handover – Whether the agent is in training, in meetings, or on vacation, clients want to have an open line of communication with the office. This includes the ability to resolve queries and complete requests. A centralized system allows the office staff to access the required information and resolve the matter quickly.
- CRM systems can integrate regular training updates – Some of the more advanced programs allow agents to access training material and updates. In the insurance industry, this is vital. Lack of training is one of the top 3 reasons insurance agents fail. Proper training provides insurance agents with the tools to do their jobs. It also increases their scope of products, which allows them to cross-sell.
- It identifies the market that appreciates advice – Although the millennial may have entered adulthood under a cloud of unscrupulous advisors, they do still find advice valuable. In fact, of all the current generations, this one lends the biggest support to the fees advisors charge. The information provided by a CRM system could allow advisors to target this market very successfully, knowing they form an integral part of this client’s financial planning strategy.
- A CRM system allows insurance agents to reach out via touch points – A boost in the ability for CRM systems to integrate with Artificial Intelligence (AI), allows agents to use prompts and tools to formulate the correct way of communicating with their clients. This harnesses customer information from various platforms and even includes social media. When the system combines the social needs of the client with their financial needs, it allows the agent to provide concise and relevant feedback—thus strengthening the relationship.
Why the Current Economic Climate Makes Insurance Sales Difficult
Barrier to Entry
In previous years, it was far simpler for insurance advisors to meet the mark. High school graduation was the highest requirement to sign up for the job. Due to much stricter industry standards, advisors now need to meet certain minimum education requirements. Ongoing training is also a prerequisite.
Tough Regulations and Strict Requirements
The regulators hold insurance agents accountable for their actions and this makes the quick sale harder. Although it makes the industry more reliable and sustainable, it also places a damper on bread-and-butter deals. Each application now requires a full analysis to close the sale.
Increased Paperwork and Time-Consuming Follow Up
There are several steps to take before underwriters accept an insurance policy. This process can take mountains of paperwork and tedious processes to resolve. This effort leaves the insurance agent tied up with administrative tasks instead of working on items that will make them more productive.
The Entire Industry Takes a Bad Rap For Bad Advice
Just the idea that the millennial generation will deal with robo-advisors should reveal a truth about the current insurance climate. Customers are no longer willing to lose their funds as a result of human error; they find dealing with machines simpler and more reliable.
Regulated and Unregulated Marketing Barriers
From millennials who don’t respond to advertising anymore to those whom the regulators protect against cold calling and marketing, door-to-door sales are no longer an option. Insurance agents will need to uncover ingenious ways to connect with their target market to close the deal.
Insurance CRM Brings It All Together
Despite the challenges insurance agents face, the proper integration of a CRM system will allow them to keep to an industry standard. It will also provide them with the means to contribute consistent and reliable advice. Customers can expect efficient servicing of their needs and a speedy resolution to their queries. In return, customers will know their insurance agent cares about them, not just about the sale.
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