The relationship between an insurance carrier and their agents is a critical one. A primary objective for a carrier is to make doing business as easy as possible for agents so they will either start or continue to do business with the carrier. This is especially the case with non-captive agents because they have a wider net of potential carriers to choose from. You want to be the carrier that offers an appealingly simple and straightforward process, so that you are an agent’s go-to versus the competition.
How does a carrier put itself in this enviable position? By giving agents and agencies the access, support, and efficiency of a one-stop-shop. They don’t have to go into complicated disparate systems or deal with traditional support channels like calling or emailing.
Here we share how Silverline improved agency management for one of our carrier clients and the Salesforce features that agencies can leverage for their own management.
Transforming an insurance company with a community portal
An insurance company has been a Silverline client for several years. The carrier has five subsidiary insurance companies under its umbrella, including a general agency. The general agency was dealing with the challenges of several disparate systems and was looking for a way to make life easier.
The general agency brought all of the information, such as policyholders, policies, claims and commissions, from those separate systems into their Salesforce CRM. The aggregated information is made available via a community portal to captive and non-captive agencies that sell their products.
Before implementing the portal, the general agency had been using a microsite that needed to be more secure, which led to compliance issues and hefty fines. The microsite would direct agents to another site or system to go down a rabbit hole for the needed information. It did not take into consideration a non-captive agent and different lines of business or license appointments to give or revoke specific access.
The portal gives agencies access to information on their policyholders, policies, commissions, and licenses. Depending on the line of business, the portal assigns agents a username and password. Based on customized permission sets, the logged-in agents can see what they’re allowed to see based on certain parameters that include multi-hierarchy visibility by downline and appointments.
Silverline was able to bring the microsite information together in a centralized, secure portal that also included the following:
- Access to hierarchical information: Consideration was given to uplines, downlines, and state licensing so that agents only had access to the information they were allowed to view. Silverline did this by batching information into specific groups so that only the appropriate people could see the appropriate items based on where they were in a hierarchy. That information included the policyholder, policy, claims, payment information, and any details designated for a particular agent.
- Agent additions and removals: The insurance company could add or remove agents from the portal. This capability is crucial for a non-captive agency where you have agents come and go on a regular basis. The company needs the ability to turn agents on and off from an access perspective quickly. It also helps from a cost perspective to not pay for people who are no longer part of the agency, which keeps the portal secure as people are onboarded and offboarded.
- Enhanced calendar capabilities via CalendarAnything: The insurance company uses CalendarAnything, the number one Salesforce calendar app, to schedule agents’ appointments and assign leads to them. The agents can see everything at-a-glance in one personalized view so they can easily manage their workload and appointments.
Streamlining agency recruiting and onboarding
Most agencies don’t have a dedicated human resources department. This presents another opportunity for carriers to make life easier for agencies by providing the Salesforce tools they need for recruiting and onboarding that they may not have access to otherwise.
Salesforce Financial Services Cloud (FSC) provides agencies the ability to track and onboard new agents efficiently and effectively through configurable workflows. The faster that you can onboard new agents, the faster they can get out there and sell! This process may include scheduling interviews, going through the interview process, providing statuses on if a position has been accepted, and where a new hire is in their educational credits and getting licensing.
These capabilities offer a better line of sight into where a person is in the overall hiring process, which is particularly relevant for agencies because until an agent is appointed, they cannot start bringing money to the agency.
How Salesforce supports agency management
With our insurance client, the Salesforce system is customized entirely to their needs. We created a custom UI for the company along with some custom Lightning Web Components. This setup lets the company bring its business processes forward and allows tasks to be created or viewed quickly.
The FSC data model has specific insurance objects in it. The information from those objects is integrated from other systems and linked to the policy administration system. Agencies don’t have to have one system that does absolutely everything. It is possible to have different systems that are brought into Salesforce and then deliver that information to your customers with a good user experience on a portal.
Agencies can leverage Salesforce Partner or Customer Communities depending on the situation and use case. Sometimes agencies need the ability to create quotes and see pipeline information, and a Salesforce Partner Community license would fit best. Other times, an agency wants to know the policyholder’s contact information and a couple of the additional features that go with the Salesforce Financial Services data model, and that’s when the Salesforce Customer Community license makes the most sense.
How Silverline can help with agency management
Silverline leverages insight acquired through thousands of engagements along with real-world expertise gained across the insurance industry, including agencies and carriers. Silverline understands the insurance landscape, and this deep industry knowledge paired with proven Salesforce expertise positions us to best help your company increase productivity, manage pipelines, drive renewals, target cross-sell opportunities, and close more business. Find out how we can help your insurance company.