Not All Insurance CRMs Are Created Equal: Best Insurance CRM Review

Insurance Agency operations have transformed in the last 20-30 years. Even though the technology adoption has been slow in this segment, surely it is changing the way business is done. 

The Agency Management System has played a dominant role by becoming the system of record, system of management and system of growth but in the last five years many tools in the insurtech space have transformed a monolithic system to an ecosystem where several other systems are integrated to smoothen the operations, bring efficiency and scale. 

Big change has been seen when it comes to sales, marketing and automation. In the last 5 years CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has become a popular system and almost every agency is either planning to add one if not already added. You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to selecting an insurance CRM. There are many platforms on the market with a lot of good features that can help your insurance agency, but not all tools are created equal. Sure, they are all good CRMs, but which is the best insurance CRM is discussed below.

In this article, we’ll highlight some popular insurance CRMs and tell you exactly how they stack up. After you read all the pros and cons, you’ll be able to choose the best insurance CRM that fits your agency model.

 

What Is an Insurance CRM?

First things first.  CRM stands for customer relationship management. A generic CRM lets you manage contacts with some element of marketing and task management and there are several great generic CRM including – Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zoho etc. However, the challenge is that they are not designed for Insurance and thus you will either have to customize a lot or your process will not be optimized as desired thus your purpose to introduce a CRM will fail. Whereas an insurance CRM software is designed with Insurance process flows with the seven stages of customer journey including (1) Lead Capture, (2) Lead Nurture (3) Sales Funnel (4) Onboarding (5) Policy Period (6) Renewals (7) Winbacks. So it is more or less a plug and play rather than spending countless hours trying to configure a system that is not designed for it and like fitting a square peg in a round hole. Let’s not ask an elephant to swim – he is not designed for it. Insurance CRM enhances/power boosts your agency management system to run your agency more efficiently, effectively so you can sell more, retain better and do all operations actions much faster while tracking every activity. . Based on Insurance customer journey, some of the common insurance CRM features include new customer/business pipeline management, Policy servicing management , sales & marketing automation,  tasks management, google reviews, e-signature, renewal management etc.

 

What Are the Advantages of Using Insurance CRM Software?

CRM is one of the fastest-growing software markets in the world because it is easily accessible and simplifies so many aspects of agency management with personalized solutions for your business. In a survey conducted by BuyerZone of companies with eleven or more employees 91% of respondents say they are using a CRM software.

When it comes to insurance agencies, there are many challenges to business that can be solved with an insurance CRM tool. Mentioned below are some of the ways your agency can benefit from an insurance CRM tool

 

Organized Leads and Automated Marketing

Manually tracking leads can get chaotic. CRM software will help you sort all of your leads and prioritize them so they can be assigned to the right agents/producers and acted on accordingly. When a lead comes in, it will be sorted into a specific category based on parameters you set, be it – line of business, location, producers or premium size. You can set leads to go directly to a specific team member based on the segmentations mentioned above, and you can automate calendar reminders, tasks, follow ups, email, text messages so staff  can follow up on the leads in a smart and automated way.

You can also use the CRM tool to create automated marketing campaigns for leads, and you can even have separate campaigns for each lead category. You can create targeted email campaigns and automate them to go out to potential clients at scheduled intervals to nurture the lead. All of the lead data and interactions are tracked in your insurance CRM dashboard.

 

Document Repository and Remote Collaboration

What if you could get back all the time you’ve spent over the years searching your desktop and folders for a specific file? CRM software helps you keep track of all your documents and organizes them in a centrally located system that is easy for all staff to access from anywhere considering it is in the cloud. This can be simple documents like policies and procedures, general forms, carrier information, compliance documents, etc..

This is extremely beneficial for agencies that have multiple office locations, especially if you choose a cloud-based CRM. No matter where your staff is working from, as long as they have an Internet connection, they’ll be able to collaborate with the rest of the team and access any information they need. With remote working becoming increasingly popular over the last few years, this is a huge benefit for growing agencies. 

 

Automated Customer Communication

Bad customer service can cost you customers, but when things get busy around the office, it can be hard to find time to return calls and emails, follow up on renewals or new leads. CRM software can automate your communications and be programmed to send emails, texts, and voicemails to clients when you get too busy and works like your virtual assistant who never takes a break. So do yourself a favor, clone yourself with InsuredMine and unlock the next evolution of your agency – Tucker Hood.

 

Less Manual Entry

Knowledge workers waste over 40% of their time on manual digital administrative processes and 75% of that can be saved with automation and CRM capabilities. A CRM tool can help drive efficiency in your agency by working across channels to simplify data entry. The best insurance CRM will integrate with your website, so when a potential client fills out a contact form or quote request online, the data will automatically carry over into the CRM tool.

The next time there is a client interaction, the data will already be in the system, saving your staff the time it takes to log all the data or creating a duplicate entry. Your agents will be freed up to spend more time on sales and growth activities, rather than the repetitive and low-value tasks that slow them down. 

