Having worked with all types of insurance companies for years, I have learned that there are many software applications to support the various types of Insurance companies in the marketplace. With so many choices, it’s a good idea to pause and think through some considerations.
Insurance Agencies have a plethora of applications to choose from. Both Applied and Vertafore have several Agency Management Systems (Applied has Epic, TAM, DORIS, and others, while Vertafore has AMS360, BenefitPoint, Sagitta and others) while newcomers like Veruna are becoming a player in this space. From a carrier standpoint, you have vendors like Guidewire, Duck Creek, Insurity and others that provide the policy, claims, and other functionality.
When you look at Managing General Agencies (MGAs) who can write business on behalf of carriers but work with insurance agencies, they are looking for software applications that can streamline their agency appointment process as well as the submission to policy to entitlement to the renewal process. Many MGAs have multiple systems to perform all of these activities. This requires duplicate data entry for employees and more difficulties regarding a consolidated view of the data.
Why MGAs Choose Salesforce for Insurance Software
Several of the applications that are available today for MGAs provide many of those needs, however one drawback to many of them is their interoperability. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are now available in more modern systems enabling significantly easier integration across software applications. Legacy software or software built on proprietary platforms makes integration of systems more complex and more expensive (both to build and maintain).
Because of these reasons, Salesforce’s open platform has been very popular for many of our MGA clients. With Salesforce’s AppExchange, there are thousands of applications that provide pre-built integrations, thus making it very easy and quick to add functionality into your MGA application. Examples of some applications are:
- Email Marketing/Marketing Automation – MGAs want to promote their offering to as many prospective agencies as possible, and by setting up email marketing programs with drip campaigns, MGAs can “score” prospects based on their interaction with emails, website visits, and more. Once a prospective agency achieves a certain score, your team can get notified to reach out via phone (for example).
- Accounting Application – Instead of having a separate accounting system running on a different server or a different cloud, MGAs are now running their accounting applications on Salesforce. By doing this, there is one less integration required to ensure data integrity.
- Document Creation/eSignature – As MGAs are generating documents that need to be sent for an electronic signature, applications such as DocuSign (and others) can be integrated so that the MGA user never has to leave Salesforce to send and receive a document.
- Document Management/File Storage – Many firms have been centralizing where all their client files are stored (electronically) and while Salesforce can perform this function, each person that wants to access a file would need a Salesforce license. Applications such as Box, Dropbox, or SharePoint are very popular and can be integrated so that when you are on a client record in Salesforce, all of that client’s documents are visible even if they are stored on an external application.
- Phone System Integration – MGAs can now pull up a client or prospect record and do a “click to dial” by clicking on the phone icon, this will have the system dial the phone number for you. Additionally, the “screen pop” functionality can load the client or prospect record on your screen when a call arrives so you can provide a more personal touch.
- Outlook/Gmail Integration – Too many companies, the Outlook or Gmail calendar is critical to managing their upcoming meetings. As a result, it is critical that you can share calendars with Salesforce (two-way synchronization) along with synchronizing email and contacts. For example, as a contact gets added to Salesforce, you may want to ensure that it automatically gets added to your Outlook or Gmail Contact folder.
There are many more examples of applications that can be integrated with Salesforce, as it is a very open platform. Given our experience in the MGA space, we have developed functionality to support the agency appointment, submission, policy, entitlement, renewal, and commission requirements for MGAs. Because it was Salesforce, you also get the open architecture to integrate as many or as few applications as necessary to drive value for your business.
Want to learn more? Watch the recording of How Salesforce Supports MGAs and the Insurance Distribution Market. We are happy to talk strategy or help with questions that you have. Let’s chat!