What is a CRM and Why Should Insurance Agents Use One?

by Lewis Barthes - May 8, 2023
Insurance agent using CRM as a tool

The abbreviation “CRM” (which stands for customer relationship management) is often thrown around as a buzzword to identity something that professionals should embrace. And if you’ve just started a career as an insurance agent, you’re probably wondering whether you, too, should be paying attention. The answer is, “Yes!” 

This article walks you through the basics of customer relationship management programs and why it matters to insurance professionals. 

What is CRM? 

It is a tool that helps professionals keep track of and manage interactions with clients and potential clients. It can help improve customer service, sales, and productivity for anyone who sells services and products—including insurance agents. In fact, if you ask any successful salesperson for career advice, they’ll probably mention that they use this handy tool. 

Are CRMs Good for Insurance Agents? 

Most articles and reviews emphasize how well this software works for salespeople. But the truth is that professionals from almost all industries use these tools, and they can help boost insurance sales as much as any other service or product. 

We’ve all been there—an important contact calls you unexpectedly, and you have to search through a heap of papers to find the documents they need, all while trying not to sound flustered on the phone. You can say goodbye to that with CRM. Simply pull up the account, and everything you need is right at your fingertips. 

Here are four ways that customer relationship management can help you become a rockstar agent and keep the business coming

1. Keep Track of Everything About Everyone 

And we mean everything. The primary purpose is to store information about all of your business contacts, such as clients, vendors, leads, and insurance carriers. Not only can you store the basic details about your contacts, but you can also record activities, including: 

  • Date and time of previous communications with the contact 
  • Reminders about upcoming commitments and deadlines 
  • How much business you’ve done with the client in the past 

In addition, most platforms allow you to upload documents to your contacts’ profiles so that you can easily access relevant resumes, contracts, and policy documents. 

The great thing about this is it can be as detailed as you want. Most platforms allow you to add custom attributes — for instance, some insurance agents may want to keep track of SR-22 status or any policy endorsements in their clients’ profiles. 

2. Deliver on Personalized Service 

One of the benefits of being an independent insurance agent is getting to develop a real connection with your clients. When you start out, it’s easy to keep track of birthdays, kids’ names, and favorite hobbies of your clients. But as you start growing your client base, you’ll find that it’s simply impossible to remember all the important details. Fortunately, CRM can help you keep that connection with your clients by allowing you to record personalized information such as: 

  • Family members’ names 
  • Food allergies 
  • Social media handles 
  • Beverage preferences 
  • Best time of day to call or email for a quick response 

In this case, think of it as an instant assistant who can remind you that being a successful insurance agent is more than about talking business. It’s also about building trust with your clients, who are putting their financial security in your hands. When people know that you take the time to get to know them, they’re more likely to develop a long-lasting business relationship with you. 

3. Easily Work with Your Other Platforms 

You’re probably wondering whether it’s worth it to learn a new type of software. The answer is that most of these platforms are designed to bring together information from all of your other business software. For instance, some platforms integrate with popular email, social media, calendar, and bookkeeping software—making it even easier for you to track client communications and invoices and focus on selling more policies

In fact, as you look for the best customer relationship management platform for you, pay attention to the other services that are compatible. 

In short, a good program isn’t just another software package. It’s a hub that allows you to have the most important data about your clients on a single dashboard. 

Insurance agent shows a CRM program on his laptop

What Is the Best CRM Software for Insurance Agents? 

Now that you know how it can help you deliver more value to your clients, you probably want to know which platform is best. 

You may have already heard of the biggest names in customer relationship management software—Salesforce, SAP, and Microsoft, to name a few. These are examples of enterprise software that works best for larger companies. The plus side is that these platforms are extremely powerful and often come with extensive training and technical support. On the other hand, the high cost only makes sense when an insurance company needs hundreds or thousands of licenses. 

If you’re an independent agent, you’re much better off working with a smaller (and less expensive) platform. Zoho, SugarCRM, and monday.com are a few examples of small-scale platforms that deliver good value to independent agents and small businesses. 

Are Free CRMs a Good Idea? 

There’s no shortage of free CRM software, and many agents wonder whether they’re a good idea. The answer is that it depends on the software, your needs as an independent agent, and your computer skills. 

Keep in mind that when it comes to any free software, you get what you pay for. There are plenty of well-designed free options, and you should certainly use them if they meet your needs. But be prepared to do more “shopping around” for the right platform, as free software often has limited features and is prone to less reliable performance. 

Technical support for free software is often limited to online forums. This might not be a problem for digital natives, but if you’re looking for more hand-holding when you need help, then it’s worth it to use a paid platform that offers reliable support channels. 

All Insurance Agents Should Use CRM 

Whether you work for a multinational insurance giant or are just starting your career as an independent agent, customer relationship management is essential. At Bluefire Insurance, we help people become the successful professionals they were born to be. To learn more, get in touch with us today or give us a call at (866) 424 9511

Customer Service866-424-9511