on the effectiveness of technology in insurance agencies’ sales and management processes. Their results revealed that agencies that rely on the use of technology in all aspects of their business- marketing, sales, customer relations, etc.- sell 43 percent more policies than agencies who do not incorporate technology into their business model. Furthermore, the gap between these two sides is widening, so those companies who have yet to begin using technology to help their business will continue to fall further behind.
ITC is a Texas-based developer of marketing, rating and management products for the insurance industry. Their President, Laird Rixford, said that they, as well as Velocify, “offer complementary products that help agencies grow. Velocify, which is a California-based sales acceleration software company, collaborated with ITC in this study after both companies realized that agencies that were using technology were much more successful than those that weren’t.
Their joint study, “The State of Techsurance 2015”, was a 20-question survey that examined over 1,000 agencies of varying sizes and type-independents, directs and captives. ITC and Velocify used contacts provided by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, combined with contacts of their own, to comprise the make-up of the study. Their goal was to prove that companies who used technology more extensively had a distinct advantage over those that did not. In order to do so, they evaluated agencies based on six different technologies:
Marketing Automation Software
Lead Management Software
Comparative Raters (Rate Engines)
Agency Management Systems
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Jorge Jeffrey, Velocify’s Director of Research and the primary analyst of the study, said that their results did, in fact, show increased productivity and revenue in the agencies that implement and use technology. He also noted that the gap between those who do use technology and those that do not, is widening. “One interesting finding that we hadn’t initially thought about was this widening of the technology gap…This widening gap is important for everyone to be aware of because the more it widens, the more difficult it might be for those who aren’t adopting technology to stay competitive,” he said.
Jeffrey concludes that,” The big takeaway from this as well is there is definitely still a lot of opportunity to capitalize on the technology. So even though some larger agencies and the directs are using it to a wider extent than the others it doesn’t mean that it’s too late.” So why then are agencies still refusing to use technology? Rixon cites two reasons; cost and failure to implement them successfully.
In terms of cost, Rixon says that, “they are afraid of the cost. The cost of the implementation goes much farther than the buying of the software or the solution and putting it in your office.” However, he also says that the initial cost of buying the technology is well worth what it can bring your company in the long run.
Even agencies that do buy the software can still fail to see results if they do not incorporate them properly. According to Rixon, they don’t establish an agency-wide process that is essential for taking full advantage of the use of technology. “They don’t implement them long term,” he says, “They don’t have a process that verifies that they use them consistently throughout the workflow.”