Wherever you are in the insurance sales pipeline, to some degree growing your funnel relies on prospecting new agents and recruiting and retaining the most talented salespeople in the business.
If you’ve ever been part of this funnel, you understand the prepwork, the marketing dollars, the phone calls and research-that-borders-online-stalking hours put into a solid lead. If you’re successful, by the time you’re done recruiting, your prospective agent is warmed up and ready to sell, they know your brand, they’re excited, eager to sign and get going.
Too often, though, this is where the progress gets cut short. Agent onboarding is one of those legacy processes that’s always passed over for funding. 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 least 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.
We’ve rounded up our top 10 list of reasons carriers, MGAs, and agencies should invest in a new agent onboarding revamp. Spoiler alert: It’ll save them 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.
For every day an agent isn’t appointed with your company but wants to be, you’re losing policyholders that could be binding and becoming life-long customers.
- To calculate what this costs you, 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 it takes to appoint an agent.
2. If you’re not first, you’re last
Borrowing from Ricky Bobby here, if you aren’t on top, someone else is. We know insurance isn’t the fastest industry to adopt new technology, but to stay relevant in today’s insurance landscape, carriers, MGAs/MGUs, and 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 write on your paper or your competitors’.
In 2020, insurtech received a record breaking $7.5 billion in funding. 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 crossroad: 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
When was the last time you went to the doctor’s office (the one you’ve been going to for years) and you were told to fill out the same exact forms about your medical history, allergies, symptoms, and all the 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
If your appointment application package is more than three pages and asks the same question twice (name, address, date, company…), I rest my case.
6. “Without automation, 100 percent compliance isn’t possible”
In today’s world of APIs and real-time data, compliance should be the first point to pull into the existing tech stack. Automation helps to reduce error and, trust us, error just isn’t a word you want anywhere near your compliance strategy. After all, that’s where the unexpected fines can getcha.
7. 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, successful onboarding processes establish stronger relationships between agents and carriers. According to the Brandon Hall Research Group, “Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent.”
8. If you do what you’ve always done …
… You’ll get what you’ve always got. But if you’re looking to grow and compete as an organization, you need to look at meaningful changes that can impact your bottom line.
9. Your reputation precedes you
How do you want to be known in the market? As being a laggard to adopt new technology or as an innovator that puts the agent experience first? 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.
10. 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 – nickels, better onboarding can help transform your organization into one that picks winners who are already eager to join your team.
Onboarding may always feel a bit like an eat-your-vegetables part of the recruitment process, but similarly can make your business stronger, and lead to a rich dessert.
Learn more about how AgentSync can help you upgrade your new agent onboarding process by booking a demo with us.