Marketing trends around the world have expanded into the digital realm. The pandemic has changed marketing in ways unseen, with social media and video content taking center stage. Content marketing is expected to exceed $300 billion, and 70% of consumers want to learn about products through content instead of traditional advertising methods. Digital marketing grew by leaps and bounds in 2020 due to the rapid digitization during the pandemic. In 2021, nearly 88% of all US digital display ad dollars, or $81.00 billion, will flow via automation, according to EMarketer. These numbers are a direct sign to revamp your credit union digital marketing strategy and delve deeper into growing online. 

smart phone users statistics

The first step is to understand what your members want and tune your marketing message accordingly.

The most noticeable shift in American digital device use is for mobile phones. Over 81% of the American population own smartphones and 96% of millennials own only smartphones and do not use feature phones (Source). Financial institutions that fail to account for this will lose out on one of the most quickly growing digital marketing strategies – mobile marketing.

1. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is a multi-channel digital marketing strategy that focuses on capturing leads through smartphones. As the above statistics show that 81% of Americans own smartphones, which means that they often consult the internet for their buying choices. This is seen in what Google has termed “micro-moments.” 

Micro-moments, or what is better known as mapping customer micro-moments, is a largely untapped area within credit union digital marketing. These micro-moments are when customers look for information relating to knowing, going, doing, and buying (Source).

  • Knowing may relate to searches such as “The best Credit Unions for students”
  • Going will be a search along the lines of – “Credit Unions near me”
  • Doing will be searches such as “How to invest in Credit Unions?”
  • Finally, buying will be – “How to buy Credit Union loans?”

These micro-moments largely revolve around the use of a smartphone, according to Google:  

Mobile Marketing
  • 91% of smartphone users search for information in the middle of tasks.
  • 82% consult their phones when they are standing in a store deciding to make purchases.
  • Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand. 

As time goes by, consumers will increasingly take to the internet for their purchases. Optimizing your content using local SEO to appear when such searches take place is essential to compete. The content created by your credit union digital marketing team will have to be mobile-friendly and easily accessible. Websites, apps, and advertising need to align within the borders of your smartphone. Mobile marketing through omnichannel communication can greatly boost digital marketing sales in the Credit Union space.

2. Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the best digital marketing strategies in 2021. In a SEMrush marketing survey, 84% of marketers had content marketing strategies in place in 2020. Over 70% of them also stated that their content marketing efforts were more successful in 2020 than in 2019. Thus, we can say, content marketing will help members become more aware of products and services offered by your Credit Union. 

content marketing statistics

According to the Financial brand, content created with a strategy focused on reaching members can increase financial stability, trust, and loyalty. You can do this by creating informative content in a blog or video format that explains the benefits of credit union membership. In a SEMrush survey, 72% of marketers stated that How-to guides were the best traffic drivers. Also, 44% of the marketers claim that how-to guides have increased lead-generation. 

Content that delves deep into your Credit Union services has a high chance of increasing membership. Another area of importance in marketing is the landing page. 35% of respondents stated that they benefit significantly from product descriptions on their landing pages. Therefore, Credit Unions need to build responsive landing pages to increase user engagement.

3. Chatbots

Chatbots are one of the most important credit union digital marketing tools. Chatbot marketing is estimated to have a market size of 1.3 billion dollars in 2024, with several organizations increasing investments in chatbots for customer-facing operations. 1.4 Billion people who use messaging apps are willing to communicate via chatbots. Also, 67% of millennials in the US would likely purchase products and services from brands with chatbots. Chatbots created using artificial intelligence and data analytics are highly efficient communicators.

Chatbot Usage and potential growth

The importance of chatbots in marketing:

IBM explains the importance of chatbots in reducing customer service costs. They have found that businesses spend $1.3 trillion on 265 billion customer service calls each year. They state that chatbots can help businesses save on customer service costs by-

  •  speeding up response times
  •  freeing up agents for more challenging work, and
  •  answering up to 80% of routine questions

A critical aspect of digital marketing is keeping your members engaged and responding in a timely manner. Without chatbots that offer automated responses for initial conversations, you may miss out on some important leads. Chatbots gather member information that you can use while implementing financial marketing strategies in the future. According to the Financial Brand, as banks and credit unions have become more comfortable using chatbots, more have used chatbots for personalizing advisory messages.

4. Micro-Influencers for Major Marketing

Social media is an incredibly effective digital marketing tool in 2021. From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown to a market size of $9.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $13.8 billion in 2021. Social media is quickly becoming the best place to engage your community members as it allows organizations to work around ad blockers. Influencers, as the term signifies, have great potential in influencing member choices. Collaborations between influencers and major financial institutions have increasing levels of success. 89% of marketers stated that ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.

To achieve this, you need not invest heaps of money to sponsor influencers with a massive following. Instead, the smarter choice would be to invest in micro or nano-influencers. Micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates (averaging at 7%) on their feed posts. As engagement rates on Instagram continue to decline, more and more businesses are seeing the value in partnering with Instagram influencers who have a small (or “micro”) but highly engaged following. By reaching out to influencers who are part of your credit union and are the right fit for your organization’s image, you can connect with your members via social media. 

Growth of influencer marketing

Another important influencer marketing channel is YouTube. YouTube has an immense reach among U.S. Gen Z and Millennial internet users regardless of gender. In a September 2019 internet users survey, 95 percent of male and 92 percent of female respondents stated that they used the online video platform (Source). In contrast, Facebook had a 70 and 78 percent reach, respectively. Investing or sponsoring influencers has a great chance of generating leads, building trust, and creating a favorable impression on your potential members. Credit union digital marketing strategies need to evolve to meet changing member needs across different platforms.

5. Automated Marketing

According to The Financial Brand, personalization in marketing is no longer optional. It has become a driving force that ensures your organization’s growth — a key to managing relationships and an essential tool that improves retention. According to research, organizations that use marketing automation software have a 77% increase in conversion rates. They also saw an 80% increase in leads. There is also a 451% increase in qualified leads in companies that use marketing automation software.

marketing-automation statistics

Marketing automation typically possess tools that improve accessibility to data and consumer information.

The first tool is reports and data analytics; this ensures that your message reaches the right member at the right time, requiring a mix of segmentation and reporting. Reports and data analytics can give you information about members looking for several products and services, which increases cross-selling opportunities and member engagement while building a community based on marketing campaigns. The right marketing automation paired with a smart sales automation tool can assign leads, qualify them, and make the lives of your sales executives much easier. Once the software has accumulated data to analyze qualified leads, these leads will be automatically assigned to the right agent.

