Best CRM for Insurance Agents: A Detailed Guide
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Customer relationship management might seem like an idea mooted in the early 1990s, but it has been around for many decades. Nearly every strategic business owner uniquely kept a record of customers, and it's no surprise that Rolodex was the precursor to modern-day CRM technologies.
CRM is a collection of tools and strategies that foster lasting and beneficial relationships between businesses and customers. Today, different functions have been bundled into CRM systems, providing powerful features to manage the entire customer journey, improve team productivity, and enhance your communications. InsurGird's quote engine, for example, reduces your administrative costs and improves lead generation and conversion.
Benefits of CRM Software for Insurance Agents
Like every other business, the cost of bringing in a new customer is always greater than that of retaining existing ones. CRM software expands your retention strategies and improves lead generation, customer service, claims processing, and policy renewals. CRM offers the following additional benefits:
The CRM is a perfect place to sharpen your time management skills. Tracking customer interactions ensures shorter turnaround times for support issues, and some platforms also include email and messaging templates, so you won't have to draft everything from scratch. They also automate the data import and storage functions so you can focus on more profitable tasks.
Insurance customers and prospects may come from multiple touchpoints, like social media referrals, personal selling channels, and customer service desks. CRM provides a unified storage and reference point for all this information so that all players within the business have access to accurate data. Achieving data integrity would be nearly impossible if all teams were responsible for collecting and storing customer information. Businesses using CRM systems for customer information storage find it easier to comply with data privacy rules and regulations.
Being able to store, track, and analyze massive volumes of customer data improves the risk scoring process so you can offer fair premiums to your customers. Data analysis and interpretation tools also improve decision-making around revenue growth opportunities, claims ratio management, and return on business investment.
Great CRM systems align your communication strategies across all channels. Increased integrations have allowed CRM systems to connect to your social media channels, mail servers, and VoIP telephone systems to provide uniform messaging to all your customers.
Client Communications History
Knowing your previous interactions with a customer builds familiarity and lowers the frustrations they might have faced trying to re-introduce themselves. You can pick up from where you left off in the previous conversation, and it's good for making follow-ups for settled claims or resolved issues. It might also provide a perfect opportunity to upsell or cross-sell a new product.
CRM features for the insurance industry
CRM enables insurance companies and independent brokers to grow their business by magnifying their efforts when prospecting and nurturing leads. It also allows them to manage existing policies, track new deals, set new goals, and schedule client interactions. CRMs are expected to provide all-in-one support for the following underwriting activities:
Lead tracking follows customer interactions throughout the sales process. It promotes organization and keeps you focused on your goals, tailoring your strategies to increase conversions at every stage. It's hard to be consistent when dealing with multiple customers, but CRM is always there to provide real-time data capturing, storage, and reporting.
Insurance policy management encompasses all the critical operations of an insurance firm, like:
- Risk scoring
- Proposal generation
- Policy issuance and renewals
- Claims processing
- Profitability reports
CRM automates these tasks, giving you the freedom to increase your lead generation efforts.
Policy Sales data analysis
Without a full understanding of the risks that may impact your company, making decisions is difficult. Data analytics provides deeper insights into consumer attitudes and preferences, allowing you to review past performances and make accurate future predictions. CRM tools come with user-friendly analytics tools with clear dashboards sharing a single view of your entire insurance business.
Insurance workflow automation cuts the amount of time spent on routine tasks and reduces operational costs. Examples of the process you can automate with CRM include:
- Sales process workflows (lead generation, quotations, onboarding, and customer applications)
- Claims management
- Risk scoring and new product development
- Policy review
- Compliance management
- Customer complaints management
Efficient claims management is the backbone of a high-performing underwriting business. Among the insurance broker's principal roles is to improve profitability. And they can only achieve this by minimizing the frequency, impact, and cost of claims to ensure business continuity. CRM software provides an accurate and timely prediction of future risks to mitigate your losses in today's complex business environment.
Email marketing establishes contact with current and prospective clients to raise awareness about your products and share important updates on their subscriptions. It is part of a holistic digital marketing strategy for building new business and nurturing relationships with existing clients. It's easy to implement email marketing with CRM software because you can rely on its customer database and built-in reporting tools.
Automated Distribution of Leads
Lead distribution CRM automatically assigns prospects to the best-fit agents based on metrics like:
- Agent performance
- Preferred language
- Current workloads
Qualified leads can be transferred to the onboarding teams, and those who drop along the pipeline can be reassigned to a sales agent. Lead distribution increases agent performance and reduces customer churn along the sales pipeline.
