P&C insurance companies rely on new policy sales to ensure continuous growth. Yet traditional customer-facing workflows are no longer enough to significantly increase insurance sales. Local agents who once had to manually deal with the risk selection and pricing process now have new tools at their disposal, such as predictive models and instant digital channels.
Insurance companies should encourage this shift. Rather than undermine the role of agents, technology has the power to remove cumbersome roadblocks to selling. Automated digital workflows allow agents to glide through the mechanics of the sales process. This means they have more time and energy to focus on delighting and winning over new customers.
Yet most insurance companies still haven’t equipped their agents to execute a fully automated sales cycle. More commonly seen are various combinations of manual methods and digital tools that demand coding from the IT department, customized integrations, or even fail to integrate smoothly with existing systems.
Such disjointed processes make it difficult for insurance companies to adjust, reconfigure, and update business rules as policy and compliance requirements change.
Automated digital workflows eliminate these inefficiencies, making it easier for insurance sales agents to sell more policies, faster.
Here, we’ll explore why point solutions are not enough, the benefits of automating insurance sales, and potential use cases to streamline sales journeys.
The Repercussions of Insufficient Automation in Insurance Sales
Many insurance companies already have digital tools in place for business process management. Yet these tools often only cover certain aspects of insurance workflows rather than end-to-end processes.
For example, robotic process automation (RPA) is growing in popularity thanks to its ability to improve the efficiency of specific tasks, such as using software robots to communicate with prospects.
The problem here is that silos remain, and processes are not always part of an integrated whole. As a result, it’s common to see things like agents using bots to reach and vet prospective clients. But once those prospects are on an actual sales call, they have to repeat information they already shared with the bot. Agents waste time collecting information that was already provided, performing manual tasks such as, following up with prospects, and collecting cumbersome physical paperwork.
Most existing systems simply aren’t smart enough to sell in a fully automated and digital way. Due to this lack of cohesion, customer journey and sales cycles are long and cumbersome. The customer often loses excitement or starts having doubts.
Here are some of the insurance sales KPIs that are negatively impacted by these broken sales journeys:
- Turnaround time: Agents spend an excessive amount of time reading terms and conditions (T&Cs), collecting signatures, and doing compliance paperwork. Customers rarely close on the first call because they don’t have time for such processes.
- Conversion rates: Bouncing prospective customers from channel to channel, prolonging phone conversations, physical paperwork requirements, and agent scripts are all symptoms of a broken digital workflow. This puts the sales process at risk and lowers conversion rates.
- Compliance: Insurance is a highly regulated industry. Without the ability to quickly updated process workflows and disclosures to changing regulatory needs, insurance agents put themselves at risk of noncompliance.
- Cost of sales: The operational and processing costs of traditional insurance sales processes can add up, from following up with customers, to reading compliance scripts, to collecting signatures.
Benefits of Automating Insurance Sales With Digital Workflows
The P&C insurance industry has multiple stakeholders, involves complex calculations, and is beholden to stringent regulatory demands.
Frequently changing KYC requirements mean that insurers need to keep their processes up-to-date. Failure to do so can result in customer complaints, post-sales cancellation, hefty penalties from regulators, and reputational damage.
Often this means that sales are more focused on taking care of the mechanics of compliance, and less on making a clear and compelling sales case.
Furthermore, insurers cannot afford to be dependent on IT departments every time they need to make changes to their processes. Such dependency leads to widespread inefficiency, agent burnout fatigue, and failure to convert.
Intelligent process automation in the insurance industry can make these obstacles to selling and staying compliant a thing of the past. Especially with the rise of digital insurance sales, there is a real opportunity to automate the entire insurance sales lifecycle.
With automation tools, agents can put together more digital and engaging insurance product presentations, review the final policy in a collaborative environment, digitize T&Cs, request the customer’s eSignature, and set up automated billing resulting in faster turnaround times. This can all be handled by project owners or agents, without the need for coding.
Here are some of the tangible benefits of automating insurance sales:
- Simplified processes: A single system controls the entire end-to-end process with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
- Digital tools in one digital suite: At various stages of the workflow, rules trigger the sending of requests for eSignatures and ID verification, as well as sharing disclosures such as T&Cs for customer approval.
- More streamlined processes: Easy and intuitive conditional rules can be set to ensure business logic between steps, within steps, and within form fields.
- Optimized: Each sales interaction can be optimized across touchpoints and existing systems.
- More visibility: Digital workflows come with dashboards that allow business leaders to gain visibility into the KPIs that matter most, such as sales cycle time and cost of sales.
- Zero IT involvement: Project managers can adjust their business rules according to their needs without requiring IT support or coding.
Top Use Cases For Insurance Sales Automation
Automated digital workflows ensure insurers’ processes reflect the latest compliance and business requirements. At each stage of the insurance sales process, requests for customer information or action are automated according to the regulatory requirements of their state.
During the sales call, the agent sends in a request to the solution’s interface. This activates a smart workflow that dynamically pulls in the relevant assets, such as T&Cs and eSignature requests based on conditional logic. The workflow gets delivered to the customer’s mobile phone in a visual and streamlined manner.
Here are the key stages of a typical insurance sales process using automated workflows:
1. Live Product Presentations
Gone are the days of PowerPoint insurance sales presentations or worse, in-person presentations. Automated digital workflows allow agents to create an “order” showcasing potentially relevant insurance products, and sharing it in real-time with customers in a collaborative mobile environment.
2. Shared Review of Documents & Agreements
Once the customer expresses interest in purchasing a certain insurance product, the sales agent shares a document with the customer for an in-call review. The agent and customer can zoom in and mark up specific parts of the document to clarify queries collaboratively.
3. Instant Consent
Instead of the sales agent reading lengthy compliance scripts, damaging the customer experience, agents can simply send terms and conditions to a customer’s mobile phone for instant click consent.
4. eSignature Collection
Once the customer agrees to purchase an insurance product and reviews the final order, the workflow automatically triggers a request for the customer’s electronic signature. The customer signs in the moment via the text message interface, and an audit trail of the signed document is produced and stored in the CRM.
5. Automatic Payment Collection
Sales agents can set up newly signed customers with an automatic payment plan for their insurance premiums. The workflow sends out ACH forms for the customer to fill out, making it easy for customers to pay premiums regularly and automatically.
Digital Workflows for Automating Insurance Sales
Automated digital workflows allow insurance companies to dynamically build and adjust processes to meet their current needs. This flexibility means that customer relationships with insurance agents are more targeted. Customers are asked to provide only the information that is needed from them, no more and no less. Automated workflows ensure insurers keep the ball rolling between critical steps in the insurance sales cycle, promoting both better compliance and efficiency.
Lightico offers such a workflow automation solution that uses conditional logic to streamline end-to-end insurance sales processes. The platform includes eSignatures, smart eForms, a “visual cart” for insurance product review, digital T&Cs, co-review of order, and more. Learn more at Lightico.com.