Treating Technology as a Team Member

Look, if anybody gets it, I do. Running a commercial book of business has all kinds of pressure involved. But when you add new business production into the mix, it’s not a multiple it’s exponentially more. The truth of the matter is until you learn to treat technology as a team member, it’s never going to get any easier for you.

You Have to Invest

It’s funny. I hear it all the time. People have all kinds of issues with producing new business or going out and opening an appointment. And the fact of the matter is, agency principals are some of the worst. They want all of the benefits of writing new business and specifically large and middle-market accounts, but they don’t want to invest the time, energy, and money into it. The truth of the matter is, they’re overstaffed in people and understaffed in technology in most cases. In today’s environment, it is so much easier to be able to go in and automate processes involving prospecting, appointment setting, and even just how you handle onboarding, and manage your client relationships going forward. There is no excuse for people to be successful. But I hear it over and over and over again. “I don’t want to pay for a CRM.” “I don’t want to pay for marketing automation.”

You Are Paying Too Much

“I don’t want to pay for a ticketing system for service.” “I don’t want to pay for a platform where my salespeople can manage all of their leads in one place.” The truth is, you’re paying for people that can’t do this for you. It would help if you started thinking about what it’s like to operate a business in the 21st century.  Get rid of the other 100 years that the insurance industry has been around. If you have a proper technology stack in your agency, it is not expensive, and it is not cost-prohibitive. What it is, is about the same amount of money it would cost for you to get a little bit higher than entry-level CSR. The truth be told, it does way more work than a CSR is going to be able to do for you. I’m not discounting the role of a CSR or an account manager at an agency by any stretch.

There is a Definite Return

We all know that we need to have that personal touch for our clients. But when you look at all of the things that an automation system and a client relationship management system can do for you, that your agency management system can’t, it’s a no-brainer. It doesn’t matter if it’s $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 a year, the return on that investment is through the roof. So my advice to you is to look at technology just like you look at a team member. It has its salary, it has to have a return on investment, and it has to hit precise metrics for it to be successful. But at the end of the day, it all starts with you. You have to make the conscious decision to think that way. And once you do, you’re going to absolutely kill it in commercial insurance.

To dive deeper into this subject, make sure to listen to our podcast with the same title, featuring Scott Beene, CEO of Diversicom Corp.

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