 

More Conversions

There is data to support how well insurance CRM software can boost your conversion rates. It also helps raise productivity rates and increases customer retention, which all translates to an increase in profits. CRM software has an average ROI of $8.71 for every dollar spent, which doesn’t leave much room for doubt that it’s time to find the best insurance CRM for your agency. 

 

How Do Other CRMs Compare to InsuredMine?

With so many agents realizing the value of CRM, there are now lots of options on the market. So how do you find the best insurance CRM for your agency? Start by knowing exactly what you need and looking more closely at the companies that offer it. To make it a little easier for you, let’s take a look at how InsuredMine compares to other platforms. 

 

Salesforce

Salesforce is a powerful tool built for very large companies and usually sold at the enterprise level. It isn’t designed for the average insurance agency; however, it can be customized to do just about anything you want if you’re willing to pay a steep price. The implementation process for Salesforce can also be expensive, time consuming and many users say there is quite a learning curve with the platform. For agencies, particularly one with less than 100 employees, Salesforce is probably not the best insurance CRM for you. Key takeaways:

Pros:

Large ecosystem of integrated products
SF admin resources are available

Cons

Expensive
Extensive configuration
Long time to implement
Generic CRM – Not designed for Insurance

 

Better Agency

Better Agency started as an Insurance CRM and then transitioned into an AMS with CRM capabilities. They are working hard to build out more functionality and integrations for both AMS and CRM with somewhat diluted efforts. Since the system is still in its early days, customers have mentioned inconsistency and experienced a  lot of bugs and errors to work through. Being an AMS and directly competing with other AMS, they have lost capabilities to integrate with several other management systems including Hawksoft, AMS360, QQ Catalyst, Nexsure, and Epic. Another commonly reported issue is the lack of integration with Outlook and G Suite. Emails can sometimes end up in spam. However, they are constantly adding more enhancements and they claim their automation templates include hundreds of email copies. 

Pros – 

Group of smart individuals who are passionate about the industry and continuously trying to improve the product.
Great for small agencies who may not need all the complicated/customized workflows

Cons – 

Very young product with lots of kinks to be resolved
Functionalities are limited
User licensing is expensive
Not integrated with leading AMS 

 

Agency Zoom

AgencyZoom started as a lead management tool and then grew with pipeline capabilities and other CRM functionality. Agency Zoom is a CRM that is more suited for personal lines rather than commercial lines and thus each record is managed at contacts level rather than account level and thus for commercial accounts or ABM (Account based marketing) is difficult to manage with limited functionality to attach multiple contacts within an account.. Being acquired by Vertafore – it is expected that they will continue to build much deeper integration with Vertafore products including AMS360 and QQ Catalyst. There are other AMS integrations, though the data fields are limited and there are a few issues with data mapping to Contact 360.

Agency Zoom offers SMS texting through a third-party integration as opposed to the built-in features thus creating a less desired experience. The platform doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility to design content or customization. One drawback is that the automation campaigns and workflow handling are limited, particularly for renewal and X-date automations. However, it is a great product to get started if you have not used CRM before considering it is light, easy to use.  

There are three pricing plans offered for Agency Zoom. The more expensive plans include more features, and one-on-one training is only available with the higher-priced plans, and a Google Reviews feature is only available in the second tier. (*based on their website)

Pros – 

Simple to use and adopt with more focused on sales management
Less expensive
Part of Vertafore family of products, post acquisition 

Cons –

Contact based architecture limits the ability to manage commercial accounts with multiple contacts for each account.
Limited options on workflows and automation. Can’t customize and edit them as needed.
Limited support 
Product enhancements are not fast enough

 

Levitate

Levitate is a marketing platform that allows agencies to engage with clients and prospects. It is not designed for Sales, renewal or service pipeline management. It is a generic platform serving multiple industries and thus the product is designed to meet the larger audience rather than specific for insurance so it lacks some of the nuanced features that make it a great option for insurance agencies.

Pros – 

Provides curated content for users
Integrated with few AMS
Reasonable price

Cons – 

Only a marketing platform not designed for sales and renewal pipeline management
Generic product not designed for Insurance 
Does not have customized and sophisticated workflow management options. 

 

Agency Revolution

Like Levitate, Agency Revolution is a marketing platform and probably one of the earliest entrants in the space. Over the period Agency Revolution has built tons of templates and content that can be leveraged for several stages of the customer journey. Its automation features are meant to assist with marketing functions rather than sales enablement. “The system has templates, though they are more playful than professional and have been known to contain grammatical errors” as mentioned by one of its previous clients. Beyond the marketing automation and communication platform, AR offers website development and hosting and has built good integration with its marketing platform for seamless lead flow. It is a good platform for what it offers but keeps the customers desiring more as they need more than just a marketing platform.

