In today’s world we are all bombarded with hundreds of apps for insurance agents. It feels like new tech emerges every day. We hear a lot about the best ways to build your “tech stack.” We are supposed to evaluate and figure out if it will fit into our agencies.

Now I am under the belief that no one has it all figured out, including me, as new tech emerges – but I do think there are some key elements to build your tech stack that you should consider.

As you think about apps for insurance agents, start by thinking about the lifecycle of the client and what you need in place to give that client the best experience possible.

Client Lifecycle

Start when they are a Suspect. How do get them to hear about you? What does that messaging look like? What type of a feeling do they get when they see your name? How is that message delivered to them? This is how you create brand awareness.

After you are in contact with them, they are now a Prospect. How do you work them through your Sales Process? How do you show them value? Do they understand how you are different than the competition?

After you gain their trust and they hire you, they are now a New Client. What does the onboarding process look like? Is the process and experience the same for each client? Is it simple for the client to understand who they are working with and how they should communicate?

After they are a client, how do you move them to a brand evangelist – or, in other words, a Raving Fan. How proactive are you in your communication? What value are you providing on an ongoing basis?

I evaluate new tech through these same lenses – does it improve the client experience? Just as important, however, is understanding when we should be evaluating new tech. Technology is not the answer to every one of these questions. In fact, I bet most of them could be significantly improved with better processes internally.

At INSURICA, Kylie Hubbard likes to answer any of these questions with improved processes first and THEN think about what technology could make that improvement even better. Sometimes that answer is that it can’t be improved, but other times you will see a path to greater success with a particular piece of tech.

Let’s break down each of the steps in that client lifecycle and talk about some of the apps for insurance agents that we have found useful.

An image showing an ebook on a tablet titled "Reinvent Your Sales Process"

Suspect: Apps to Build Brand Awareness

Attracting an audience is all about brand awareness.

You need a way to communicate your message effectively to your target market.

First, determine how you want to get your message into the market. You can certainly go with the old tried-and-true method of cold calling for lack of anything better. Cold calling can get you a bad rap, but it can still be very effective. If you want to buy the Ferrari of cold calling, you have to take a look at Connect and Sell. Their tool puts the power of hundreds of cold callers at your fingertips. This allows you to talk to decision makers more often.

If you would rather go the content creation route and build an email list, there are some fantastic tools out there to help. While I am not a self-professed marketing expert, we have had a lot of success with tools like ActiveCampaign. It is super easy to build automated marketing campaigns to gain brand awareness and move your suspect through the marketing funnel. Once your suspect knows who you are, make it easy for them to book an initial meeting using a tool like Calendly.

Prospect: Apps to Build Your Funnel

You have a new lead and it’s time to walk them through your marketing and sales funnel. We have to get visibility into our Pipeline so that we know where these deals are at and what we need to do next. That comes in the form of a CRM. Most firms don’t need a crazy complex CRM like Salesforce or Hubspot. Those are fantastic systems and can do about anything you want but they also take a significant amount of time to set up and manage. There some much simpler and more specific solutions out there like Pipedrive and InsuredMine as well.

Not only do you have to track where the deal is at in the Pipeline but you also need to figure out how you are going to differentiate yourself from the competition. This is where a tool like LAUNCH can come in. LAUNCH helps you identify the prospect’s pain points, benchmark/score their risk and then build a client plan to show them exactly how you can solve their problems and get hired.

New Client: Apps to Wow Your Client

Client onboarding in our industry is often overlooked. Many agencies build their onboarding process based off what they must do to get the policies in place for the insurance carrier. AKA, the bare minimum.

Client onboarding is an area where we definitely need to consider process first. If we are going to create a “wow” experience for our clients, then we need to take control of this process. Obviously, you need an account management system (AMS), which most agencies already have in place in their toolbox of apps for insurance agents. They are certainly not all created equal. Most of the market share in the industry goes to Applied Systems EPIC or AMS 360 by Vertafore. While both of those tools are very powerful, they have been criticized for being slow movers as it relates to innovation.

Good news is that there are several other AMS systems that have started up for small to medium sized firms to compete with these two giants. Most notably, Better Agency and Hawksoft. These have a much higher rate of innovation in their product and can make quick adjustments based on client feedback. I love seeing this competition as the AMS industry needs some more of it!

Raving Fans: Apps to Create Brand Evangelists

I did not come up with the term Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard did, but that is what we should be striving for. In my opinion, there are two things that are most important when you are wowing with your client experience.

  1. Solve problems that are worth solving for your clients.
  2. Do what you say you are going to do.

It will be difficult to create that level of client experience without solving meaningful problems. You need to be able to consistently identify and prioritize problems that your client is facing and bring them solutions that matter. Once you have done that, put a plan in place that will hold you and the client accountable to what you said you are going to do. I wrote a whole article on building this process.

There are many tools you can use to implement a process like that. Something as simple as an Excel doc or a table in a Word doc can be very effective in executing that process. LAUNCH is custom built for that process to help you systematically implement that process.

The Bottom Line

When evaluating apps for insurance agents, you must consider the client experience first.

You won’t find this an exhaustive list of apps for insurance agents – rather, a way to think about how to build out your tech stack using process and technology together. Don’t get caught up in shiny object syndrome. Hold yourself to the standard that a new piece of tech should bring value to your client and improve their experience.

If you do that – you win and your clients win!

An image showing an ebook on a tablet titled "Reinvent Your Sales Process"