Automated Communication

The agent can trigger omni-channel communication and send messages, emails, and notifications. Automated marketing is particularly helpful when sending emails. According to Statista, in 2019, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 3.9 billion and is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024. Email marketing strategies allow credit unions to directly communicate with their members. Personalized automated emails sent in a systematic manner can generate leads and strengthen engagement among credit unions. Investing in digital marketing tools such as chatbots, content, automation, and more can significantly boost credit union growth.

The pandemic has accelerated digitization without which it becomes much harder to communicate. Automated channels of communication that offer personalized member journeys are vital for success in 2021. 

LeadSquared offers a free trial for Marketing Automation, if you’re interested you can try it now! 


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Home » Archives for March 2021

The year 2020 has brought some unexpected changes in the insurance industry. While insurance was sold majorly through traditional channels like brokers and agents, COVID turned the spotlight on digital sales. The economic fallout altered the market trends by shifting focus on personalized premiums and simplifying products based on customer needs and expectations.

Listen to Mragendra Tomer, Head- Life Insurance, Paytm Insurance and Rajat Arora, VP – Marketing & Sales, LeadSquared, talk about the evolving landscape of Digital Insurance.

This article highlights the “digital-first” urgency in the insurance industry. But before we begin, let’s have a look at the insurance layout and what paved the way to its digital transformation.

The Current State of Insurance in India

Insurance is one of the leading sectors in India contributing to the growth of the economy. Despite low insurance penetration in the country, the industry has been at an all-time high by the virtue of the number of premiums it collects and the scale of its investment. But, most fundamentally, it keeps growing due to the social and economic role it plays by covering personal and business risks.

Insurance Market Size

The insurance industry of India currently has 57 insurance companies. Out of these 57, 24 are in the life insurance business, while 33 are non-life insurers. Where life insurance protects the livelihoods of individuals, general insurance, on the other hand, safeguards the GDP by protecting assets, businesses, health, and organizational reputation.

As per IRDAI, in 2009–10, the life insurance industry recorded a premium income of INR 2.65 lakh crore. But this increased to INR 5.1 lakh crore in 2018–19. On the other hand, the non-life insurance industry collected direct premiums worth INR 39,300 crore in 2009–10, which grew to INR 1.7 lakh crore in 2018–19. During the decade of 2009–2019, the life insurance industry collected a total of INR 35.26 lakh crore in premiums, while the non-life insurance industry collected INR 9.4 lakh crore as gross direct premiums.

Insurance Market Analysis

Insurance in the New Normal

As per a report by Oliver Wyman, 50% of the insurance agents think that COVID has led to a permanent acceleration in digital insurance purchasing.

The outbreak has affected the global insurance sector immensely. Insurance, which was seen as a push product, is now transforming into a pull product. Since the pandemic, people have become more concerned about their health and life. This change is leading to an increase in demand for insurance products.

Digital Insurance Advantage India

During the Digital Insurance webinar, we ran a poll asking insurance professionals about their most productive sales channel in 2020. 

54.55% of the respondents said that Telesales was the most productive channel, 45.45% said Point of Sales (POS), 22.73% said Feet-on-street (FOS), while the remaining 13.64% responded with Portfolio Management.

Most Productive Sales Channel for Insurance in 2020

In line with the response, Mragendra Tomer, Head- Life Insurance, Paytm Insurance, says, “There is an ongoing transition from on-field to on-phone, which is imminent. It happened during COVID, and it will continue to remain. In the upcoming years, the demand for telesales will be more than that of field sales.

The same sentiment is echoed across the larger business landscape.

Rajat Arora, VP – Marketing & Sales, LeadSquared, says, At LeadSquared, sales was dominated by field force for many years. We started inside sales 3 months before the pandemic struck, and it was challenging to say the least. But we tried to figure out why people buy on the phone vs. face-to-face and discovered that you need to be very proactive while selling over the phone. Usually, these sales are fast-paced in nature like retail insurance, and if you can not bind the user in the first 2 minutes, then most likely there is no deal.

Is Digital Insurance the New Norm?

Throughout the year 2020, digitization helped stabilize the growth of the insurance ecosystem. Every process from policy sales, marketing, documentation, claim processing, and customer onboarding relied on digital platforms. But the question is- Is digital insurance here to stay? Is digital insurance the new normal?

With digital transformation changing the dynamics of the industry, various manual processes have become digital. Operations are undergoing minor yet relevant changes to keep up with the growing consumer demands. Insurers are using customer journey builders and are integrating with various software to step up in their insurance selling game.

What can Insurers Do to Bring the Digital Change?

1. Leverage Straight Through Processing to Support Sales Life Cycle:

Anyone who has ever applied for insurance or filed a claim knows that it can be a long and daunting process. From underwriting to collections and every step in between, policy-holders feel like they’re running in loops.

Insurers can now solve this problem through Straight Through Processing. STP is a way of streamlining and simplifying the operations in the insurance industry. It enables the automated flow of information between systems.

digital sales in insurance ebook

While the STP crawls its way through the Insurance industry, it brings multiple benefits along with it. Using the method of Straight Through Processing, insurers can:

  • Achieve drastic gain in sales efficiency.
  • Check eligibility, offer quote instantly while improving customer satisfaction.
  • Increase visibility and reduce risks with improved real-time analytics.
  • Reduce human intervention or duplication of efforts.

“The good thing about moving to digital is – Everything is trackable. And when you can track everything, there is a better chance of improving the sales journey,” says Rajat Arora.

Straight through processing in Digital Insurance

The adoption of process automation in the insurance industry solves multiple challenges at once. Automation has now become a game-changing strategy to improve profit margins and streamline the overall operations dramatically.

2. Transform the Insurance Distribution Channels

The insurance market relies heavily on on-field forces and intermediaries for distribution. But the pandemic has forced the customers to migrate online. Other channels of distribution like agents, brokers, banks, advisors are gradually shifting towards digital. Although the online channel existed before the pandemic, it wasn’t used to its full potential. The various ways to revamp the digital distribution channels are:

  • Insurers need to rebuild their website or application portal according to the needs of the consumer.
  • Functions requiring user inputs like check ordering and credit applications should be embedded with links to the insurers.
  • Insurers should use technology to make the buying experience for the end user easy and pleasant.
  • Agents, brokers, and advisors should also look at digital modes to interact with their customer.
Insurance Distribution Channels

3. Align Insurance Products to Customer Needs:

Fixed Deposit is the most selling financial product to date. And the reason behind this is the simplification of the product. Brokers and agents are responsible for selling insurance to the consumer. Therefore, the product should not only be simple for the customer but also the agent or broker to understand so he can sell it further,” says Sourabh Lohtia, Director- Distribution Excellence, PNB MetLife.

The ways in which insurance products can be aligned with the customer needs are:

  • Insurers should provide a clear and simple documentation of the product to customers and intermediaries.
  • Improve customers’ understanding and ability to compare different products.
  • Enhance customer risk-literacy and understanding of coverage.
  • Build robust analytics for developing more relevant and timely offers for customers.

