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8 Reasons to Revamp Agent Onboarding

Your onboarding process shouldn't cause you to lose momentum with your new hire. Here are eight reasons to invest in an agent onboarding revamp.
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8 reasons to revamp agent onboarding

If you've ever been part of the sales funnel, you understand the prep work, the marketing dollars, the phone calls and research that borders on online stalking hours to create a solid lead. However, your sales funnel relies on recruiting and retaining talented salespeople.

If you're successful, by the time you're done recruiting, your new agent is warmed up and ready to sell. They know your brand and they're eager to get going. Too often, though, this is where the progress gets cut short. Agent onboarding is one of those legacy processes that's always overlooked. After all, existing agents suffered through a laborious onboarding and appointment process. Why do these new agents need a process revamp? 

If your new agent onboarding process is rife with stutter-steps and hiccups, at the best you've taken your warmed-up recruit and cooled off their energy—and at the worst, you lost them altogether and they're off selling for your competitors. 

Here are eight reasons to invest in a new agent onboarding revamp. Spoiler alert: It'll save money, time and talent.

1) Time is money. A digital revamp is a surefire way to streamline the new agent onboarding process, cutting out redundant steps and saving everyone time. That time translates directly to cold hard dollars. 

Every day if an agent who wants to be appointed with your company isn't, you're losing policyholders that could be binding and becoming life-long customers.

To calculate what this costs, take your average agent annual premium and divide it by 252 (the number of business days in the year). That's how much you could be losing for every day you delay in appointing a new agent.

2) If you're not first, you're last. We know insurance isn't the fastest industry to adopt new technology, but to stay relevant in today's insurance landscape, agencies need to attract new, young talent. And you'd best believe a tech-forward first impression could be the difference between them choosing to work for you over a competitor. 

In 2020, InsurTech received a record-breaking $7.5 billion in funding, according to the Boston Consulting Group. So, we know the industry is investing in tech. If you're not part of that, are your competitors? 

3) Data privacy shouldn't be negotiable. In some situations, it's obvious when you shouldn't put your social security number (SSN) in an email. However, when a carrier's onboarding form requests an SSN, it's usually because a state requires it for compliance. So, the agent is at a crossroads: To send or not to send?

Sending the SSN opens the agent up to the risk of identity theft. Not fun. And not sending the SSN opens the agent up to the risk of not being appointed as an eligible producer and wastes time while the carrier's onboarding team tracks down the necessary information.

By switching to a secure onboarding system, this dilemma disappears and agents can rest easy knowing their new employer values their data security—a win-win. 

4) Lather, rinse, repeat. Have you ever been to the doctor's office that you've been going to for years and were told to fill out the same exact forms about your medical history, allergies, symptoms, and all those types of things? It's at least three pages long and you don't really want to skim it because it could be fatal but … don't they already have this information? 

Now imagine an agent has a hot-to-trot client on the phone and wants to bind a policy. Do they have to wait days, weeks or months to be appointed because their carrier is still processing redundant paperwork? 

That feels an awful lot like spending the time to fill out the paperwork for your doctor, waiting for hours to be seen, only to find out that the doctor has gone on lunch break and you'll need to come back tomorrow.

5) The K.I.S.S. principle. Keep it simple, sweetie. If your appointment application package is more than three pages and asks the same question twice, such as name, address, date, company and so on—I rest my case. 

6) Turnovers belong in the bakery. Hiring new agents is expensive. Spinning up those new agents is time-consuming and stressful, not to mention hard on your customers. So, reducing turnover is absolutely crucial to building a strong and lasting organization. 

The good news is that successful onboarding processes establish stronger relationships between agents and carriers. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%, according to the Brandon Hall Research Group.

7) Your reputation precedes you. Increasing your recruiting via referrals and reputation means putting your marketing dollars to better use. Brand name and reputation matter. With a strong reputation as a forward-thinking company, you won't have to work so hard to get your name out there and recruit better talent. 

8) Beggars can't be choosers. Speaking of reputation, it's important to understand that the better your reputation, the more potential agents want to work with you and the more selective you can be in your criteria.

Instead of running massive wide-net campaigns and dripping—or hemorrhaging—money, better onboarding can help transform your organization into one that picks winners who are already eager to join your team.
Onboarding may always feel like an eat-your-vegetables part of the recruitment process but it can make your business stronger and lead to a rich dessert.

Lindsay McNeese is strategic enterprise account executive at AgentSync

Friday, September 2, 2022
Recruiting, Hiring & Training