Through other blogs we’ve been exploring the Salesforce backbone of our core AgentSync products: the how and why of building on Salesforce, benefits to our team’s implementations, and, ultimately, the benefits to our customers.
Today, we thought we’d take a look at SF+AS through a slightly different lens: the Salesforce perspective.
AppExchange and the power of connections
AgentSync’s core is a Salesforce base, which gives us the superpower to hook into other Salesforce apps and move high volumes of data. From the Salesforce perspective, AgentSync’s presence in the AppExchange is about providing more options, and easier options, to their ecosystem.
Since AppExchange apps are all essentially built on the same code base and have had to undergo Salesforce’s vetting for capability and security, it’s a reliable place for Salesforce customers to extend the functionality of their current product suite.
“There are a lot of cool and innovative things happening in that space,” said Michelle Lewis, Director of Agency & Brokerage Solutions & Strategy for Salesforce. “Someone will say, ‘I wish you could do this,’ and in the AppExchange someone will create an app that extends that capability, and customers know it will connect to their other software in a way that makes everyone’s lives easier.”
Lewis says the AppExchange is “exploding exponentially” as evidenced by the fact that Salesforce is celebrating 10 million installations from the AppExchange, compared to around 8 million last year.
Tom King, Director of Insurance Go To Market Group at Salesforce, agreed apps like AgentSync share a symbiotic relationship with Salesforce. AgentSync’s niche understanding extends Salesforce’s capabilities without falling into what he calls the “legacy trap.”
That’s King’s shorthand for when a niche-focused business builds a tool, but then doesn’t have the appetite or budget to invest in the underlying solution, keeping it relevant as technology evolves. Instead, the business increasingly has to retrofit newer technology for any integrations or data exchanges.
Instead, AgentSync and other AppExchange apps benefit from regular facelifts via their relationship with Salesforce.
“AgentSync is a proof point that Salesforce is a development platform that people are using to create new solutions all the time,” King said. “Salesforce can’t do everything. AgentSync gives a level of capability to the Salesforce ecosystem that we are not investing in.”
In other words, AgentSync allows Salesforce to focus on building and improving the core processes of the insurance industry, while we and our customers benefit from those core process improvements. It’s a true win-win for Salesforce, AgentSync, and the entire industry.
SF+AS impacting the bottom line for growth
The best path to expanding business in insurance is in growing your distribution channels. But for many in the space, whether that’s signing new agencies, recruiting new producers, or wading into insurance mergers and acquisitions, moving fast means breaking things. This gas-or-breaks approach often leaves someone in the process feeling at odds. It’s a familiar situation to Lewis, whose daily work with brokers and agents gives her an up-close view.
“It’s going to either upset your agents and prevent you from writing business, or it’s going to put you in a position where you’re writing business in a way that puts you at risk of fines,” Lewis said. “From an M&A perspective, these processes can slow everything down so merging agencies or brokers aren’t going to get the bang for their buck as quickly as possible.”
That’s where the superpower of AgentSync + Salesforce greases the tracks of those processes, offering a growth mechanism through tech that improves the sales process. The data exchange and integrated nature of the tools also increases communications and collaborations between insurers and agents.
“Brokers exist on very thin margins and have to do a lot with less,” said Lewis. “AgentSync and Salesforce together bring the kind of ‘easy button’ idea that makes it easier for you to onboard your producers. Even if you’re acquiring other agencies in bulk, it’s fast and you know you’re in compliance in real-time.”
“We love the fact that AgentSync’s core product is so complimentary to where Salesforce is going within the industry, and you’re so easy to work with,” said King. “You’re not a one off, you’re one of a strong community in the AppExchange that isn’t going anywhere, so there is a solidity to that.”
The future of insurtech and the insurance industry
Building more resilient businesses that operate at scale and have the relevant visibility to industry stakeholders is crucial to the future of insurance. In particular, individual producers’ experiences and abilities to grow their books of business are vital to industry growth. Together, Salesforce and AgentSync both are aimed to co-support that future.
“Insurtech like AgentSync is pushing the insurance industry into a transformational period,” said King. “We’ve been through older cycles where every few years new technology comes out, everybody gets happy and bubbly, and then things cool down and there’s a little bit of a downside, but the current insurance tech boom hasn’t stopped yet and insurers are embracing it.”
This trend of legacy insurance carriers adopting tech-forward practices is just getting started, but the wave of insurtech certainly was amplified by COVID-19 and the work-from-home phenomenon. Insurers and agencies doubled down once realizing that good software could give them visibility throughout the value chain, and King predicts the industry will continue to lean into that, using data to understand where it makes sense to automate.
“That’s where AgentSync comes in. You’re capturing data on producer license management, and Salesforce is working with agencies themselves on sales desktops, and working with insurers on managing distribution channels,” said King. “It gives them the ability to coordinate that data to have a better view of who an agent or agency is, and leverage that agency 360 to put agents on journeys to grow their book of business.”
For Lewis, the future is in partnerships such as those of Salesforce and AgentSync, each tackling areas that would be cost-prohibitive for any one business to attempt solo. Convincing carriers to let go of older systems and processes is difficult, but showing them how the hyper-efficiency and automation elements of new technologies can put a rocket boost on their growth has begun to make waves.
“It’s a Salesforce strength that we’ve created a suite of tools that make everyone’s lives easier who use it,” said Lewis. “Sometimes you have to reimagine how to use Salesforce, and that’s what you guys have done with AgentSync.”
It’s fun to talk about how AgentSync and Salesforce are moving the insurance industry forward together, but it’s even more fun to be part of it. See how you can get the AS + SF superpower.