“If we talk about motor insurance, it is rather simple to understand and buy. Health insurance has also embraced digital. On the other hand, life insurance has gained traction but there is still scope for LI to grow further. Because of the technicalities involved, it is slightly difficult to understand and sell. Hence, insurers should look at ways to make it easier for the consumer to buy insurance without any assistance,” says Mragendra Tomer.

Simplify Insurance Products

Insurers need to figure out to a way to reach their audience digitally. This includes embedding a phygital strategy – a hybrid of both physical and digital into the already existing Bancassurance model.

4. Simplify Documentation via API Integrations:

Insurance processes are known to be document heavy. Where motor insurance requires minimal documents, product like life insurance need various paperwork such as medical history, family history, habits, and more. Hence the documentation process needs to be simplified and this can be done by:

  • Integrating their platforms with third-party video KYC solutions to accelerate document collection
  • Routing the documents collected to the verification team based on product category, agent availability, and more.
  • Using APIs for processes like digital payments to simplify customer payment across a variety of plans .
simplify documentation in insurance

5. Construct an Optimal Omnichannel Strategy for Insurers:

Omnichannel is not just about providing multiple platforms to the customer to interact. It’s about maintaining regular and personalized interaction with the end consumer across various channels. The following are the ways to successfully implement the omnichannel strategy:

  • Provide consumers with personalized services across various channels
  • Stay on top of the mind of the customer and reach out to them when they need you the most.
  • Use customer behavioral analysis to predict the customer’s next move and act accordingly.
  • Integrate your platform with third-party apps to interact and follow-up with the customers through various social media channels.
  • Use chat bots to communicate with the consumers and advise them about the products.
Build omni-channel distribution strategy

Importance of CRM in Building Digital Insurance Ecosystem

A customer relationship management (CRM) is a tool that efficiently predicts customer behavior, ensures superior customer journey across various touch points, and gives a clearer picture of the sales funnel. An insurance agent or broker has various leads to work upon in a single day. And with increasing competition in the insurance sector, these leads can be lost within a blink of an eye if not attended on time.

We asked the industry professionals – what is your lead to sales conversion rate on telephone?

36% of respondents believe their lead to sales conversion is 1-3%, 32% said 3-5%, another 32% agreed to 5-10% and no one opted for more than 10%.

Lead to Sales Conversion

Benefits of insurance CRM software:

With insurance gradually shifting to digital, a CRM tool has proven to improve the sales conversion ratio and shorten the company’s sales cycle without incurring much cost. The various features of a CRM tool that can effect your bottom line are:

  1. Application Processing: Self-serve application forms are paperless. They are user-friendly, mobile-optimized, and are convenient to use.
  2. Lead Prioritization: Lead scoring feature of CRM help the insurance agent prioritize follow-ups with sales-ready leads and reduce the response time. CRM tools also help in tracking engagement of every lead with the website or other marketing activities.
  3. Sales Opportunities: CRM helps in differentiating the leads that have more chances to convert from the ones that might not convert. It also alerts the agent when new opportunities like up sell, cross-sell, or renewal come in.
  4. Customer Onboarding: With add-ons like eKYC verification solution and video KYC, insurers can eliminate lengthy verification processes and reduce operational cost.
  5. Agent Onboarding: CRM allows insurers to onboard agents within a short span of time. The tool helps the agent to learn the business model and work simultaneously.
  6. Superior Customer Experience: A CRM tool helps an insurer stay ahead of their competition via personalized responses based on the customer’s preferred channel of communication. It automates lead nurturing with the right content at the right time.

Lead Management Systems have been in the market for almost 20 years. But they have evolved with the improving technology. A manager who is working from home can track his telesales team with just one click. He can see the number of calls made, the duration of the calls, deals in the pipeline, and more,” says Mragendra. “Not just that, with telesales, the quality of conversation has improved since everything is trackable. So these are some of the benefits that come with digital transformation.”

What benefits digital transformation brings to the Insurance Industry?

We asked the insurance professionals about their top priority for digital transformation in 2021.

70% of the respondents believe that creating a better buyer experience digitally is their top priority, 45% said customer training, 40% agreed on increasing sales efficiency for the in-house team, 30% said building an active POS network, and the remaining 15% responded with sales training and compliance.

Top priority for digital transformation in 2021

With all major insurance processes moving to digital, insurers have witnessed a change in their business operations. Customer interactions have become better, processes have been streamlined, and agents and brokers can work faster and efficiently. The impact can be summarized in the below benefits:

1. Innovation and Agility:

Digital transformation in insurance is helping insurers to prepare for future challenges. With the Phygital model kicking in, companies are working on engaging with the customers via online and offline channels but with limited human interactions. New product innovations and integration with the right tools will help the insurance carriers improve customer experience and increase their revenue.

2. Business Efficiency:

Business process efficiency is the biggest benefit of digital transformation. Following a digital process improves internal communication. And a well-informed team can help increase the company’s overall efficiency and further improve customer service. For instance, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and other technologies make claim processing and document collection simpler. AI chatbots assist customers with their queries and help insurers provide a better policy buying experience.

3. Personalization:

With increasing competition in the Insurance market, customers have several options to choose from. Hence, insurers need to drive the attention of the customer towards their product. Personalized communication with the consumer via his preferred platform helps the insurer stay competitive against digital disruptors. Analytical tools and marketing technology allow companies to trigger personalized campaigns to improve customer acquisition, retention, and ROI.

To Conclude:

Digital Insurance is not an option anymore. It is here to stay!

The need of the hour is to have a seamless process in place, right from lead generation to follow up to medical underwriting and policy issuance with minimal physical dependencies. The future will see a shift from a product-centric approach to a customer-centric one. It will be shaped by new digital advancements, with social and peer-to-peer networking and smart devices all playing a part. By predicting customer behavior and utilizing this data in real-time, insurers can easily optimize their sales efforts. This way, consumers will also feel that their needs are understood and met in a “fast and convenient” way. It will eventually help in strengthening customer loyalty.

A dedicated CRM in the insurance sector performs many functions, but on top of the list is to foster healthy relationships between businesses and customers.

If you need help deciding on the perfect CRM for insurance companies, look no further. Check out LeadSquared Insurance CRM software.


FAQs

What is Digital Transformation in Insurance?

In simple terms, digital transformation is fundamentally changing the industry-wide processes with technology. It helps in making the existing business process more efficient and improves customer service.

How is technology changing the insurance industry?

Technology trends like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) are changing the insurance industry rapidly. These trends allow the insurers to predict customer behavior, which helps them in creating tailor-made policies.


Home » Archives for March 2021
What is Agency Management System?

