These days more is not necessarily better as maintaining and managing so many agents has increasingly become expensive and unwieldy. With their limited sales personnel spending the majority of their time with the most profitable agents ̶ the very same agents who are getting all the attention from executive management ̶ insurance carriers have found the advantages of building deeper, more profitable relationships with fewer agents to capture a larger share of their business.
As a carrier looking to move to this model, you need to first identify those agencies you know you want to do business with and then implement initiatives to move them from simply being aware of your offering to becoming advocates of your brand.
Education is key to this process. Our research shows that neither agents nor CSR’s can regularly articulate the value of all of the carriers they represent. While this may be completely understandable given that multiple carriers are regularly bombarding them with info, it is completely unacceptable when YOU are the carrier in question. It is essential that your agents and CSR’s be able to articulate your differentiators and communicate your value to their clients during the sales process. If not, it all comes down to a price discussion – something most carriers do not want.
Moving agents and CSR’s from Awareness to Advocacy:
- Teaching agents to tell your story starts by clearly communicating your value in a compelling way. To do this carriers have been finding success through video, engaging e-mails and high-level overviews delivered in segments agents can easily understand.
- Next it is all about staying top of mind. Branded promotional items and educational tools that agents and CSR’s keep on their desk can be great reminders of your brand. Giving them tools that make your talking points accessible and available when they are engaged with clients makes it easier for them to do business on your behalf.
- Interactive resource sites are becoming a big trend. These provide agents with a single destination they can visit to access all of the information they need. These are not the typical enterprise systems that sit on your intranet but rather modern, engaging and easy-to-navigate marketing sites agents will want to use.
- The most successful marketers track the engagement levels of their target agencies. Do they open your e-mails? How often are they visiting your resource sites? Are they using the marketing tools you have given them? What does their quoting activity look like? All of this activity can be tracked on a dashboard. As agencies engage, sales can be alerted so they can follow up. Sales loves it when hot opportunities are dropped in their lap!
The Lift Factor’s Awareness to Advocacy® program segments your agencies based on their engagement with your brand. We then develop communication plans that are appropriate to their particular level; whether it be simply aware, somewhat engaged or advocates of your brand. We create content that is relevant for each group’s needs, track and measure engagement with our dashboards and then deliver actionable insights for future communications.