Winning in customer communications requires consistent messaging across all the channels. However, it is hard to remain consistent when faced with evolving customer needs, increased paperwork, and personalized instant messaging apps and social platforms. CRM allows unified multi-channel customer engagements, allowing agents to prioritize platforms that personalize interactions and improve response times.
Field Sales Enablement
CRM accelerates revenue generation through your field sales agents in the following ways:
- It allows them to reach more prospects using multiple channels.
- Automated quotations and draft policies improve turnaround times and increase conversion rates.
- Built-in lead indicators offer better visibility into the buying cycle, allowing the agents to be more strategic in their approach.
- Goal settings and KPI indicators can be used to evaluate and motivate the frontline sales agents.
- Scheduling tools and alerts keep them more organized and on top of their work.
A quote engine is an automated tool that allows clients to run side-by-side comparisons of insurance quotes from multiple carriers. Insurance brokers can use the quote engine to provide competitive rates and increase enrollments.
Best CRMs for Insurance Agents
Insurance CRM has to be different from standard CRMs because the underwriting business model is unique from other businesses. And because everyone at your agency has a relationship with the customer, the software is crucial for running your sales, support, claims processing, and policy management functions.
Best Enterprise Insurance CRM systems
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft's all-in-one enterprise CRM integrates seamlessly with their Office 365 applications like Outlook, Teams, and Microsoft Word. It complements agency work with customizable tools to support your sales, marketing, and customer service functions. Besides automating your services, the cloud-based software offers API integrations to third-party applications.
- Highly intuitive interface
- Easy integration with Microsoft Office applications
- Full-featured reports thanks to powerful analytics
- Excellent software support
- The full suite of solutions comes with a hefty price tag.
HubSpot offers a customizable CRM platform suitable for B2B and B2C insurance agencies. Agency managers can analyze email marketing campaign conversion and track lead conversion across various platforms, using inbound and outbound communications, lead management, and contact management.
- Best free features in the CRM market
- Customizable and scalable features
- Easy to use
- Great customer support
- The full-featured plan is pricey for small businesses.
SAP Customer Experience
SAP Customer Experience provides a complete package of features tailored for large brokerage firms and agencies. It has many integration options, including e-commerce features that allow the direct selling of insurance products to consumers. A lot more features are easily usable out-of-the-box, but there is ample customization room for the insurance business.
- Best suited for medium-sized to large businesses
- Synchronizes with the SAP enterprise application for unified data management
- Extensive tools for third-party integration and customization
- Timely customer support and security patching when required
- Personalization can be complex and requires technical expertise.
- It is an expensive system for small businesses.
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Best Insurance CRM Systems for Small Agencies
Zoho is a full-featured entry-level CRM tool with seamless integration options and excellent customization features. It's built around the needs of the small business and comes with an AI sales assistant to complement your efforts. Zoho CRM works with countless third-party applications such as Google Analytics and QuickBooks.
- Free trial included
- Multiple pricing plans based on business needs
- Convenient automation features
- More integration options
- User-friendly interface
- Mobile app option for always-on-the-move executives
- Best features only found on top-tier pricing
- The free plan does not allow third-party integration.
RadiusBob can grow you into a top-producing agent thanks to its convenient lead management tools. The 'bob' RadiusBob stands for the book of business, literally referring to the lead management advantage with automated workflows, built-in telephony capabilities, and email campaign assistance. There are task reminders and time-stamped notes to help you stay on top of your agency activities.
- Strong data protection standards with SSL encryption and complex password requirements
- Convenient templates for emails and autoresponders
- Interactive voice calling system thanks to integrated VoIP
- Allows third-party integration
- Customizable features
- The system lacks a mobile application
- The price is a little high for smaller agencies.
Pipedrive is a sales-driven CRM tool that automatically tracks and organizes calls and emails throughout the selling process. Agency managers have a complete view of the sales pipeline from start to finish, which improves their decision-making efficiency. It has a simple user interface and comes at an affordable price for small businesses.
- Increased focus on sales funnels improves agency performance.
- Allows synchronization across mobile apps
- Great organizational and reporting capabilities
- Limited integration options and functionality
Insureio was among the first CRM software tailor-fit for the life insurance industry. It offers a cloud-based platform that streamlines lead generation activities for insurance agencies. It automates non-revenue-generating activities, allowing you to prioritize sales pipelines and service fulfillment activities.
- Free trial available
- Customizable API for third-party integrations
- Time-saving prebuilt marketing and sales quotation templates
- Includes analytics tools for better business visibility
- Lacks a mobile app
Best Mid-Large Insurance Agency CRM systems
NetSuite CRM is part of the larger Oracle suite of business applications designed for small and mid-sized agencies. A multifunctional dashboard gives senior managers a complete view of operations by pulling reports from backend services.
