Building any successful business model requires that you first define the problem, specifically the main barrier that keeps you from meeting your customer’s expectations. For the local independent insurance agency, that barrier is 24/7 accessibility by clients and prospects. By the end of this article, you should be able to identify those tools that can help your agency meet this expectation all while growing your agency without the need for additional brick and mortar locations.
The Four Pillars needed for Every Digital Independent Agency
The following assumes that your agency has the necessary carrier and MGA appointments that are also leveraging mobile technology. There are four pillars needed to support the future success of the decentralized independent agency of the 21st century.
- A cloud based CRM/CMS. Fortunately most of the legacy CRM/CMS providers have moved to the cloud. If your CRM/CMS provider offers a cloud based version then I recommend staying with them unless they fail to offer integration with multi-raters, accounting and commission management, automated email marketing and e-signature services, or at least offer their own. A plus would be a CRM/CMS that allows integration with your web site to include some 24/7 customer service options, e.g. self-service for COI’s and auto ID cards.
- A VOIP phone system, e.g. Ring Central. Specifically one that allows you the subscriber to log into a dash board to make adjustments in real time to your call routing 24/7.
- A flexible producer agreement. Specifically one that clearly addresses the producer’s operating expenses, new and renewal commissions, book ownership, bonus opportunities, and any validation or vesting requirements. Training and production requirements also need to be included along with any producer’s retirement or succession planning opportunities.
- A digital marketing program with systems that support it. Agencies need to be able to assign and distribute exclusive leads by policy type and zip code at the same time leveraging any quote & bind mobile responsive web forms down to the producer level. It is for this purpose the exclusive leads distribution engine named 1Lead1Buyer.com was created. This subscription-based engine can be used to support any service related franchise, partnership or DMCO (Digital Marketing Co-Operative) by allowing the subscriber to open any URL address based upon any created request type and zip code. Changes to one’s account can be easily done with just a few clicks. For the record there are approximately 42000 zip codes in the U.S. To learn more check out the marketing site 1Lead1Buyer.com and contact us for a demo.
By utilizing the four pillars you can transform and grow your independent agency into a successful digital agency of the 21st century.