You know what they say about insurance companies and paperwork – you either live long enough to be able to buy an insurance policy, or you die, getting buried under its paperwork.

The insurance industry (including agencies) has been drenched in large amounts of documents for as long as one can imagine. They have been managing their business manually without any technological support. Product complexity, regulations, and extensive balance sheets have been keeping them away from digital transformation. There is additional pressure on agencies because they have to manage their book of business, agents, commissions, claims, and several insurance products. 

Let us look at how an insurance agency management system can help streamline agency operations.

What is an Insurance Agency Management System (AMS)?

An insurance agency management system or AMS is a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool that can optimize the existing agency business processes and run help the operations effectively. It tracks details of the insurance policy, improves agent productivity, and provides instant access to client data. Not just this, but it also helps in managing claims for customers and handling commissions for the agents. It automates multiple processes, making the agency operations fast and efficient.

More and more insurance agencies want an effective way of automating routine tasks and managing their book of business. They are also using tech-based software products to handle daily operations. 

“Our agency principal, Jeff Arnold, has really done a top-notch job in making sure we have all the tools we need to sell and service our clients,” says Cheryl Forman of Rightsure Insurance Group – Tucson, Arizona, while talking to InsuranceJournal.

The agency management system allows storing a vast amount of data under a single umbrella. As a result, the agents do not have to use multiple applications to retrieve even a small amount of information. Instead, they get a simple-to-use customer-friendly product that streamlines all documents and client-base without any technical support.

Mike Russ explains what is AMS or agency management software and why do agencies need one in this video:

5 Reasons Why Life, Health, and P&C Insurance Agencies Need an AMS or Agency Management System

In a survey by Statista, 63.3 per cent of young insurance agents say that the industry has been too slow to adopt new technology.

As an agency’s book of business grows, it becomes extremely difficult to manage agents, sales commissions, clients, and more importantly, make sense of client data. Agency management software can help increase agencies’ potential by utilizing the data and automating processes. It increases an agency’s ability to retain customers while acquiring new business. 

1. Build Personalized Journeys with Customer Journey Builder:

A customer journey tracks how customers interact with the organization and its resources or products. The insurance agency has to make sure that the customer journey is smooth and satisfying so as to reach their target audience. No matter what the campaign goal is – new customer acquisition, dormant lead reactivation, increasing upsell/cross-sell rates, increasing renewal ratios, app installs, app usage, a well-thought journey builder addresses all the issues.

Customer Journey Builder

A customer journey builder is one of the most important features of an agency management system. It allows insurance agents to sketch customer and prospect journeys visually, identify pain-points and drop-off areas, and reduce lead leakage if any. A journey builder helps build an end-to-end customer journey across communication channels to increase goal completion rates.

The benefits of using a customer journey builder are:

  • Builds optimal prospect and customer lifecycle journeys for all the insurance products
  • Provides a multi-channel trackable journey for all customers
  • Creates individual customer experiences for long-term brand loyalty
  • Analyzes customer behaviour and automates marketing campaigns accordingly.

2. Increase Agent Productivity using Intelligent Sales Automation:

An insurance selling process consists of multiple repetitive tasks – from generating leads to storing and assigning them to the right agent. However, these tasks can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Sales automation takes care of all of these routine time-consuming tasks and other additional tasks triggered by a certain event. It makes the sales process more efficient and impacts revenues directly. Similarly, the sales and marketing automation engines completely eliminate any chance of human error.

Intelligent Sales Automation

Automation can perform various tasks within an insurance agency such as:

  • Assigning leads to agents automatically based on the insurance product, geography, source, and more
  • Setting rules to automatically alert agents as soon as something important happens
  • Assigning quality scores to leads based on lead activity
  • Monitoring sales team using automatic reports based on performance and other attributes

3. Building a Strong Business Process with Accurate Commission Processing:

Commission processing is a critical part of the insurance agency business process. Using spreadsheets or excel for calculating sales incentives can lead to inaccurate results. Hence, it is essential to use an automated, data, and purpose-driven solution to increase agents’ morale and revenue potential. It helps the agents be up to date with their daily progress and promotes simple and error-free accounting practices.

According to PayScale’s 2019 Compensation Best Practices Report, retention was identified as the number one reason for having a sound compensation strategy, followed by better hiring and paying for in-demand skills.

Compensation Strategy

An automated commission processing can benefit an insurance agency in ways such as:

  • Enables quota attainment and motivates agents to perform better
  • Reduces time, effort, and overpayment costs
  • Increases agent productivity and increases trust and morale within an organization
  • Improves data integrity and streamlines the compensation administration process

4. Increase Bottom-line Sales with Automated Up-sell/ Cross-sell & Renewal Alerts:

The concept of up-selling and cross-selling has been prevalent across industries for a long time now. From retail shops and restaurants to e-commerce and finance, every industry has been benefiting from this concept. But what if the up-sell and cross-sell alerts can be automated based on the customer’s purchase history? Sounds relieving, right?

Similarly, agencies might lose potential customers if agents forget to reach out to the customer at the time of renewal. It might result in a reduced customer retention rate and can affect the revenue potential. Hence, the sales reps must be reminded on time.

Automate Upsell/cross-sell and renewal alerts

An agency management system can help by:

  • Optimizing and automating up-sells and cross-sells by setting predetermined factors such as policy issue date, policy type, family details etc. in the system
  • Setting renewal task reminders for the agents to keep them up-to-date with their customers
  • Automating marketing activities based on up-sell, cross-sell, or renewal
  • Nurturing leads and onboarding customers based on automated alerts.

5. Manage All the Leads with In-Depth Analytics & Reporting:

Another process that is crucial but time-consuming for agencies is collecting data and analyzing reports. Measuring data such as lead generation, quarterly revenue, and sign-ups at the end of the sales cycle is a regular business practice. However, not many leaders track and analyze data in real-time.

In-depth Analytics and reporting in agency management system

Creating reports in real-time helps in predicting cash flows, removing bottlenecks, and enhancing sales productivity. Maintaining a sales funnel helps track the number of leads at each stage, forecast pipelines, and reach revenue goals on time. The automated reports help in:

  • Keeping a tab on all on-field agents’ work hours, monthly sales, and commissions at all times.
  • Recognizing any discrepancies, keeping track of company efficiency level, and reducing errors.
  • Improving accuracy by providing real-time insights into total policies sold, renewals done, claims settled, and more.

How Insurance CRM Helps in Agency Management?

As per the definition, agency management software is a digital tool that helps life, health, and property & casualty insurance agencies automate their day-to-day tasks and make operations more efficient. The new-age insurance CRM software is evolved as per the needs of the insurance agencies, and hence it is perfect for insurance agency management. 

