The famous phrase, “Coffee's for closers," from the classic motion picture “Glengarry Glen Ross," is the perfect example of some of the sales tactics still used today. While perks today are mostly monetary, a CRM takes the same concept but digitizes the experience.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems enable agencies to easily and efficiently manage leads and opportunities, automate communication with prospects and clients, track sales goals and cross-sell opportunities, and much more. Those capabilities are driving CRM usage among independent insurance agencies, with 24% of agencies stating they use a CRM system, according to a Catalyit survey released this year.
In addition to its technical features, a CRM can support a strong, vibrant and engaged sales culture by providing a digitized place for healthy competition, clear agency-wide goals and peer motivation.
Here are three ways your agency can get the most out of the culture-boosting benefits of this technology:
1) Visualize agency-wide metrics. Unite a sales team by providing clear metrics on yearly progress, access to real-time sales reporting and benchmarking, and a pathway to what numbers the agency will hit quarter after quarter. With clear visibility and accurate data, agents feel empowered to take a bigger role in long-term agency success.
Without this tool, agents may struggle to see where new business is coming from or how the agency is performing month-to-month and year-over-year, leading to unclear sales goals.
Team managers can also create programs within a CRM to focus on certain processes or profitable lines of business. For example, let's say an agency wants to sell 15% more premium through a specific carrier or sell 15% more umbrella policies. Using a CRM, a manager can push sales alignment in a specific direction, so the team is focused on tailored goals for that quarter. With the ability to easily log in and see where the agency stands, the CRM helps hold teams more accountable than the alternative: pieces of paper stacked on a desk or stored in a long-forgotten Excel document.
2) Connect teams across time and generations. Producers spend much of their time out of the office, meeting with clients and prospects. Employees may rarely connect in person. A CRM can connect teams and leaders through instant chat features and functionality to easily share leads or work side-by-side on tasks with instant feedback and real-time updates.
Employment of insurance agents is projected to grow by 8% by 2032, faster than the average for other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means new talent will enter the workforce hungry to learn from the best and use the latest tools available to achieve milestones in their career. The use of a CRM can create visual cues, foster mentorship and increase the likelihood that talent will want to stay and grow with the agency.
3) Drive healthy competition. The famous phrase, “Coffee's for closers," from the classic motion picture “Glengarry Glen Ross," is the perfect example of some of the sales tactics still used today. While perks today are mostly monetary, a CRM takes the same concept but digitizes the experience to automate processes and save time and resources. A visual comprehensive dashboard shows agency goals and fun automations like confetti popping up on screen once a sale is closed are just some of the ways a CRM can boost morale.
The digitized experience will simplify and automate the mundane routine so agents can concentrate on what they do best: advising clients.
Mike Erlandson is vice president of industry solutions at Vertafore.