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Category: Digital · 6 min read

The Technology that can Change How you do Business

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on January 3, 2019

author profile photo

on January 3, 2019

Someone presenting to a table full of professionals

Change comes for us whether we want it to or not. So, as business leaders, our choice isn’t whether or not to change, but when and how we adapt to changes. One key way to adapt is through new technology. Embracing new technology can help you grow and benefit from the increased efficiencies that it provides. 

A recent survey highlighted in InsuranceNewsNet Magazine revealed how important certain technologies were to financial professionals.1 Here’s how financial professionals ranked them: 

  1. A portal for online quoting, illustration systems 
  2. An agency management system 
  3. A portal for information on customers, book of business, etc. 
  4. Comparative quote rater 
  5. CRM 
  6. Mobile tools provided by insurers 
  7. Other 

When was the last time you updated your business’s technology? Was it one of the seven things above? Have you looked at what’s out there that could improve your business? Do you know what it’s costing you by not staying current? 

To help you identify some higher-level uses of financial technology, here are several ways new innovations could change and improve your practice.  

 

Full Integration 

What is full integration? Think of it as your technology collaborating. Just like you collaborate with co-workers and clients on a day-to-day basis, integrated technology and systems can work together to keep your data and information synced. This means they’re constantly “talking” to each other (digitally) to keep your information updated between systems. In other words it’s your data, your accounting system, and your back-office systems all working together.  

Here’s a good example: Say you need to update a client’s contact information (new address or phone number). In order to update it, you have to access multiple systems, like your CRM, your client files, your email platform, and the carrier’s website, and type in the new information more than once. With a fully-integrated system, you should only have to type it in once, and it updates in all of your systems.  

This may not be possible for you if you haven’t invested in these systems, but it’s something that you can work towards. As you implement new systems, make sure they can “talk” and work with your other existing technology. Ask the new software providers if they integrate with your other programs. If you do this, it can lead to increased efficiency and growth, saving you the effort of having to jump back and forth between different systems and programs.  

 

Keep your Data All in one Place 

This one is huge. Your client and business data can easily be spread out in different places and platforms, and it can also be hard to keep track of it all. With a single Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), you can keep all of your data in one easily accessible place, so nothing gets lost or overlooked. This reduces errors or missing customer information. Plus, when you need to add new data or information, you only have to update it in one place, saving you time and effort. A CRM can help you start managing your client data efficiently, and it can also provide you with effective and efficient email capabilities. The main thing to keep in mind when purchasing a CRM is that you can own your client data and that it can automate and integrate with your other processes.  

In a recent Broker World article, Barry Slocum from Gryphon Financial & Insurance Services, Inc., shared how a CRM can improve processes: “A CRM system can help keep you organized and automate a variety of marketing and management processes, including client and prospect mailings (such as drip email campaigns and monthly e-newsletters) and annual reviews.”2 

 

Automation  

Did you hear? Robots are going to be taking over our jobs soon. At least, that’s what everyone says. But I don’t agree. While robots may help make our jobs easier in the future, I don’t see them ever truly replacing us. However, automation is here to stay.  

This is where technology can save you time and help you with your day-to-day activities, while also helping nurture and grow your client base. Automated responses and email campaigns can help keep your clients engaged, and can free you up from your everyday tasks. Got a new prospect? Send them automated emails that explain who you are and how you can help them. Want to spend less time responding? Set up quick-reply texts or emails through artificial intelligence and automated responses. Automation programs are focused on making your day job easier, so you can focus on the bigger picture, instead of menial tasks. They also can provide new and unique ways to nurture your existing clients and create new ways to boost loyalty and sales by regular and personalized communications. Programs like Marketo, Act-On, and Constant Contact can provide these automation tools, and even Outlook and Gmail let you send emails at a specific time and date.  

Sam Mikhail, Financial Strategies Group, LLC, explains how automation benefits his business in the same Broker World article: “We use state-of-the-art client management software and custom-designed evaluation algorithms to create a positive interactive experience. And, because we’ve automated more and more of our work, the results are less dependent on any single person in our agency.”2 

 

Increased Collaboration  

New technology means new ways to work together. Simple technology, like Google Docs and Microsoft SharePoint can boost office collaboration. Work in the same Excel sheet, share ideas, and stay up-to-date on what your co-workers and partners are doing. Additionally, this can also help your communication with agency partners, so you stay connected and in-the-know. 

 

E-applications 

It may be time to ditch the paper after all. Electronic applications are here, and they aren’t going anywhere. Most importantly, e-apps can help speed up the application process, so there aren’t as many errors or roadblocks, which means you get paid faster. The only downside is adapting to a new way of doing things online, instead of on paper. However, here the pros outweigh the cons. E-apps are a secure and simple way to do business and get business processed. 

The important thing to recognize here is that new technologies and changes aren’t a bad thing. Technological advancements exist to help you do your job better and more easily, and implementing these can help you grow your business. To start, map out your existing workflows and processes, and identify where you could automate or improve certain areas, and then search for the technology that can help you appropriately.   

Want more ideas on how to build your business with technology? Check out our Digital Builder services

 

Sources: 

1. Morelli, Steven A. “Holistech: The Future of Advising is Holistic Tech.” InsuranceNewsNet Magazine. Nov. 2018.  

2. Cicchetti, Elizabeth. “How Top Agencies Use IT To Help Boost Business.” Broker World. Nov. 2018. 

 

For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #18-0874-121219

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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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