Here are the key features of Insurance CRM that make agency management more efficient:

  1. Lead and customer relationship management: it is a core functionality of CRM software, and no other software can handle client relationships better than CRM.
  2. Cloud-based AMS: cloud hosting allows your agents to work smoothly even while working from home. Plus, cloud-based insurance CRM for agencies offers top-notch data security. 
  3. Contact management: Insurance CRM ensures that the agency’s book of business is organized in a clean, efficient, and easy to understand manner.
  4. Workflow automation: by automating routine tasks, agencies can help their agents work smarter and achieve more in less time.
  5. Real-time analytics: with CRM, agencies can keep a pulse on business and address situations before they become problems.
  6. Automated reports: managers and agents need not spend hours fetching data and building reports. The system automatically generates individual/team performance reports, reports on policies sold, etc.
  7. Marketing: Insurance CRM comes with an in-built drip marketing feature. It allows your sales agents to set-up automated emails for nurturing leads, sending them offers, informing them of new products, and more. Automated email marketing saves a lot of their time and reduces the chances of missed communications. 
  8. Opportunity management: the smart way to do business is to identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities with the existing customers. Insurance CRM helps you identify such opportunities by tracking the customer activities on your website, ads, social media, and partner websites.  

CRM software market:

As per Gartner, the year 2017 ended with worldwide CRM (customer relationship management) systems revenue amounting to $39.5 billion, which made CRM the largest software market, overtaking database management systems. In 2018, the segment continued to lead as the fastest growing software.

Research by Statista shows an impressive increase in global CRM revenue from 2010 to 2017.

CRM software revenue worldwide

The growing adoption of CRM is indicative of how it empowers businesses to streamline their operations. 

The next section delves deeper into the benefits of using CRM for insurance agency management.

Benefits of Insurance Agency Management System

Because of the pandemic, Northwestern Mutual, the United Nation’s largest seller of life insurance, saw a 15% jump in the number of life insurance policies it sold between April and September in 2020, versus the same time in 2019, according to a spokeswoman. Similarly, many insurers have reported an increase in their policy sales.

There is no denying to the fact that agencies are the most popular insurance distribution channels. With the increased business coming in every day, insurance agencies find it difficult to manage their processes manually. And to mitigate the risks associated with handling a tremendous amount of work, most agencies are now looking at using an insurance agency management system.

Insurance Agency Management System helps organize policy, agent, and client management within an agency. The system not only deals with all back-office operations but also manages the customer journey.

Increase Agent Productivity with the right agency management system

The best insurance agency management software ensures the following benefits: 

a) Operations Management:

The insurance agency management software streamlines various operations within an organization without human interventions. It speeds up processes like policy issuance and claims management. It not only makes the exercise faster but also accurate.

“The most helpful thing in growing my book of business was the decision to be an expert in understanding the policies we help clients purchase,” says Brett Cutchin, Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance LLC – Memphis, Tennessee (source).

Automation helps in improving agency management by letting the machine do redundant, time-consuming tasks.

b) Improves Sales:

The AMS improves sales by identifying cross-sell opportunities and helps grow the agencies’ books of business. 

It also helps in policy management by mapping clients, agents, insurers, and everything involved in between. 

Efficient sales is important for an agency’s growth, and with the help of agency software, insurance agencies can sell more policies and manage agents efficiently. 

c) Marketing Automation:

A non-obvious perk of the software is reducing the communication gap between the agent and his customer. With the email marketing feature of AMS, agencies can keep in touch with the leads, prospects, and clients and send the right kind of communication at the right time. Many evolved Agency Management Systems also support omnichannel communication. It further increases the capabilities of agents to communicate with prospects via their preferred channels. 

Automated communication based on factors like renewal dates, cross-sell and upsell signals help avail more sales opportunities.

d) On-field Sales:

On-field sales might have reduced due to the impact of COVID, but it is still prevalent in the insurance agency business. The agency management tool makes the field sales team more productive through online document collection and easy customer onboarding. In addition, agencies can calculate commission or incentive for agents on the go.

e) Analytics:

A built-in analytics in the agency management system allows the agencies to leverage the data and forecast sales. Data-driven insights also help agencies take measures to improve the business. It helps visualize key customer metrics using Charts, KPIs, and more so that vital information is never missed.

It also keeps a tab on every individual agent and gathers data such as policies issued, renewals done, and claims settled.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, a good insurance agency management system is one of the most fundamental building blocks for a successful agency model. It not only takes care of customer relations and manages the book of business but also automates the otherwise time-consuming and cumbersome tasks. An effective insurance agency management system saves money, retains customers, and adds to the company revenue. Hence, investing in the best insurance agency management system based on your requirements is very important.

“LeadSquared helps us manage our partnerships with carriers & agents, and our internal processes across the sales cycle. It is a key part of our digital ecosystem that will enable us to build great customer experiences and deliver value back to the business,” says Andrew Day, Global Chief Data Officer, Pepper Financial

Are you thinking about implementing an Insurance Agency Management System? Look no further! Checkout LeadSquared to get efficient outcomes and enhance ROI.


FAQs

What is an Agency Management System?

An insurance agency management system or AMS is a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool that can optimize the existing agency business process and run the operations effectively. It tracks details of the insurance policy, improves agent productivity, and provides instant access to client data.

What are the uses of an insurance agency management system?

An agency management software can be used across all operations of an insurance agency. It can:
1. Support omnichannel communication with prospects and clients
2. Speed up policy issuance
3. Identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, helping in increased retention and customer wallet share
4. Provide in-depth analysis and reports across different agency metrics.

What are the benefits of using an Agency Management System?

There are various benefits of using an agency management system. It helps in increasing agencies’ potential by automating different processes – like online quotes process, lead assignment, client communication automation, agent sales workflows, cross-sell opportunity identification, and reporting among others. It also increases an agency’s ability to retain customers while acquiring new business. 


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The global pandemic has brought a series of changes in the world. The education sector was no exception. We have seen a shift from the norm of physical processes to digital ones. In this webinar, we’ll hear from BML Munjal University- how the admission process changed for them, new digital marketing initiatives taken and how counseling has become vital, in this digital era. We will also cover solutions to help you streamline and automate your online admission process.

Key Discussion Points:

  • The current state of the higher education admission process, post-Covid
  • Brand building & digital marketing in the Education segment
  • How university admissions have pivoted post covid
  • The importance of counseling in higher education
  • How to drive efficiency and streamline the admission process

Speaker

Apoorva-Bagchi

Apoorva Bagchi
Director of Marketing, BML Munjal University

Apoorva is a Marketing Professional with over 18 years of experience in advertising, public relations, event management agencies  & corporate firms in the marketing function. She has an extensive width of rich experience across servicing various Multi-Nationals, Indian Corporate & Govt Sector clients. Apoorva is currently working as the Director of Marketing, with BML Munjal University, a Hero Group Initiative. She looks into the entire offline and online marketing functions of the university, driving them cohesively along with the Admissions, Outreach departments, and the respective Schools.


