Why Are Insurance Brokerages Embracing CRMs More Than Ever?
Central to the day to day workings of any Insurance brokerage is their Broker Management System (BMS). Some brokers have tried to push the limits of this platform beyond its core capabilities of policy management and accounting, to include sales and marketing functions. Most have met with limited success. Over the last few years, brokers have increasingly realized that the most effective way to manage their sales pipeline and growth opportunities is through a platform that was created for just this purpose – the CRM.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms are designed to help sales and marketing resources (including producers, CSRs and other customer facing roles) keep track of both leads and customers, track opportunities and measure success. As brokers navigate the increased complexity of the sales cycle, they are embracing CRM platforms and making them integral and central to their operations.
The CRM Value Proposition
While CRMs are relatively new to the Insurance industry, they have been a mainstay for other industries for many years. Most companies that introduce these platforms into their framework experience improvements in sales and productivity. HubSpot, one of the major players in the CRM space (along with others including Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Netsuite and Zoho) recently published some very compelling results realized with their customer base:
- Increased sales of 29%
- Improved sales team productivity of up to 34%
- An $8.71 return on investment for every dollar spent
- Reduced sales cycles by 8%-14%
(These stats were brought to you by Hubspot and represent results across multiple industries).
A Growing Need For Visibility
The insurance sector has typically been rooted in more traditional, non-digitized sales & marketing approaches. At Goose Digital, though, we’ve witnessed firsthand the benefits brokerages have realized by harnessing the power of their CRMs and adopting a more digital approach to sales and marketing.
One major challenge Insurance providers struggle with is visibility – of their leads (new business) and customer growth opportunities. They often struggle to understand the state of their opportunities as well as key metrics and values that are essential for business growth, including:
- The volume of leads
- Origins of a lead
- Where in the sales pipeline stage a lead sits
- Length of time it takes to close
- Who’s handling the leads
Many brokers are challenged with easily and accurately reporting on these metrics because staggered pieces of this information exist across multiple platforms and tools including their BMS, spreadsheets and even within their email.
Challenges From Not Having The Whole Picture
As the old saying goes, if you can’t measure, you can’t manage–nor can you improve.
Only having part of the sales picture accessible means your team may have difficulty making timely decisions and being able to report back with all the relevant information. Without those critical statistics and analytics, it’s impossible to fully understand these opportunities which can significantly impact business growth.
Unsurprisingly, this hampered reporting impacts the teams in the trenches. Reduced data impacts both the ability to act, and the information needed to know when and how to act. But this weak point doesn’t just affect the sales team. It also impacts senior leadership, who need up to date policy and sales data so they have accurate big-picture insights needed to grow the brand successfully.
Realizing the CRM Benefits
There are brokerages who have already realized the benefits of a CRM and are successfully managing their sales pipeline. As with other industries, they are now asking for more of these tools, with more specific and intensive demands.
One way these brokers are maximizing their value is through the integration of the CRM with a MAP (marketing automation platform) which allows for enhanced personalization, real-time triggers, and much more. Actioning the sales pipeline with a combination of CRM and MAP data maximizes the benefits for the sales team and makes the most out of the efforts put forward by the marketing team.
Marketing automation platforms and CRMs also go beyond the digital space. Traffic and engagement data from offline sources such as call centers, conferences, phone calls and even face to face meetings can – and should- all be integrated into your CRM. Used correctly, CRMs give you a single, holistic view of all these touchpoints making your lead and customer marketing more relevant, seamless and effective.
Getting on the CRM Journey
Competition in the broker space is fierce, and successful brokerages are those who have found ways to use technology to support their sales and marketing efforts. Those without will be playing guessing games and may be in the dark about their sales pipeline. This could significantly damage your bottom line, placing your brokerage well behind your competitors. Integrating a best of breed CRM into your brokerage’s technology stack will support your sales efforts and provide the visibility into growth and success that has become so essential for any successful business.
CRMs like Salesforce are growing more indispensable in the insurance space, but you need to use them strategically. Fortunately, we specialize in delivering successful CRM implementation strategies in the insurance sector. Find out more by contacting Goose Digital today.