Guest blog by Torey Maerz, Rocket Referrals
Guest blogs are written by contributors outside of HawkSoft. The author's views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of HawkSoft.
As an independent insurance agent, you have many decisions to make when it comes to the tools you use to run your agency. And those decisions never really stop—you continually have to keep your pulse on what’s available to help you remain effective, efficient and competitive.
At the very minimum, you need a website, an agency management system, client communication and marketing tools, and scheduling tools. And, depending on the size of your agency and the types of policies you sell, specialized quoting, payment, and other software, too.
The good news is that there are many great companies and products on the market today so you can pick the right software for you. The not-so-good news is that not all the tools available to independent agents work well together. The last thing you want is to commit to a product, invest a lot of money, train your team, and then realize it doesn’t work well with other tools you have or may need in the future.
As a HawkSoft user, you’re off to a good start. HawkSoft’s list of partners and integrations is impressive and they are committed to making sure you can take advantage of the best tools on the market today. But an agency management system is just one of several tools you may need.
Read on to get tips on what to look for when choosing new software integrations for your agency, and to see an example of a what a great integration looks like in action.
What to look for when choosing software for your agency
How do you know which tools not only work well and integrate with your existing software, but will also likely work with the new tools that continue to appear on the market?
You need to anticipate your needs, do a little research, and ask the right questions. Here are some things to consider.
Talk with other agents and read online reviews. Specifically, try to learn more about the kind of support and documentation the vendor offers. Integrations can be tricky. Will you be able to talk to real people when you need help?
Look at how customizable the integrations the vendor offers are. For example, you likely enter data differently than other agencies, so customizing how your contacts are retrieved is important. Can you choose how to retrieve spouse names, or filter by policy types and contact status? If you need a custom integration, is the company open to working with you on building one?
How established is this vendor, and what’s their track record when it comes to data security? Check out HawkSoft's white paper on data ownership to get a checklist of questions to ask technology partners about how they treat your client data.
Partnership selection process
How does the vendor select integration partners? Is it “pay to play” or do they pick partnerships that benefit insurance agents? You’re looking for the latter.
Are you committing to a long-term contract before being able to use the software for a while and make sure it works the way you’d expect it to?
When multiple vendors are working together, you get the most benefit. Even if your management system doesn’t have a direct integration with every piece of software you use, you can still get all the data as long as one of them is connected to the others.
What great integrations look like
So, what do good integrations look like in practice?
Just recently, a HawkSoft user reached out to us to see if we could help with a specific integration. This agent uses DaveRamsey.com to collect leads and they needed help automating the process. Agents who are Dave Ramsey Trusted Providers/ELPs can get local leads from Dave’s followers who ask for an insurance quote through his website.
What happens to that lead? If you use HawkSoft and Rocket Referrals, you don’t need to do a thing because we built an integration for it.
When a Dave Ramsey lead comes through, it gets automatically added to Rocket Referrals and a targeted multi-step campaign kicks off to nurture and convert that prospect. You can also import the prospect from Rocket Referrals to HawkSoft and kick off other communications to them as you’d like, increasing your chances of getting their business.
This is just one example of the power of integrated systems. When InsurTech providers are committed to working together, your customers reap the benefits. And when your customers are happy, your agency can grow faster because the technology into which you’ve invested is doing the work for you.
Effective integrations can help you streamline and automate most aspects of your agency’s day-to-day so you can focus your time on the tasks where human touch is necessary. And, by choosing specialized tools that meet your unique needs, you’re able to have access to the best tools on the market—if they can work together, that is.
Scheduling a meeting with a new prospect, cross-selling a life policy to an existing client, mailing a thank you note to a referral source—all can be done seamlessly if your tools work with your agency management system and with each other.
Grow your business with Rocket Referrals
Rocket Referrals is a leading insurance communications platform providing insurance agents across the U.S. with innovative tools to grow their business. Click below to learn more and see our tools in action.