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3 Ways Your Insurance Firm Can Use Data to Find and Keep Clients

Updated Oct 30, 2023

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Insurance businesses can make only so many sales by waiting for customers to call or through cold calling. These outdated methods don’t give the results you want in a competitive marketplace. Insurance businesses need a prospecting and sales process fueled by advanced data analytics.

Data-driven prospecting and sales are possible with innovative management systems that give you access to customer data based on actionable intelligence, predictive analytics and real-time insights. With this type of technology guiding the industry’s decisions, the sky’s the limit on how many prospects and sales your business can secure.

Implementing data-driven insights

Here are three things you can do when implementing data-driven insights into your sales process.

1. Integrate your front and back office.

Legacy systems treat the front of the house and back office as two distinct operations. This might be good for specific management styles, but it doesn’t do much for sales potential.

By implementing a digital management platform that integrates the two halves of the business, you gain the following benefits: 

  • Better understanding of your customers: You can use front-office information – such as where the client lives, which types of policies they own, and basic demographic and psychographic information – to fuel your sales process.
  • Increased visibility across your business: Additionally, eliminating the wall between your front and back office gives you vital visibility across the entire business. With those barriers removed, you have a clear, unified view of the entire customer journey and your complete insurance portfolio. This will enable your insurance business to make smarter prospecting efforts and sales pitches that don’t sound forced or fake. 
  • Better targeting of your offers and pitches: You also won’t waste the prospect’s or client’s time with offers they won’t be interested in. For example, if you’re communicating with a client who already has some insurance coverage, you can use existing back-office data to better understand what coverage they currently have and where there may be gaps to fill with relevant products.
  • Pinpointing additional coverage your clients need: Use actionable intelligence to analyze existing data and better understand an entire customer group’s current coverage. From there, you can identify segments with coverage gaps or exposure to specific risks and offer them the coverage that makes sense for their situations. For example, a client with life insurance may be a good candidate for supplemental insurance or health insurance. Someone with commercial auto coverage may also be a good candidate for professional liability insurance or product liability insurance

A top customer relationship management (CRM) platform can help you gain the insights necessary to integrate your front- and back-office information and improve your sales process. For example, use CRM reports to generate a list of clients according to their claims history, how much coverage they have or, for business clients, their industry.

Once you have a targeted list of customers or prospects, you can begin getting quotes and initiating the application process.

TipBottom line

When you generate sales leads, segment them according to how you’ll market to them. For example, generate a list of all customers without life insurance to create a targeted calling list.

2. Adapt to customer-centric sales.

Insurance has become a commodity business. But if you run your insurance business that way, you won’t progress much further. Someone always has a lower price and promises better service.

However, intelligent technology can transform your business from a product-centric business to a data-driven one where real-time customer insights power everything you do. This will allow your agency to provide more personalized service with custom product recommendations for each client or prospect.

Most insurance businesses prepare standard sales pitches that guess what a prospect or client might need. With a data-driven approach, you can source data from:

  • Fact-finders
  • Previous applications
  • Current policy contracts
  • Email correspondence
  • Current coverage
  • ZIP code information

Then, you can use the information you glean to determine what the client needs next. For example, if a client lives in a neighborhood with increasing crime rates, the agent can focus on additional theft protection by pointing out the client’s specific risks. 

Instead of being a salesperson, the agent becomes a trusted advisor and consultant helping to protect the client’s property, making the customer’s unique needs central to the sales process.

TipBottom line

To appear more confident during a sales pitch, practice your pitches, be persistent without being overbearing, and be sincere and expressive to show you care.

3. Use data to improve renewal rates.

Lost renewals are a common pain point for insurance businesses. To combat them, a data-driven management system with automated features is crucial.

Automated lifecycle policy management reduces manual data entry, reducing keystroke errors and other mistakes. It also reduces the paperwork your agents must complete while streamlining redundant processes. 

Each phase of the policy’s lifecycle can be partially or fully automated:

  • Sales and application
  • Field underwriting
  • Performance management
  • Claims
  • Insurance accounting
  • Renewals

When it’s time to renew their policies, many clients start shopping for a new agent because their current agent didn’t contact them before their policy expired. The client realizes they need new coverage, so they look elsewhere. If a new agent woos them with discounts and better coverage limits, it’s easy to justify making the switch.

Between forgotten customers and customers who leave because they feel their business isn’t appreciated, it’s easy to understand why renewal rates are so dismal in the insurance industry.

However, with automated renewals, retention and renewal rates can increase significantly. When a policy’s expiration date approaches, a renewal is automatically sent to the client. 

Clients can use a self-service portal to accept the renewal, and the policy will automatically populate with new dates, the premium and other relevant information.

Automated systems also provide tools to facilitate renewals of large numbers of policies, even if they all have different expiration dates and require different types of handling. This technology will minimize your risk of error and enhance the process to increase your renewal rates and sales.

Risks of using data-driven insights

As a business owner, you should understand that using data-driven insights can create risks, including the following: 

  • Data security issues: The more data you have, the more of a target you are to hackers and other scams that prey on small businesses. You must ensure your systems are secure and that your team employs data security best practices, including using the best internet security and antivirus software and ensuring online payment security
  • Overusing data to contact leads and customers: In addition to potential hacker risks, insurance agency owners should be concerned with exhausting their book of business with constant pitches. Ensure you use data wisely, and instruct team members to keep excellent notes in the system about contacting prospects. This diligence will help you avoid going to the well too often and overwhelming – and perhaps upsetting – your existing clients.

What’s next for data-driven insights in insurance?

The insurance industry is slowly moving away from manual processes and adopting data-driven automated systems to streamline the application process, underwriting, servicing and claims processing. Now is the time for your insurance business to make the switch to stay current and significantly improve your bottom line.

Kimberlee Leonard contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

Roi Agababa
Community Member
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