To get right off the mark, software is the core of almost all businesses today, and every business requires some kind of ‘Central Management System’!
Financial focused CRM systems are now almost entirely software based. Now you may question how a CRM system can work without software, but back in the day, a person actively connected departments within insurance firms via meetings and a paper trail.
The good news is that today things are lot more centralised and completely digital!
We will look at some of the ways CRM systems within insurance companies connect departments to help create a more streamline experience for departments, employees and clients. Now this article takes a slightly different approach to customer relationship management compared to most others. Mostly because we are looking at software solutions from an internal point of view rather than from the customer’s point of view.
However, you will reach the same outcome, which is creating a streamline system that will eventually propagate to your customers because your insurance business will be able to offer a more efficient, cost effective, and streamline service to those looking for health insurance, life insurance, home insurance, and more!
We can also recommend ‘What is CRM’ which is also a great article explaining the concept of ‘Customer Relationship Management as an overall solution as opposed to a software development solution.
Here’s what we cover:
- How CRM Connects Insurance Company Departments
- Key Advantages of CRM to Business Operations
- Out-of-the-box CRM Versus Custom Built CRM Solutions
How CRM Connects Insurance Company Departments
One of the key components to sending a unified brand message out to the workforce, existing clients, and potential clients is making sure sales and marketing are connected.
Without stating the obvious, bringing in sales is the key to any insurance company’s success. And one of the key tactics used to ensure sales continues is creating a positive brand image which requires inter departmental communications.
Marketing teams need to understand the insurance product because they send out brand messages via online and offline advertising, and sales teams need to understand the marketing that brings sales leads to their desks. The idea is those marketing messages are consistent across all platforms i.e., a billboard advertisement should project the same message as social media or other advertising platforms.
If the brand message is not consistent between these channels, then it can get confusing. Sales people delivering inconsistent brand message can lead to a confused customer or sales lead, which can instantly result in the customer losing confidence in the brand and searching elsewhere.
From the external messages delivered via offline and online media to the sales teams offering information to customers and potential clients the message should always be consistent.
CRM software plays a key role here: It connects marketing and sales teams who have access to specific USPs being used by the firm’s marketing and advertising teams.
All departments should have access to this central system that communicates the USPs of the insurance packages. Each USP should state why they are important, and which target markets they appeal to (B2B, Elderly, Personal Insurance, and so on).
By centralising this information, everyone is on the same page resulting in consistent brand messages and instilling confidence in existing and potential customers.
The scope goes further than this within the realms of insurance. For example, for marketing to realise ‘Unique Selling Points’ (USPs), the department needs to be in contact with risk assessment teams, researchers, and claims departments to ensure sales personnel understand any new developments as soon as they happen. This could be changes in legal frameworks made by the government, advances in medical treatment, or increased risk factors.
Within insurance, many of the changes that affect insurance policies are external influences. PEST is a good example of this, and CRMs are able to track PEST (Political, Environmental, Social, Technological) influences and communicate them quickly and efficiently to ‘need to know’ departments.
If you want to learn more about PEST within insurance, a good example is from Fern Fort University covering external influences on health insurance using a PESTEL analysis.
Key Advantages of CRM to Business Operations
CRM software has many advantages, and these are effectively the USPs you would use to persuade your managers or financial execs to invest in a custom build CRM solution for your business. Of course, if you are already the decision maker, and you are reading this, then hopefully you will be suitably impressed!
Automation: In today’s fast moving business environments, efficiency is key to success. The more time you can save your employees, the more productive they become. CRM systems help to automate numerous tasks such as sending custom quotes, time management, issuing new sales scripts, and contracts in situations where the terms and conditions are generally always consistent such as in sectors such as health insurance.
Consolidate Contacts: A good CRM system will consolidate your internal communications in one area, existing customers in another, and then sales leads, supply chain partners, and any other business critical contact information. The CRM database will hold the contacts and this system should include customer filter options and search functions.
Tip: Data input is important here because filters only work if your employees enter into the contacts area of the CRM. If they skip vital categorisation or input the date wrong, your filters and/or searches will become inconsistent.
Communications Tacking: A CRM is a little like CCTV. It records everything. From phone calls and emails to online chats and customer support comms, a state-of-the-art CRM system will not only track and record communication information, it will also offer a seamless filtering and search tool much like the contacts database mentioned above.
Client Data: Customer services, support teams, and account managers should not have to traipse through spreadsheets to locate historical or present information about your clients. This poses so many issues such as security, sharing permissions, and more. A well-designed CRM system will centralise ‘all client information and even link similar clients.
Tip: When your CRM system links clients, it is usually because those clients operate in a similar or the same industry. Employees can see who dealt with the client and look at how certain contractual or service delivery agreements were a success with an existing client and apply those concepts to new clients. Your CRM then becomes a solutions-based tool as well as a central management tool.
Security: Modern CRM systems are highly secure. They come with permission-based access to client data, departmental information, and even contacts. Just about every object within a CRM database can have permission applied. This keeps business sensitive data under wraps and gives your company a central ‘permissions-based management system’ on top of data management.
Out-of-the-box CRM Versus Custom Built CRM Solutions
Out-of-the-box CRM solutions are also OK if you are a small business, but they often need work arounds because they are fixed software tools as opposed to custom built to your busines operational needs.
Often the best solutions are tailored to your business’s needs. An out-of-the-box solutions cannot give you everything your business needs in most cases, but on the other hand, it is the most affordable solution. It really depends on which departments you need to connect, the size of your business and ultimately your budget.
Finding a software development company that will custom design your insurance CRM is the system within your budget is a tough prospect which is one of the reasons why so many businesses. However, there are some companies such as Nexsource (NX) that have already created a solution. The CRM product comes with all the tools a CRM system should have out-of-the-box while there is a software development team that will custom design additional features for insurance companies that need add on component outside the scope of other CRM software solutions have to offer.
Essentially, software development firms that offer a semi-out-of-the-box solution + custom design solutions are cost effective in the long run. By sacrificing additional budget to custom design parts of the CRM, companies increase efficiency, which in the long run is more valuable to the business versus using a work around because another solution does not offer all the tools your business needs to operate a 100% centralised CRM system!