On April 29, Mark Breading of Strategy Meets Action, a leading insurance consultancy firm, moderated a thought leadership panel on sales, marketing and digital content in the insurance world. He was joined by Monique Hesseling of Strategy Meets Action and Ed Calnan, President and Co-Founder of Seismic. This is Part 2 of 3 of their discussion.
Mark Breading: There are numerous types of technologies put out there for distribution partners. Where do you start? How do you prioritize? What will bring the most value to content producers?
Ed Calnan: There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace now – it feels like every month, there’s a new ‘innovation’ that hits. It’s hard for marketing and IT leaders to sift through that noise and determine which tools will make their field force more productive. What we try to focus on are simple apps that save field producers time and help them deliver a better customer experience.
In the end, it’s all about that customer experience. Proving that you can have an educated conversation about the client need and then offering up – supported by the right marketing collaterals – an insightful discussion on how to satisfy that need. It’s not about systems or technology – it’s about how you can enable that person sitting across from you, either after dinner on the retail side or across the table in a conference room on the commercial side – how do you make that interaction still feel personal but as pleasant and accurate as possible?
Mark Breading: What do insurance agents and brokers find to be valuable in distribution technology?
Monique Hesseling: Brokers, as any other business owners, are driven by two things – to increase growth and profitability, and to increase efficiency. If you look at different producer types, [key drivers depend] on which part of industry they’re in. So for example, if you’re a life producer, illustration – which is [ultimately] part of what you’re offering to the client – the proposal, is extremely important, regulated and requires a lot of documents and disclosures, paperwork and signatures. Whatever can be done there to make their lives easier is helpful for them. Since the life producers need a lot of signatures and eSignatures, anything that makes it easier for them is very helpful.
If you look at P&C, especially in a small business environment, anything that allows them to quote at the dinner table after dessert with the family makes life a lot easier for P&C producers. Anything that can support creating quotas, proposals on the spot. Commercial gets into this space [as well].
If you look at the annuity space, annuity for retirement planning tends to be heavily regulated. It ties into the life industry – anything that allows producers to deal with massive paperwork and regulations for proposals and presentations for the client base are going to be very well received.
Brokers and producers on the life side have a very complicated commission structure. Broker companies struggle with it. Any approach that will get their money in earlier will be highly appreciated. Any form of versioning or document control will be very helpful to producers, especially independent ones. Whatever solution will help them identify the right version of documentation to use and process quickly with high quality is going to be good for them.