- Extended functionality to a mobile application
- Highly customizable features
- Allows third-party integration
- Supports interdepartmental integration for improved operational transparency
- Modular structure supports business growth
- Complex navigation for new users, especially when creating reports
Freshworks CRM software offers a scalable platform to grow your small to mid-sized business into a full-scale enterprise solution. It has an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface and starts with a free forever plan for cash-strapped agencies. However, you need to sign up for the premium plans to enjoy the wide range of automation features and third-party integrations.
- Free-for-life options include
- Integrated mobile app
- Visualized dashboard for ease of management
- Limited functions on the free plan
Insly simplifies policy administration, claims management, and accounting for insurance agencies. It helps with debt management by sending timely alerts to clients, so you can spend less time on billing and more time increasing your leads. The sales pipeline feature lets you manage customer details, view active policies, check installment schedules, and track renewals.
- User-friendly dashboard for business reports
- Automates non-revenue generating accounting function
- Easy to set up and use
- Cloud availability makes it accessible from everywhere.
- Fairly challenging customization features
AgencyBloc provides powerful tools and features for managing a life and health insurance agency. Agency owners can spend less time tracking agent activities, and thanks to a commission management tool, they will be able to increase their focus on prospect-building activities. The commission management and reporting tool keeps track of business costs by calculating the splits and keeping tabs on due payments.
- Custom-tailored for the life and health insurance business
- Performs prospect tracking and contact management
- Tracks agent sales performance and calculates their commissions
- Free trial included
- Unsuitable for other insurance businesses
- The single pricing option is slightly on the higher side.
Insurance CRMs for Specific Types of Insurance
It's hard to achieve all the functionality you require from a CRM system straight out of the box. But some of the software packages come with bespoke applications and program add-ons that help insurers deliver superior customer experiences.
Here's what we think are the most suitable CRM platforms for different types of insurance agencies:
Insurance CRM for Life Insurance Agencies
The life insurer's ideal choice is a robust system that helps them sell more policies while keeping track of the commissions and fees earned by brokers and agents. There could be more suitable products out there, but these are a few that top our list:
- SAP Customer experience
Insurance CRM for Medical Insurance Agencies
Because the health insurance business model is so similar to life insurance, we believe CRM systems may be shared between the two. The following products are good options for medical insurance agencies:
- SAP Customer experience
Insurance CRM for Auto Insurance Agencies
Managing auto insurance policies and claims is a specific business process that requires a lot of data tracking. With an ideal CRM system, you can send timely reminders to your clients so they can renew them before they expire. Here are some great options for business:
- SAP Customer experience
Insurance CRM for Disability Insurance Agencies
Disability insurance providers require sound financial planning systems. It will help them provide their clients with low-cost premiums without losing the ability to replace lost income due to disability. Some great software options here include:
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
Budgeting for a New CRM
Carefully evaluate your business requirements before deciding how much you need to spend on CRM software. Assess your long-term goals to determine how the technology will function as you grow the business and accommodate expansion costs and charges related to employee training and vendor support. Any purchase decision should be justified using quantified revenue projections and cost reduction.
Other considerations include cloud-based vs. on-premise CRM, with higher up-front costs and limited scaling ability associated with the latter. Off-the-shelf software is usually cheaper and easy to implement compared to custom solutions.
How to Get Started
Investing in the right CRM software is the easiest way for insurance brokers to reduce the time spent on business-critical activities. Customer data management is a time and money-consuming task, so make sure you choose a CRM that suits the type and size of your insurance business.
When starting as a small business, you can save money on multiple software purchases by opting for free trials. A few CRM products have lifetime free plans with limited functionality, which can be great for small startups with few operations. If you have a fairly large business, then consider a premium subscription CRM.
You might require technical expertise when installing enterprise-grade systems, but most of them are backed by good customer support. Prepare your customer data in advance, mapping your fields as needed so that you can upload everything into the system in one click. Explore additional CRM features that will level up your insurance brokerage and ensure that you include them in the integrations.
A CRM Alternative that Works For You
CRM isn't just a software solution that can be tossed around to fix every business problem. To effectively manage customer relationships, you need complementary strategies and operational philosophies to nurture and grow these relationships.CRM software only steps in to automate tasks like sales forecasting, contact management, claims management, and cross-team collaboration.
InsurGrid brings a unique perspective on the insurance business by streamlining your sales processes with time-saving software designed to increase your profitability. Our custom software allows you to:
- Connect directly with prospects for faster quote processing
- Collect declaration pages and policy summaries from existing clients and prospects
- Qualify leads and raise your value offering
Explore our solution and sign up for an InsurGrid demo!