Gathering and analyzing data to develop key performance indicators gives agencies the advantage in a competitive industry.
Carriers are using data like never before to cut costs, improve efficiencies and accelerate processes. Agents can learn from this and do the same.
Agents that focus on gathering data, analyzing it and developing key performance indicators (KPIs) are growing faster and providing better client service. However, the focus on speed can mean missing critical information.
Here are four new KPIs and tools to help agents get an accurate picture of their business and to make better decisions to drive growth:
1) Agent cost per premium dollar. Who's your most profitable agent? Identify who brings in the most revenue for the lowest cost.
For example, it's one thing to sell a complicated policy that brings in considerable revenue, but if it requires a lot of (expensive) effort to close the case, that needs some analysis. Meanwhile, another agent can process more policies in less time that may add up to more significant premiums, and therefore more revenue. Knowing the agent cost per premium dollar can show every member of the sales team's actual value. It's not about total income, it's about profitability.
2) True cost per touch. Cost per touch is multi-dimensional and measures the costs using case complexity, case manager sophistication and the premium dollar. For example, an agency can lose money on a premium if the transaction requires significant time by a senior case manager to place.
Conversely, you may be inflating your true costs on simple cases because while the premium is low, it takes very little time to process. Picking the cheapest policy offer with a carrier that you know could be a struggle to work with takes more time.
3) Carrier placement by applicant type. Has your agency been working with the same carriers for years? It's understandable—there are so many carriers, it can be overwhelming. However, that doesn't always give you the best results because carrier performance changes over time.
Having the ability to track carrier placement by applicant type can drive the placement of medically underwritten insurance by 10 points or more. The carrier's net placement ratio has more to do with an agent not knowing which carrier to send the business to.
4) Data integrity. Many agencies focus on speed. How quickly can a case manager process an application? How fast can you place a case? Frequently, this leads to shortcuts when following a workflow and busy case managers think, “I'll get this added later; I've got to get these commissions paid."
However, the KPIs and tools mentioned above require pristine, high-integrity data. If there are gaps, managers cannot get an accurate picture of their operations. These gaps will only give part of the story and lead to mistrust in your analytics.
Combining data technology and solid workflows to transform their business gives agencies a critical advantage in a highly competitive industry.
Scott Fergusson is the CEO at Techficient, an InsurTech company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. With over 20 years of experience working in the insurance and financial services sectors, Fergusson notes that success for agents begins with being a good communicator and a better listener.