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Thursday, May 26, 2016

How Will Emerging Tech Trends Influence the Agency Management System?

By Guy Weismantel, Vice President of Marketing at Vertafore

Technology has slowly began to change a number of different industries. Terms like "the cloud," "big data," and "the internet of things" seem to be everywhere, but it's never really clear what they mean or--more importantly--how they can help someone run a business. The truth is, a lot of them are just buzzwords, but there are some that can help you in huge ways like managing clients, saving time, and saving money. To help you tell the difference, we cherry-picked a few technology trends we think will have the biggest impact on the insurance agency management system; a tool that will continue to shape the insurance industry.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
CRM systems, like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, help organize and manage client interactions. You can think of them as a log--every time someone at your company talks to one of your customers (or potential customers), it gets recorded into the CRM. In the same vein, you can also take notes and save data about your customers, like what stage in the sales cycle they're in or how close to being a customer they are, and even automate certain sales processes. For example, when someone on your team moves a customer to another category, the CRM can automatically send a specific email or create a to-do for someone else. Read more.

Persona-based Dashboards
Dashboards have become hugely popular in software the last few years because of our need for real-time information and the ability to understand the big picture quickly. You can think about them like the dashboard in your car--displaying all of the important numbers about how your company is operating. Their customization also means the ability to hone in on certain metrics, locations, or other variables. Read more.

Reporting & Analytics Focus
Similar to the reason for our new-found fascination with dashboards, reporting and analytics are hugely important because of our thirst for information. But all the data in the world won't help if you can't figure out what it means or how it applies to your business. Reporting also deals with how your data is displayed and how accessible filtering is--that is, how easy it is to interpret your data and how easy it is to change what's being shown. Read more.

Open API's
An API ("application program interface") is a way for developers to connect different apps, programs or services. Think about it like a tunnel that connects two different companies you use for your business--Microsoft, Docusign, Birst--that also tells the data that it's transmitting where it belongs and what it can do. Read more.

CRMs, dashboards, APIs, and extensive analytics are all being used for one general purpose: to help business owners make better, more-informed decisions. With the ability to better manage and act on your lists of prospects and to gain more insights into how your business is doing at all times, anyone who takes advantage of these tech trends will be at the forefront of insurance agency management.

Learn more about the role data will play in the future of insurance in Vertafore's new Digital Disruption ebook.

Vertafore delivers cloud-based insurance software and services that transform the business of insurance. With the largest customer-base in the industry, more than 20,000 agencies and carriers leverage Vertafore’s insurance solutions that are built on today’s most advanced cloud, mobile, and information technology platforms. Learn more and contact Vertafore.