Data: Your Agency’s Secret Weapon

Two women talking while seated at a table with a laptop open.

Don’t let your agency’s data go to waste. The information collected from your management system and rating engine could be the secret weapon that improves your business at every level of operations. You can use data to identify opportunities for gaining and retaining more clients, track your agency’s health, and understand where your company excels and where there’s room for improvement.

With all the data your business has access to, it can be tough to know how to use that information. You don’t want to be stuck sorting through all those stats manually. That’s why having software that helps you easily sift through the data for valuable insights is critical. Let’s run through some of the capabilities you’ll want to look for when evaluating data analytics software.

To get the most out of your data, you’ll need agency software that:

  • Collects data from both your management system and rating engine
    Your software should collect every available piece of data to deliver a clear picture of your agency’s metrics, so it needs to pull data from both your management system and rating engine.

  • Sorts through your data to identify opportunities
    You don’t ever want to miss a chance to sell. Ensure the analytics tool you choose can parse your data to identify new prospects and cross-sell opportunities.

  • Uses data to help you measure agency health
    Data on sales and client retention, such as the number of total policies, canceled policies, and total premiums, can tell you if your agency is staying healthy and competitive in the market.

  • Leverages data into insights on sales
    After identifying a potential sale, you’ll need tools that help close the deal. The right data analytics software will sort through data for info about who to sell to, what products to offer, and when to approach a prospect.

  • Analyzes data to deliver peer benchmarking
    You need to know how your agency’s doing compared to the rest of the industry. To do this, you’ll want software that shows your agency’s growth and profitability metrics next to average industry metrics.

  • Separates data by agency branch and location
    As your agency grows, you may operate across several regions and/or offices. You’ll want to have the ability to separate data by each location to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every branch of your business.

  • Has dashboards that help you set and track goals
    Do you have goals for your agency? Dashboards that graphically display insights from your data to show how you’re progressing towards goals help keep you on track so you can meet your performance targets.

  • Delivers personalized analytics reports
    With personalized analytics reports, you can create graphs that only display and compare the data you need at any moment. This way, you don’t waste time sifting through excess data you’re not interested in.

Your agency generates tons of data over the course of its operations – why not use it? Unlocking the power of your data with the right analytics software could be the secret to your continued success. We hope this blog has given you a good idea of where to start when you’re considering how to leverage your business’s data into profits and growth.

For more information about how the right software can help you capitalize on your agency data, including an 11-point checklist to ensure you’re getting the full benefits of data across your business, take a look at Leveraging Data Into Growth and Profits: An EZGuide.

Finding the Best Agency Management System for Your Business

As an agency leader in the insurance industry, choosing the best management system for your company is one of the most significant decisions you’ll face. So, what do you need to know about these systems to ensure you choose correctly? Agency management systems are software applications that allow you to perform your essential business operations. These systems allow you to integrate multiple company operations via an online (SaaS) platform. Offering capabilities like policy management, accounting, integrated rating, sales automation, reporting and more, agency management systems help independent agencies save time, stay organized and gain an edge in the market so they can take their businesses to the next level.

The Importance of Agency Management Systems

Agency management systems are so crucial that 99% of insurance agencies use them. The highest quality systems don’t just help a business function, though; they help it thrive. A great system will streamline data input, consumer interfacing and business-to-business connectivity. It will even allow you to leverage data for critical insights into your performance. Features like these can give your company the agility and foresight to increase revenue, even in a competitive market.

Finding the Agency Management System That Fits Your Needs

Identifying the agency management system that fits your business’s needs is essential. An excellently designed system can supercharge your company’s growth, but a poor management system can stunt your potential. So, how can you make sure you’re picking the right system? Before you make this all-important decision, you need to know the right questions to ask.

Questions To Ask About an Agency Management System

Knowing what you’re looking for is the first step to finding it. So, what specific questions should you ask to ensure you get the best product possible? Well, to start, you should ask if an agency management system can help you:

  • Save time and effort?
  • Maintain and form valuable connections?
  • Identify and take advantage of new opportunities?

If the answer is yes to all three, you’re off to a good start.