Bhuvnesh-Bhatnagar


Bhuvnesh Bhatnagar

Regional Sales Manager, LeadSquared

Bhuvnesh is a highly motivated sales professional with over 8 years of strategic and consultative selling experience and key account management. Prior to LeadSquared, he worked with NDTV and  Affle (India) Ltd., where he worked exclusively with the Singapore Government on digital initiatives and some large enterprises in India. Of late, he has been extensively working and spearheading the education practice for LeadSquared in North India, and thereby, helping schools, colleges, universities, and ed-tech businesses, fill more seats faster!

At present, fintech has become synonymous with financial institutions. Individuals who do not even have their bank accounts can now pay digitally. Businesses such as grocery stores and neighborhood shops are now accepting digital payments through payment apps. In this fintech revolution, the MSME lending landscape has also changed a lot. With the emergence of alternative lending platforms, businesses that did not even have any financial records can now receive credit. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are now aiding fintech companies to give loans to MSMEs more efficiently, allowing businesses to grow.

In this article, we will explore the MSME lending trends and emerging opportunities.

What are MSME loans?

MSME stands for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. Several financial institutions offer unsecured loans to MSMEs for meeting various business-related expenses. The Indian Government and RBI have defined such loans as loans for business enterprises for supporting their finance, infrastructure, and other business-related areas. There also exist multiple government schemes in India under which financial institutions can offer loans to MSMEs. Businesses must meet specific criteria to get all the benefits of an MSME loan.

MSME lending - market opportunity and differentiator strategy

MSME Lending: Market Opportunity

As of early 2020, the MSME lending sector in India faced a credit deficit of INR 16 trillion. Credit deficit has also been a reason for the slow growth of the MSME sector in the country. To address this concern, the government has advised banks to achieve a 20% YoY growth in credit to micro and small enterprises. However, the progress has been slow. The credit extended by banks to the MSME sector grew only 2.6% YoY as of February 2020 (from INR 10.67 trillion to INR 10.95 trillion).

The primary reason why banks shy away from giving loans to MSMEs is the inability and unwillingness of MSMEs to repay the loan.

The lack of repayment results in high NPAs or Non-Performing Assets, which is a pressing concern for banks. This situation arises when banks and NBFCs cannot assess the creditworthiness of an enterprise. They often do not have enough information regarding the businesses and how they are performing.

Also, a lot of MSMEs do not have the necessary collateral needed for borrowing. Therefore, underwriting such loans in the absence of collateral will require a deeper understanding of the borrower-profiles and behaviors. In such cases, the timely availability of accurate data becomes crucial for giving out loans.

Giving loans to enterprises that can productively use it can help stabilize the financial sector. For instance, in 2020, despite the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme, the credit available to MSMEs contracted even more, and only 53% of eligible MSMEs secured the loans. MSMEs are being cautious when taking a loan as the overall consumer demand for most products has drastically reduced after the pandemic.

1. Government initiatives

The Government of India has multiple schemes for MSMEs. These include employment generation, providing credit, technology up-gradation, quality certification, and more. There are also schemes for fundraising through traditional industries and for promoting innovation in rural sectors. While these schemes help create the demand for MSMEs, fintech startups are now providing MSMEs with the credit they need to fulfill that demand.

2. Alternative scoring

Fintech companies can use alternative scoring to understand the borrower profile better. They offer crowdfunding, MSME loans, credits, and other lending amenities digitally. Some of the fundamental contributions of fintech for MSMEs include enabling digital payments and easy fund transfers. They also provide platforms for peer-to-peer lending and credit scoring.

3. Fintech capabilities

When it comes to loans, Fintech solutions offer three vital services to its consumers:

  1. Data analytics: As mentioned before, a deeper understanding of the borrower profile is crucial to avoid NPAs. Calculating and identifying the credibility of a small business helps assess the collateral available. Fintech startups make use of machine learning-based methods to develop this understanding and provide the loan.
  2. Digital payments: With the advent of a unified payments interface (UPI) and mobile wallets, businesses can now receive payments swiftly and securely. Fintech platforms for payment services also provide additional financial services such as investments and short-term loans – all in a single platform. These platforms are conveniently accessible via smartphone apps. With the widespread availability of affordable mobile internet, MSMEs can now perform transactions and even apply for loans via mobile phones.
  3. Automated loan application: Many MSMEs lack the know-how of the financial processes needed to opt for a loan. Moreover, the paperwork for loan applications can be cumbersome. Fintech platforms enable faster processing of loans using AI-assisted loan applications. The application procedure is more intuitive and user-friendly. Often these applications are tuned according to the needs of the customer. So, not all businesses have to go through the same stages of verification to get a loan. It allows fintech services to disburse short-term loans immediately. By automating the process, fintech companies also reduce their operating costs. The reduced operating costs enable them to provide loans at lower interest rates.

4. Fintech’s contribution to the formal banking space

Fintech companies help address the funding deficit that exists in this sector. In India, there is already a lack of credit available for MSMEs. It has gone down further because of the pandemic. Access to bank loans is also sometimes not possible because of the challenging verification and authentication processes. Many small businesses do not often have the eligibility to get loans despite the existence of government schemes.

Fintech companies can fill this gap – they can contribute to the formal banking space, credit bureaus and even assist in direct government lending processes. They can provide advanced underwriting services to traditional lenders, such as banks. They can even act as an aggregator of financial products from different providers, providing more choice to MSMEs.

5. MSME business lending opportunity

MSMEs employ over a hundred million people that contribute to around 28% of the country’s GDP. They account for 40% of the exports and 45% of the industrial inputs. The internet has now allowed the sector to connect with global consumers. E-Commerce platforms now have separate programs that enable MSMEs to sell across borders directly without any middlemen. The connectivity that the internet provides also allows MSMEs to procure raw materials effortlessly. Therefore, fintech platforms have a window of opportunity to provide for MSMEs, given the economic condition.

The opportunity for financial institutions also lies in their quick implementation of cutting-edge technologies. For instance, AI-assisted decision-making, advanced data analytics, and technologies like augmented reality and robotics can further help accelerate the MSME lending sector.

MSME Lending Differentiator strategy

Since digital lending is still at a nascent stage in the country, fintech platforms have room to innovate and stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the differentiator strategies for fintech platforms.

1. Tech-driven customer acquisition and underwriting

The primary issue that banks presently have with MSME loans is understanding if a business is at all eligible for a loan or not. The business loan application process also has a lot of challenges. There are numerous document requirements. Their verification also takes time. Smaller enterprises do not opt for these loans because they may not have all the required documentation.

