By: Michael Miller, Smart Choice® State Director
There comes a point in the life cycle of every insurance agency when it’s time to grow or die. It sounds harsh, but without investing in the right tools, there comes a point when it’s no longer possible to keep your agency growing.
Successful insurance agencies recognize the value of a robust agency management system. There are several wonderful products on the market today that allow your entire team to stay on the same page as you sign on new clients and maintain your existing book of business. Here are three key considerations to make when you choose your agency’s new management system.
Your Agency’s Current and Future Needs
Agency management systems are all a little different. Most scale with your agency as it grows. Before picking your next system, consider the needs of your team and your agency. Here are some key questions to ask:
- How helpful would it be to have your clients’ policies, quotes, and documents accessible all from one place, and who needs access to part or all of that information?
- Do you need your management system to double as an accounting system?
- Should your system integrate with your current contact relationship management (CRM) system or provide its own CRM platform?
- Is your team tech-savvy or will they require training and ongoing support?
Software versus Cloud-Based Applications
Agency management software is installed on your agency’s computers or server, while you access cloud-based agency management systems using the Internet. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Software is convenient if you already have the necessary hardware at your office, have your own IT staff, and don’t need to access your system while you’re away from your office.
Cloud-based systems are great if you have a mobile office and need to access your system from the road. Cloud-based systems require minimal investment in hardware. Instead, you pay a subscription fee.
Your clients trust you with their most personal and sensitive information, so your agency management system needs to have strong security features. Ask vendors if their systems are built with security in mind and how they handle ongoing security concerns. Listen for buzzwords like “encryption,” “maintenance,” and “security updates.”
Whatever agency management system you choose, it will be an investment in the success and growth of your agency.