This post is part of a series sponsored by AgentSync.
Growth: If you just want it badly enough, it’s practically done, right?!
If you’ve spent any time at an insurance carrier, agency, or MGA/MGU, we don’t have to tell you it’s not that simple. You can want to grow your business – including expanding your distribution channel partnerships – all day long but without the right talent in place growth is pretty hard to come by.
What makes insurance industry growth so difficult?
One of the top challenges to insurance industry growth is the current “talent crisis.” From top to bottom and front-end to back, the entire insurance industry is composed largely of those workers who are closest to retirement. And thanks to a bit of an image problem, we aren’t recruiting Millennials and Generation Z at a pace quick enough to replace the wave of retiring industry veterans.
Those of us who’ve worked in the industry for a while know it really is a great career option, both in terms of personal fulfillment (through helping people) and earning a living. An insurance career can be stable and secure, but it also has a reputation for being tech-laggard and doesn’t provide a cutting-edge experience for those tasked with running everything behind the scenes.
Here are a few examples:
- Work from anywhere. Remote work and flexible schedules were almost unheard of prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Cloud-based systems. The industry is slow to adopt cloud-based infrastructure that allows employees to share information and collaborate in real-time, from anywhere.
- Many agencies still use “the honor system” to track commissions.
- Dated marketing tactics. Agents and carriers alike continue to rely on direct mail, billboards, yellow book ads, and other hard-to-measure marketing tactics for leads, rather than technically-advanced marketing methods.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion. The industry is admittedly lacking in diversity, leading to a kind of “old boys’ club” mentality in some organizations.
Combined, these characteristics can put roadblocks in the path of an exceptional employee experience for would-be producers and other insurance carrier, agency, and MGA/MGU professionals.
How employee experience impacts the insurance industry
Producers drive success. You rely on your producers to bring in new business and retain current clients, as well as upselling customers. Doesn’t it make sense to provide the best possible experience for these producers so they’re empowered to bring the most to your organization?
But behind every producer is a team of insurance professionals. At insurance carriers and MGAs and MGUs, there are employees who focus on legal, compliance, and finance. And they are equally vulnerable to the risks of a poor employee experience. From the long-tenured C-suite executive to the newest licensed agent in the field, your success relies on attracting and retaining the people who’ll do their jobs best. These are the same people who are being enticed into jobs with the promise of “shiny new toys” that will make their roles less manual, repetitive, and stressful.
The issue of employee experience is not unique to the insurance industry. But it’s even more important to focus on it if you want to grow your business despite the current obstacles facing the industry. When you provide producers and other employees with a positive experience, you’ll reap the benefits of a more motivated and harder-working sales team, better client relationships and retention, and ultimately, a better bottom line.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what you can do to enhance your insurance employees’ experience and realize these results. We’re glad you asked!
Compliance and insurance technology fuels growth (really!)
When it comes to employee experience insurance industry companies need to invest in modern technology (insurtech and otherwise) that makes their staff’s lives easier. From the practical side, investing in systems that help producers reduce busy-work and repetitive data entry will obviously lead to greater productivity. But it’s more than that.
In the insurance industry, growth is often placed in opposition to the idea of compliance. If successfully onboarding, licensing, appointing, and maintaining compliance for one producer is hard, then doing the same for 100 or 1,000 producers is nearly impossible! Current manual processes and procedures simply don’t scale.
Some agencies hold back on growing because they don’t have the resources to manage all those new producers – even if bringing them on would ultimately be profitable. Some carriers hesitate to partner with new MGAs, MGUs, or agencies out of fear of costs associated with appointments and the risk that new producers will cost money but not bring an ROI.
Across the insurance industry, employee turnover is high and a large portion of new producers leave the industry within their first months and years. Why is this the case? We know that employee experience at insurance agencies and carriers isn’t always the best. Historically, these companies have relied on manual processes – processes that everyone dreads. In 2022, it’s hard to entice smart, talented people to spend their days on data entry, repeat data entry, and even more data entry.
This is why investing in technology that creates a modern experience for employees (from producers on up the distribution channel) can make a real difference. Employees who have access to systems that make doing business easy will feel like their company values their time and expertise. They won’t be easily wooed away by competitors that promise them better, and higher-tech, resources. When you automate the tedious parts of their job, they’ll have more time to devote to relationships – both with clients (which obviously helps sales), and with other team members. Investing more time in building relationships has its own benefits.
Investing in the right tech solutions have both front-end and back-end benefits when it comes to growing your business and your distribution channel. On one side, producers and employees have a better experience, are happier, more productive, and stay with the company longer. On the other end of the distribution channel, your partners – whether they’re agencies, MGAs, or carriers – will appreciate your investment in ease of doing business. When it’s easier to do business with your organization, employees and partners alike are more likely to do so. And they will stick around because it’s easier to do the work. This means your organization can scale at a rate you never imagined without sacrificing accuracy and compliance.
If you’re an insurance carrier, agency, MGA, or MGU and want a solution that will delight the producers you’re trying to onboard and the legal and compliance teams you’re trying to unburden, AgentSync has the solution. See us in action today!
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