Fintech platforms can help here by assisting lending institutions understand their borrower profile better. Alternative credit scoring methods can help the unbanked get loans. For example, CIB worked with a ride-hailing service to pilot an alternative scoring method where they used driver rating, their behavior, and customer comments to check if a driver is eligible for a loan or not. Software tools like Lending CRM can help crunch the numbers and smoothen the underwriting process even without all the documents.

“Due to pre-screening automation, we are able to reject files right at the onset. By doing that we are able to improve our main funnel quality by 60 to 70%. Only the quality data moves to the core underwriting process, and our underwriting bandwidth is not getting choked.”

Vaibhav Maheshwari, AVP, Profectus Capital

2. Enabling Peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-Peer lending connects borrowers and lenders online. Fintech platforms have enabled online marketplace models where borrowers and lenders are matched based on their requirements. Lenders can get an interest rate higher than their bank saving account, and borrowers can get a loan having an interest rate lower than that of the bank.

3. PoS based lending

Fintech platforms can leverage Point-of-Sale card-swipe data to provide credit to MSMEs. For example, NeoGrowth offers businesses short-term unsecured loans monthly based on their PoS machine transactions. They give loans for 18 to 36 months and can go up to INR 50 lakhs. The adoption of PoS machines has increased in India. One of the reasons for the increased adoption is the increased use of digital payments by consumers.

4. Reducing borrower risk

Fintech platforms can use dedicated tools, such as CRMs that can collect borrower data and allow them to build a profile for underwriting. CRMs can segment borrowers based on what loans they have applied for, their credit history, demographics, and more. The software can automatically alert all stakeholders as required and, in turn, reduces the risk of having non-performing assets.

5. Strengthening collections

Fintech platforms can also help lenders with loan recovery. While providing advanced underwriting processes that enable MSMEs to get credit faster, they can also help lenders efficiently collect repayment. Fintech platforms can help financial institutions by improving and automating their workflows, adding collaborative capabilities, and making it easier to provide loans to the traditionally underbanked.

Digitizing Collections for Faster Debt Recovery ebook

Conclusion

MSMEs make up an essential part of the Indian economy. However, the funding available to these smaller businesses is scarce. Fintech in India is gradually filling the gap and is serving these smaller businesses, enabling them to get loans faster.

If you are looking for digital lending solutions to streamline your operations, check out the LeadSquared Lending CRM tool. It has helped lending institutions disburse loans faster and make accurate credit decisions.

“LeadSquared helps us manage our lending partnerships with banks & NBFCs, and our internal processes across the lending lifecycle (sales, credit, verification & operations) to disburse loans 30% faster than before. Our DSAs are 55% more efficient than before, and all their work is trackable.”

Anuj Sachdev, VP – Product, Qbera

Further reading:

The fast-paced digitization is changing the traditional sales process. Due to this, real estate agents may feel out of place and encounter difficulty with their day-to-day functions. How can you address their concerns as you work on improving your real estate agent productivity and property sales? Here are 15 handy tips for real estate agents and developers that’ll help:

Tips to increase agent productivity

15 tips for real estate agents and developers to increase property sales

1. Hire the right people

If you want your team to be more productive, focus on hiring the right talent. Hiring agents with previous real estate work experience or understanding of the industry gives you an additional boost towards enabling productivity. 

Having a productive workforce will help you achieve more with fewer resources. Moreover, agents with prior real estate sales experience can add value to your training process as they know the real estate business.

Tip for real estate agents: You can make up for your lack of experience through deep research about the industry.

2. Sales Training

15 tips for agent productivity-Sales Training

After hiring the right people, your first step towards improving sales productivity should be enabling agent training. You must set a standardized operating procedure (SOP) for all agents. You can also set the process based on various factors like:

An SOP will help you create a streamlined process. You will also be able to understand the bottlenecks in your process whenever they arise. Give your agents a data bank that contains all relevant materials for reference. A flexible sales training module will go a long way in increasing real estate agent productivity. 

You must also update the training method, content, and all documentation from time to time. To remove tech-related confusions, hands-on training is a must for tools like:

  • IVRs
  • FoS application
  • CRMs
  • ERP
  • Chatbots
  • Email tools

A buddy system is another way of improving the training experience. Here new agents work with designated sales professionals. These buddies are responsible for agent performance and assisting them whenever required. 

Tip for real estate agents: Do attend the training sessions to get clarity into the business process.

3. Set smaller goals and achieve them consistently

Meeting sales targets can be daunting for some agents. Hence, the final goal can be fragmented and made into smaller realistic pieces which are easier to tackle. 

Consistently achieving smaller targets will induce confidence amongst the agents and will lead to higher agent productivity. 

4. Practice Routine 

Building a routine into your daily operations can help you create a streamlined process for your various teams. For example, schedule all your calls in the first half, reach out to the customers before the visit, create a task list, and more. These routine activities will also enable you to identify which part of your process is hampering your performance.

You can also experiment different routines to find the optimal process for your agents. Once you understand the process that works best for your agents, you can standardize it across teams.

Tip for real estate agents: Do keep experimenting by adding and removing activities from your routine. This may help you increase your productivity.

5. Define a process workflow 

Defining a process workflow

Apart from a routine, a robust yet flexible workflow can allow you to restructure the process more effectively. For example, your agent may receive a property request where they need to coordinate with another department. But if they are not in direct touch with the respective team, valuable time could be lost in finding the right contact to transfer such an inquiry. That is why you must have a defined flow for internal processes. This will ensure that all the different teams are on the same page, and the process works like clockwork.

In case your strategy requires more efficient handling of incoming leads, you must be able to organize teams, operations, resources and plan the outcomes. 

A compartmentalized process workflow can also help you organize data and audit it if you want to understand how you can further improve your real estate agent productivity.

6. Do regular workload analysis

Having too many tasks in their buckets can hamper an agent’s productivity. A workload analysis can help you understand why some agents are not able to deliver their best results.

An effective task distribution system will ensure that the workload is distributed equally among the agents. And it is applicable across properties/projects as well.

For example, your workload analysis can show you underutilized manual resources in your project. Using this data, you can reallocate those resources and thus increase your property sales. Doing this analysis frequently will generate data, which can help you with better resource allocation in future projects.

7. Smart Lead Gen 

When we say smart lead generation, we mean investing in the most profitable sources of lead generation. Real estate firms are now more tuned towards the source attribution of leads because it requires a constant investment of money.

While identifying the right sources, one must account for many factors such as geography, regional language, property type, and so on. For example, if you are a developer in the luxury properties segment, your lead gen channels, and target audience will be different from a developer in the affordable housing segment. Similarly, the population in a micro-market may respond positively to local newspaper ads in contrast to digital ads.

Hence, you must identify which channels work best for you. The effort you put into good leads sources will bring you qualified leads. This way, your sales agents will not have to chase after low-quality leads and hence, save time and effort.

