To take advantage of insurtech solutions that will propel your agency’s growth and success, you must know where you are today so you can plan and prioritize how you will get to the next level.
One of my very favorite quotes is from Michael Jordan. He says, “The minute you get away from fundamentals — whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation — the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”
Let’s think of the following five areas as the fundamentals for being able to make impactful decisions regarding insurance technology.
#1 – Know your numbers around growth, retention, productivity, and profitability. Through the process of evaluating where your agency stands in each of these areas, you’ll discover opportunities that will lead you to find the right solutions. Use the reporting functions of your various systems to keep current and accurate measures in front of you to help with decision-making. If you’re not sure what reporting functions are available to you, research and learn them. There are numerous tools out there to help with benchmarking if you’d like to see where you stand compared to other firms: Al Diamond’s Agency Consulting Group, Best Practices, Burand & Associates, and The National Alliance are among them.
#2 – Leverage strengths and strengthen weaknesses of your organization, so you can be positioned to take advantage of the right technology at the right time for the right reasons. Too often we take for granted or assume we accurately understand the:
- Technical knowledge of our staff (until there’s an E&O allegation).
- The efficiency of our policies, procedures and workflows.
- The most effective use of technology to drive down expenses.
- Our carrier contracts.
- Our culture, which can include how we approach sales, service and relationship-building.
Look critically at these items on a regular basis to help you uncover opportunities. For example, simply reducing the number of touch points during the new business data-entry process can lead to a big reduction in the cost of client acquisition for an agency — never mind the morale boost for the service team when duplicate and triplicate data entry is reduced or eliminated!
#3 – Stay aware of what is going on in our industry and in the world at large. The informed agency can be proactive, positioning itself to stay ahead of the curve. Can you adopt a data security plan before mandated by legislation? Do you know about regional economic developments that will negatively impact your commercial book of business? Be intentional about consistently reading trade publications, legislative updates, and local business updates at a minimum. You’re in a much stronger position if you change before you’re forced to change.
#4 – Have a plan — ideally a written one that is communicated across your organization. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. Know where you are going based on where you are now — whether that’s in adopting new technology to improve workflow or in educating your producers to be successful in new markets. Create a plan that includes goals, action steps, timelines and how you will recognize and celebrate achievement.
#5 – Execute the plan. This is where so many people get stuck. Think Nike and Just Do It! If you succumb to analysis paralysis, opportunity will pass you by. So get started! Just doing it is critical to leveraging insurtech. But it’s equally critical to monitor and adjust as you go along … which takes us back to No. 1: Know your numbers.
In order to identify and leverage the technology solution that will best benefit your organization, you must have a firm understanding of what problems you need to solve and where you should proactively work to grow.
Additional Resources: 3 Steps for Launching New Technology