CRM for Insurance – Distribution Modernization, Future Technology
A simple definition of CRM is “A system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. CRM involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.” Most people engaged in sales and marketing are familiar with contact databases such as ACT and Goldmine. Most companies in the early days of CRM understood the immediate advantages of getting rid of the rolodex and moving all of their contact information to a central system where everyone had access to client and prospect information. It didn’t take long for the giants of the technology industry to develop complex CRM systems that could go beyond the simple contact database.
CRM is Fundamental to DISTRIBUTION MODERNIZATION
A well-designed distribution system or platform with the ability to manage the key business process of distribution—recruiting and on-boarding, compliance, compensation, portal, and analytics—will have all the requisite functionality. Additionally, the modular design of the system should let modules “plug and play” with each other. This allows various applications, some disparate, to be used in concert, sharing information to the entire organization, not just sales and marketing.
For example, a modern modular distribution system will have applications for agent recruitment and on-boarding (a function that is a hand-off from the field to internal distribution operations); agent and agency management and compliance, which is the application that is required after the on-boarding/recruitment process is complete; a module for compensation management that is not only for the producer/agent, but for the distributor as well; a self-service portal that enables agents and agencies to access their information for simple file maintenance, but also as a means of accessing key information such as sales results, expiration lists, claims in process, application status that is accessible from any device (phone, tablet, PC); and a reporting or analytics module that pulls data from the entire distribution system and brings that information to dashboards that are granular at the manager level and more holistic at the senior management level.
Ultimately, driving the overall distribution system is workflow designed to automate the entire function of field management, enabling easy reporting, scheduling, task lists, and communication between the field and the office.
CRM Still is the Swiss Army Knife of TECHNOLOGY
The challenge for an industry like insurance is to find CRM applications that are designed for the insurance market and not just a warmed-over version of CRM that the vendor is also selling to manufacturers, pharma, or some other industry vertical.
“CRM has become a necessary business tool and application in virtually every industry.” John Sarich, VP of Corporate Strategy – VUE Software
Insurance has unique needs and operates very differently from other industries and requires applications designed to solve business issues that insurance organizations face each day.