Apart from this, an omnichannel communication strategy that complements all lead gen sources will go a long way. All these efforts will bring both velocity and quality into the funnel, consequently increasing real estate agent productivity.

8. Prioritize leads

Whom to approach first has always been a challenge for real estate agents. In the pool of customer inquiries, agents often do not know the right opportunities to approach and end up spending a lot of time chasing after the wrong leads. Efficient sales is all about listening to the signals coming from an opportunity and being proactive. Identifying these signals will allow more quality leads to enter the funnel. But how do you identify these signals?

The answer is simple. Use real estate CRM software to identify sales opportunities and notify your agents. And whenever there is an opportunity, prioritize follow-ups with them. A CRM tool can track all lead interactions, such as:

  • Website visits
  • Call back requests
  • Email
  • Interaction with social posts 

More number of interactions or higher engagement levels indicates that the lead is more interested in your property. In other words, the lead has a higher buying intent and may close soon.

Lead Prioritization is crucial especially in the initial stages of the homebuyer journey. It decides the quality of leads going into your sales funnel. Here, the homebuyer is trying to form opinions and understand their property requirements. Agents must reach out to these opportunities fast and show a proactive approach. 

Identifying the correct leads and prioritizing them will help you increase your property sales.

9. Manage prospect relationships

Manage Prospect Relationships - real estate CRM for efficient property sales

The year 2020 ushered in much-needed digital innovation and adoption. One technology that is fast getting attention from realtors for their customer-facing operations is CRM or customer relationship management. CRM has been used in the real estate market for some time now. However, in the past year, their adoption in the real estate market has increased drastically.

Developers are transitioning from Excel and Google sheets to CRM for effective data management. With Real Estate CRM, developers have experienced an explosion in their real estate agent productivity.

For example, a leading real estate developer in India improved their team efficiency by 30% and increased their property sales by 40% using LeadSquared. You can read about it here!

Using such tools, your agents can perform several activities such as:

  1. Capturing leads from various channels like social media, organic, offline sources, partner agencies, and more
  2. Prioritizing these leads based on their engagements and other related attributes
  3. Automated distribution of inquiries and tasks
  4. Visualizing the entire homebuyer journey
  5. Reminders for follow-up, notifications whenever there is an activity from a lead
  6. Scheduling visits and automated communication

CRMs also allow you to draw customized agent productivity reports and flag underperformance. This way, you can take timely actions, address their challenges, and help them perform better.

Tip for real estate agents: Use the activity tracking feature of CRM tools to understand the lead’s buying intent and accordingly prepare your pitch.

10. Use Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation tool can automate marketing and lead nurturing activities. It can help capture leads from landing pages, create targeted campaigns, nurture existing leads, and more. 

For example, during the first quarter of 2020, many leads who were keen on buying property changed their decision due to financial uncertainty. While these leads had intent, it was not the right time for them to buy a property. Using marketing automation, you can segment such leads from the rest (cold leads or invalid leads) and send them specific nurturing campaigns.

Marketing automation tools do the heavy lifting and segment leads automatically based on their behavioral data. Moreover, once you have set the automated workflows, these tools send nurturing communications to leads from time to time. This way, agents do not have to pursue all the leads individually and can focus more on priority leads first.

11. Use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Tools

Adopting Interactive Voice Response or IVR Tools is another step towards real estate agent productivity. IVR tools enable you to centralize your calling and capture all incoming opportunities.

When integrated with your CRM, IVR tools can help you:

  • Track conversations between your agents and a potential homebuyer
  • Record calls for QA purposes
  • Route all such inquiries to agents based on customer requirements

IVRs are also handy during peak hours of customer traffic. If an agent is unavailable, IVR tools can deliver automated responses and route calls to available agents. Some IVRs like Ozonetel can also automate customer calls. It is useful for customers who have requested a callback.

Tip for real estate agents: Use click-to-call feature of IVRs and save the hassle of manually dialing a number.

12. Use Mobility Solutions

Mobility Solutions for on-site property sales

Site visits are the key to a successful closure. The experience your agents deliver at this stage makes an important impression on the potential homebuyer. During the pandemic, visitations had become the biggest bottleneck for property closures. It happened because traditional real estate sales involved higher degrees of interpersonal interactions. Developers were able to solve this problem by equipping their on-site agents with mobility solutions. 

Tools such as the LeadSquared Mobility Solution allows real estate agents:

  1. Capture any data related to sales on the go
  2. Conduct online walkthroughs with Zoom integration
  3. Connect with their cloud telephony IVRs and call potential home buyers from the app itself
  4. Create customized buckets of prioritized leads
  5. Access home buyer data and schedule future site visits
  6. Create data banks for any documentation related to property sales.

It helps developers understand the agent routines and extract insightful data. This data can help drive agent productivity. 

Tip for real estate agents: Understand the features of the tools you/your team use. Request training sessions if you feel that there is a gap in your/your team’s knowledge.

13. Keep a track of inventory

Inventory Management Dashboard

Inventory management (IM) is an intrinsic component of real estate sales. The real estate agent productivity also relies on their understanding of the offerings. 

So how does one enable their agents with such inventory-related insights?

Many IM tools in the tech market can integrate with desktop as well as mobility solutions. They help agents understand the status of available units as per the homebuyer’s requirements.

14. Plan incentives for your agents

You can also improve agent productivity through incentivization. Now incentives are not restricted to financial compensation for more property sales. It can also be through simple recognitions and appreciations. According to Semos Cloud, 54% of employees prefer a verbal acknowledgment of their day-to-day achievements. Embedding such incentives into the process can increase job satisfaction among agents. Higher satisfaction equals higher ownership of the job, which translates to higher sales. 

Apart from the regular financial incentives, developers can create referral bonuses for agents to encourage property referrals. It will also create another inquiry channel, thereby increasing your property sales. 

15. Request feedback from customers and agents

You can also record customer feedback. It allows you to measure the performance of your agent and identify problems. 

Also, your agents know the internal processes a lot better than anyone else. They also know the bottlenecks that hamper their performance. So, you should also request feedbacks to understand prevailing sales challenges and devise strategies to overcome them. Feedback from both customers and your sales agents is crucial to achieving higher property sales.

It will also improve customer experience and agent accountability, thereby improving productivity.

Tip for real estate agents: Ask customers for any relevant feedback. This will help you improve your pitch and improve the customer experience from your side.

Conclusion

Developers take several steps to improve real estate agent productivity. But most do it without enough visibility into the process. Such opaqueness into the agent performance can do more harm than good to your sales pipeline. Hence, you must take every measure to track and enhance your agent’s productivity.

Sign up with us to know how LeadSquared Real Estate CRM can help you increase your agent productivity and sales efficiency!