Pros – 

Provides lots of templates and curated content.
Integrated with several leading AMS
Offers additional products including website building

Cons – 

Only a marketing platform not designed for sales and renewal pipeline management
Does not have customized and sophisticated workflow management options. 
Expensive for just marketing solution

 

Rocket Referrals

Like Levitate, Agency Revolution, – Rocket Referrals is a marketing platform and probably one of the advanced yet simple systems that customers love to use if they are just looking for a communications platform. Two of its flagship features include NPS and handwritten postcards. Other features include – google reviews, automations for prospects and clients, website integration etc.. It is deeply integrated with AMS 360 products, and the base version is offered for free to all AMS360 users. However it has integrations with most of the major AMS as well.

Pros – 

Provides lots of templates and curated content.
Integrated with several leading AMS
Focused on NPS and client communication

Cons – 

Only a marketing platform not designed for sales and renewal pipeline management
Does not have customized and sophisticated workflow management options. 

 

Categorizing Insurance CRMs

As you can see above, not all insurance CRMs are created equal. In fact, not all CRMs even work for insurance, and some CRMs are acquired or became AMS and others are close cousins of CRM as marketing platforms, when you’re looking for a comprehensive solution. Let’s break down some of the categories that some well-known tools fall into and what that means for functionality.

 

Agency Management Systems (AMS) Only

There are a lot of platforms out there that only act as an AMS with a little or no flavor of CRM functionality. These tools have features for agency management, like customer contact info, interaction logs, and policy information, accord forms, rater integration, IVANS download, commission/accounting, etc. While AMS focuses on policy management, there are limitations/gaps on Sales and marketing to help agencies grow faster and smarter. However, most of them have done a great job in integrating with CRM systems to provide such capabilities to their clients.

AMS platforms: Applied Epic, AMS360, HawkSoft, Ezlynx, Nexsure, Nowcerts, QQCatalyst, etc.

 

CRM+AMS

Insurance AMS has done very well for the past 30+ years of its life as products were the center stage. However, with technology and change in customer expectations and customer experience – Sales and Marketing are becoming equally important if not more and all AMS are either building such capabilities, acquiring it or partnering with CRM offerings. AMS with CRM capabilities, offer a more comprehensive solution since all the tools you need are integrated and it creates a more seamless experience. Theoretically it is the best outcome for AMS to have CRM capabilities as it has been found that most of them have either not gone that route or the market response was not that great for them to continue. However acquiring a CRM that has already got traction sounds like the next best logical strategy, however, merging two different architectures to create that experience would take a very long time if it happens at all. One such example is Vertafore (AMS) acquiring AgencyZoom (CRM).

 

CRM Only

Specialization in niche creates the most desired solution and usually very well received by the customer base. Salesforce being a CRM leader has done remarkably well to be a CRM only platform alrought it has multifold its capabilities by creating an expansive ecosystem. Even Though generic CRM may not be the best outcome for all but it has done well to serve from CRM perspective and with some integrations with AMS, it can certainly step up the game. Hubspot is being used by agencies as it does help to bring the best of both worlds – AMS and CRM. 

 

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation tools are simply designed to help streamline communications to current customers and potential leads. Some of these tools are very basic, allowing you to upload spreadsheets of contact information and use email templates to send out your campaigns. More advanced platforms offer a lot of customization and more technology integrations. These tools can send out SMS text messages to customers and schedule social media and other online content through automation.

Some marketing automation platforms: Agency Revolution, MailChimp, Eloqua, Hubspot, Marketo 

 

Insurance CRM

There are CRM tools on the market that are specifically designed to help insurance agencies streamline operations. Thus the onboarding and getting started is plug and play unlike Salesforce that can take months to configure.  Insurance CRM are designed for insurance so all the insurance nuaces are well covered from process workflow perspective including renewals, x-dates, agency billing, premium finance, cross selling, etc. If such insurance CRM has built one way or two way integration with AMS then they are the most powerful integrated system that any agency would need to get the most of their needs from systems. It brings the best of both worlds without colliding them while continuing to maintain their autonomy. This allows insurance CRM to play nice with most of the AMS and be able to not only increase the stickiness of the AMS but also enhance the customer experience of the AMS users. It becomes an attractive system that appeals to the users that agencies are all trying to hire. InsuredMine is one such example.

 

Choosing the Best Insurance CRM for Your Agency

The way to choose the best insurance CRM for your agency is by looking into all your options and picking a platform that will set you up for long-term success. The CRM tool you select should simplify your daily management and sales functions and use automation to relieve your agents from unnecessary work that bogs them down. 

 

The #1 Insurance CRM – InsuredMine

No other insurance CRM offers the functionality, integrations, and user-friendly design of InsuredMine. InsuredMine is an all-in-one platform that helps you grow your agency with sales, engagement, analytics, and mobility. Don’t waste time and money on platforms that don’t have all the features you need. InsuredMine offers everything you need without expensive add-ons or clunky integrations. If you want the best insurance CRM, you want InsuredMine. 

 

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The post Not All Insurance CRMs Are Created Equal: Best Insurance CRM Review appeared first on InsuredMine CRM | Optimize and Grow Your Insurance Agency.

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