There’s still more to consider, though. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your business with a management system that offers the specific capabilities your company needs. You’ll also want to look for a system that:

  • Manages your whole business Save time and money with a system that lets you manage standard and commercial lines on a single application.
  • Increases customer satisfaction with improved service Satisfied customers are loyal customers. Keep everyone happy with easy-to-use customer self-service applications.
  • Uses data to identify sales opportunities Leverage the power of data to help you increase revenue. An ideal system will help you keep track of sales, target opportunities and predict future revenue streams.
  • Expands your market reach with practical communication tools A system with effective communication tools is essential for maintaining current customers and taking advantage of cross-selling opportunities.
  • Saves time and money by increasing efficiency Free up your employees to focus on more critical revenue-generating tasks by automating routine processes.
  • Keeps your customers coming back Improve customer satisfaction with a system that helps you respond more quickly to clients’ needs.
  • Helps you gain insights from your data Make more use of your data with a system that generates reports and charts to easily track performance metrics.

A good agency management system empowers your company to fulfill its true potential. In addition to saving time and money, the right system can increase customer retention and help you expand to new clients and markets. When you choose a system with features that match your business’s needs, the possibilities are endless!

For more specific information about what to look for when selecting an agency management system, including a 10-point checklist, download our EZGuide: How to Find the Best Management System.

Insurance CRM vs. Insurance Agency Management System: What’s the Difference?

Having the right tools and systems is key to effectively managing an insurance agency. Insurance is all about relationships with your customers, so it only makes sense to invest in insurance tech designed to help you better manage prospects and clients across the insurance lifecycle. Two common tools that come to mind are an insurance CRM (customer relationship management) system and an insurance agency management system (AMS). While both systems can help insurance agents manage their businesses, prospects, and customers easier, they ultimately serve different purposes.

What is a CRM?

An insurance CRM system is software used to manage, track and organize an insurance agency’s customer relationships. Its capabilities include lead tracking, customer interaction management, and sales and marketing task automation.

It centrally stores customer information, including contact and policy details, and agency interaction history. CRM software can help agents track sales, identify cross-sell opportunities, and measure marketing campaign effectiveness.

What is an agency management system?

An insurance AMS is a comprehensive agency management solution beyond simple customer relationship management. Management systems allow insurance agencies to manage the complete customer lifecycle. This includes delivering enhanced customer service and communication that meets customer expectations, automating and streamlining processes, retaining customers and winning new business, and using data to help improve operations.

The best systems have intuitive tools for agency management, automation, retention, commercial submissions, eSignature, email marketing, text messaging, client self-service, payments reporting/analytics, and more. Designed to integrate with carrier systems, agency management systems streamline daily tasks with automated workflows and allow agents to easily access customer quotes, policies, claims, and other documents all in one place.

What are the key differences between an insurance CRM and an agency management system?

Insurance CRM

Purpose: Manage insurance customer relationships.

Features: Typically includes lead management, customer profiling, marketing automation, and sales tracking.

Workflows: Designed for workflow efficiency and to automate sales and marketing processes.

Integration: Typically, do not integrate with carrier or third-party applications.

Insurance AMS

Purpose: Manage all aspects of an insurance agency’s business operations.

Features: Policy management (rating, quoting, sales, servicing, renewals, etc.), billing and payments processing, commission tracking, and reporting/analytics.

Workflows: Designed to automate policy management, claims processing, marketing and sales, quoting, accounting, payments, self-service, retention, cross-selling, reporting, renewals, and more.

Integration: Integrate with carrier systems and other third-party applications.

Is a CRM or management system better for running an independent insurance agency?

While a CRM and insurance AMS are great tools to help agents better manage their businesses, they have different purposes.

CRM systems are used to improve sales and enhance customer relationships.

Insurance agencies need CRM systems to:

  • Streamline the sales pipeline
  • Forecast sales
  • Track and manage sales tasks
  • Quickly visualize the close ratios, deal aging, producer success
  • Provide insights needed to recapture, win and cross-sell opps before the X-Date

Agency management systems are used to run the entire business.

Insurance agencies need management systems to:

  • Manage all lines of business in a single application
  • Improve efficiency by automating processes
  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Improve and streamline sales processes
  • Communicate and market to customers effectively
  • Increase customer retention
  • Provide insights for data-driven decision making

Ready to make your management system your most productive employee?

Discover EZLynx.

EZLynx, the industry’s fastest-growing agency management system, has everything you need to drive the best business results. Built for the startup and growing agency, EZLynx is an easy-to-use, all-in-one AMS that accelerates growth, prioritizes retention, and streamlines your agency’s workflows. Unlike other management systems that provide disparate, incomplete, or overly complicated solutions, EZLynx has everything you need to manage clients through the complete insurance customer lifecycle.

