It’s the topic of the decade: As the baby boomers continue to exit the workforce, they leave a vacuum of experience.
Fewer Gen-Xers and millennials are stepping to fill this void, meaning younger insurance agents who have experience and have proven to be competent salespeople generally have their pick of insurance distribution partners. This smaller talent pool puts recruiters at a disadvantage, adding more pressure than ever to make data-driven decisions and leverage digital tools that give them a leg up on the competition.
Numerous factors play into this overarching issue – self-service options that can negate the need for an agent, high turnover rates for younger producers, socioeconomic barriers of entry, etc. But, good digital tools can provide a definitive advantage to any insurance business trying to overcome these barriers and recruit their next rising star insurance producers.
Dating: Using in-house tools to recruit agents
Finding and vetting agents is a longstanding pain point for agencies and MGAs. Worthy producers may have heard of your business multiple times before they actually encounter you in the recruitment process, or you may be cold-contacting them. Either way, the initial contacts are like your first few dates – it’s equally as important to not make a bad impression as it is to make a good one.
Come again? Put another way, if you make a bad impression – misspelling their name, contacting them too often or not enough, or any combination of “bad date” faux pas, there’s a good chance you’ll have injured that relationship and shut a door. Remember, producers have options when it comes to picking an insurance partner, and they’re not about to settle for one who doesn’t put in the effort.
So, how do you woo a producer? A good start is by using tools that make recruiting candidates easier and working with systems that serve as a full-organization “memory bank,” so your employees can access the information they need about recruits at a glance and recruits feel known (and loved) before they’ve even committed to your agency.
- Data-driven recruiting tools: How do you get recruits? Is it through referrals? Massive lists of dubious origin with spotty data? Social media engagement? Instead of casting a wide net and accepting all applicants in the hope that some will write business, automated recruiting tools such as AgentSync Recruit can allow recruiters to scope out insurance producers based on their own criteria. No more recruiting roulette.
- Applicant tracking system (ATS): One of the most important tools in the tech stack is an ATS that packs a punch. Who last contacted the agent and what did the message say? What was that one agent’s new baby’s name? Are they more responsive via email or text message? An ATS houses this information and so much more, so you can make recruiting feel personal while also looping in your team and automating things like well-timed, multi-touchpoint email campaigns that target the relevant producers.
Removing objections: Let tech make you easy to work with
As your potential agents move through the funnel, the initial tools you used to recruit them remain relevant, but a few more join the stack to provide a comprehensively smooth experience for your new relationships.
You will need to clear out any skeletons from your closet – why rely on legacy systems and dated processes when there are tools available that can save your agents’ time and efforts? If your onboarding process just feels like a nagging series of hurdles, it might not be enough that you have “a great personality.”
The following tools should be easy to work with and integrated – more on that in a bit – to keep agents from mindlessly rekeying information into many systems.
- Agent pre-onboarding & onboarding tools: An effective agent onboarding process automates pre-screening and background checks, allowing your insurance organization to collect paperwork like E&O policy verifications and driver’s licenses, pulls in all producer licensing verification details, and creates every agent’s full license renewal application for all relevant States, all without assigning a single person to hunt them down.
- E-signature system for contracting: End the print-and-fax cycle by bringing on a software that securely allows for easy digital signoff and automates reminders. Unless your new agents have a deep, abiding love for the fax machine…
- License compliance management software: Know whether your producer information is up-to-date by synchronizing your systems with a verified source of truth and keep track of renewal dates easily with a product like AgentSync Manage. Reminding producers of upcoming continuing education deadlines or renewal periods can mean the difference between their business (and, consequently, yours) humming along smoothly or losing a day or more to a mad dash to retain proper licensure in a flurry of real or electronic paperwork.
- Agency management system (AMS): An agency management system that pays out commissions speedily – and with an eye on license compliance – can keep your agents happy (no one wants to have to chase their check) and prevent regulatory trouble.
- Policy administration system (PAS): The better you can track in-force policies and end-client details, the less hands-on agents have to be, and the more time they can spend doing what they’re best at – selling policies. That’s a win-win.
The key to a good marriage: Communication (aka insurance technology integrations)
Having an attractive tech stack is the beginning of a healthy relationship with producer recruits, but in the long run, integration – the ability of the individual softwares to talk to each other – can make the biggest impression.
Consider: If an insurance agent has 12 different logins and recently moved offices, that’s 12 different places to have to change their address. That’s 12 different portals to go through, and 12 different passwords to remember, and that’s before they update the information with the states they’re registered in!
Good technology integrations allow there to be a single point for an agent to submit information that can then auto-populate across the rest of the digital platforms.
Back to our example of the insurance agent who has an address change. Instead of submitting the new address to all of your systems, what if they could submit it through a single portal and it would automatically update information across the other platforms? For the insurance industry, if the first step in a digital relationship makeover is stakeholders trading faxed paperwork forms for the electronic equivalent, integrated technologies that prevent repetitive data entry is the next step toward the future.
To see how AgentSync can help you integrate your tech stack, check out our Manage product today.