As a successful insurance agent, you understand the importance of building trust and nurturing a relationship with your leads and clients. You understand how important it is to stay on top of your pipelines and the work of your team members. If you aren’t already using a CRM, chances are you have heard the term before. What is a CRM and why is it important for your success?
What does CRM mean?
When you Google the term CRM, you find that it stands for customer relationship management, but what does that really mean? Like the spreadsheets you currently use to manage your leads and customers, it is a technology platform designed to manage all interactions with leads and customers. But a quality CRM does so much more than just managing your relationships. The right CRM can help you build better customer relationships, automate your sales and marketing aspects, improve customer service, and boost sales and profitability.
A quick history of CRM
For years, sales and marketing agents relied on index cards and a Rolodex to keep track of leads, clients, and business connections. As computers began to take hold, many turned to spreadsheets to better manage their customer lists. However, as the internet took hold and social media platforms are gaining in popularity, these simple systems are not enough to provide the tracking and customer management that businesses need.
The first CRMs emerged in the 1980s, with ACT being one of the first. The idea of these automated systems exploded in the 1990s. They continue to grow in capabilities, making customer relationship management and so many other areas of business management easier.
What are the goals of a CRM platform?
While the main goal of a CRM platform is to manage and help strengthen interactions and relationships with your leads and clients, these platforms now offer so much more. In addition to helping manage relationships, utilizing a CRM can also help increase your lead generation, boost your conversions, and even help you reduce costs.
Who uses CRM?
When you think of all the benefits a CRM offers, you may assume that these platforms are designed for large businesses in specific industries. But that could not be farther from the truth. The truth is there are CRM platforms that can work for just about any industry and any size company – from the big retail chains to small, independent insurance agents. Specific features may exist in certain CRMs that gear it towards a specific market, such as Better Agency’s insurance CRM. However, there is a CRM platform out there for many different industries, such as:
- Financial Services
- Media and Communication
Types of CRM
There are three main types of CRM systems: collaborative, analytical, and operational. Each offers different benefits for your business. To help you determine which type is best for your business, let’s take a closer look at the difference between each one.
Collaborative CRMs are designed for businesses with separate teams for marketing, sales, and customer support. The goal of a collaborative CRM is to ensure that all of these different teams and their members have up-to-date customer data and that each team can integrate and work together to provide the best customer experience possible.
An operational CRM is designed to streamline every process of your business relating to customer relationships. They offer tools designed to effectively see the journey your leads take to becoming a customer and offer ways to streamline this process. This can include website integration, social media integration, and automation. Instead of spending hours a week responding to new signups on your website or posting social media posts, operational CRMs can automate many of these jobs, leaving you and your team more time to work directly with your customers.
While all CRM platforms offer analytics, analytical CRMs focus on helping you analyze your customer data and gain insight into your business, your sales pipeline, and where you may need to make some changes. Digging deeper into your customer data, this type of CRM allows you to use the customer information you already have to get a clearer picture of what is working and what isn’t.
Benefits of CRM
Adding a CRM to your business can provide numerous benefits. Here we highlight a few of the top ways a CRM can make a difference.
Leads and customer management
While a CRM offers a wide range of benefits, the most important is it manages leads and customer relationships. A CRM manages your contacts in a central location and automatically gathers important information, including demographics, purchase histories, and communication history. All your team members can access this information in real-time, helping to ensure the best customer experience.
A CRM can also help you and your team track various data, including team member activities, interactions, targets, and specific tasks, and keeps all this data in a centralized location that is accessible to all your team members.
A CRM helps you manage every step of the sales process, including building a sales pipeline and automating key tasks within that pipeline to help boost productivity and increase sales.
CRMs are a great benefit to your marketing team. For example, while drip campaigns and quick follow-ups are essential to your marketing efforts, they can be time-consuming for you or your employees. The right CRM offers automation technology that can schedule drip campaigns to targeted demographics, initiate tasks to team members or send an immediate follow-up to new visitors to your website, and so much more. This helps save time, boost productivity, and helps ensure no potential lead falls through the cracks.
As we mentioned above, automation tools within a CRM can help boost productivity for many segments of your business, leaving more hours available for direct customer contact. In addition, the CRM offers the ability to set goals, schedule tasks, and follow the pipelines to ensure that these tasks are complete and you and your team are meeting your goals.
Nurturing new customer relationships is essential to keep that customer and promote loyalty. Packed with all your customer data, the CRM can provide analysis, automated tasks, and customer support to ensure your customers are happy, receive regular contact, and provide information about current promotions or discounts based on your data.
Accurate sales forecasting
While pulling out old spreadsheets and analyzing the data can give you a glimpse into your previous sales and performance history, it is not often a clear picture. With a CRM, you can run automated reports that help you identify key trends that can give you a clear idea of what you can expect when it comes to sales conversions in the future, allowing you to better forecast future sales.
How Better Agency’s CRM Makes a Difference for Insurance Agents
If you are an insurance agent eager to learn how a CRM can genuinely make a difference to your bottom line, the team at Better Agency is ready to help. Our CRM, built by insurance agents, is geared to your business needs and designed to help you take advantage of all the top features to help your business thrive.
To learn more, schedule a discovery call with us today.