If you would like to learn more, chat with us to schedule an appointment.

MLC Agency Creates Better Experience with EZLynx

Independent agency leverages all-in-one management system to create more internal efficiency and greater customer value.

LEWISVILLE, TX– July 27, 2023 – EZLynx, an Applied company, today announced that MLC Agency has selected EZLynx to be the technology foundation of its personal and commercial lines business. Through EZLynx’s advanced automation, MLC Agency will be able to standardize its operational processes and data on a single platform that will improve productivity, simplify management, and seamlessly connect to their customers.

“As our agency and book of business continue to grow, it became increasingly important to invest in a management system that would provide greater automation for our team and customers,” said Morgan Newitt, owner, MLC Agency. “By utilizing EZLynx, we will be able to have all our data on one platform and create more efficient processes that will help our team grow to the next level and provide the service our customers deserve.”

EZLynx’s integrated agency management technologies provide comparative rating, agency management and automation, commercial submissions, retention tools, consumer quoting, email marketing, text messaging, online client self-servicing, and so much more. The system maximizes agencies’ potential by increasing their ability to retain current customers while acquiring new business. By providing a central location, EZLynx enables agents to generate and store quotes, policies and documents, as well as easily remarket with up-to-date information that is synced from agents’ daily policy downloads. Through advanced automation and the ability to seamlessly connect to insurers and insureds, agents using EZLynx improve productivity, simplify management, optimize serviceability and increase profitability.

“Growing agencies have to balance multiple priorities – finding new customers, servicing and retaining existing customers, and running their business. Doing this effectively requires investing in the infrastructure to grow,” said Michael Streit, general manager, EZLynx. “EZLynx will enable MLC Agency to manage their business on a single platform, making their team even more productive and empowering them to continue to deliver the top-tier customer service they are known for.”

Your Virtual Agent Selects EZLynx to Elevate Remote Work Model

Agency utilizes cloud-based agency management system to standardize its operational processes and create an efficient digital experience for staff and customers

LEWISVILLE, TX– MARCH 16, 2023 – EZLynx, an Applied company, today announced that Your Virtual Agent has selected EZLynx to support business growth and remote working environment. The EZLynx management system will enable Your Virtual Agent to automate workflows and manage book of business on a single platform, allowing staff to prioritize retention, streamline agency workflows, and support staff and customers anytime, anywhere.

“At Your Virtual Agent, we believe we can bring our clients the trusted insurance agent experience in a modern world, which means our business too needs to operate on modern technology,” said Jaclyn Slavens, agency manager, Your Virtual Agent. “We are a predominately remote operations, and the more we learned about EZLynx, we saw a partner that mirrored what our agency believes in – that virtual piece of not having to be in the office Monday through Friday to write business, retain business, and communicate with your customers.”

EZLynx’s integrated agency management technologies provide comparative rating, agency management and automation, commercial submissions, retention tools, consumer quoting, email marketing, text messaging, online client self-servicing, and so much more. The system maximizes agencies’ potential by increasing their ability to retain current customers while acquiring new business. By providing a central location, EZLynx enables agents to generate and store quotes, policies and documents, as well as easily remarket with up-to-date information that is synced from agents’ daily policy downloads. Through advanced automation and the ability to seamlessly connect to insurers and insureds, agents using EZLynx improve productivity, simplify management, optimize serviceability and increase profitability.

“The insurance industry is largely viewed as lagging behind, but today’s insurance professionals and customers are pivoting towards remote environments, looking for more digital ways to interact in all aspects of life,” said Brenna Johnson, vice president of product management, EZLynx. “EZLynx will enable Your Virtual Agent to manage all lines of business in a single system regardless of role, time or location, creating greater connectivity and productivity for the agency and customers alike.”

WEBCETERA Introduces New Marketplace for Carriers and Vendors

WEBCETERA® is excited to announce a new marketplace for Insurance Carriers and Vendors called EZLynx Marketplace.

EZLynx Marketplace will ultimately enable third party vendors, insurance carriers, and large MGAs and brokers to build custom applications for, and market to, the vast EZLynx customer base.

These custom applications can leverage the robust quote and policy data available through the EZLynx quoting engine and the EZLynx policy download engine to offer new and innovative services to the EZLynx customer base.

“EZLynx Marketplace will eventually allow agents to buy these applications with the click of a mouse just like consumers purchase apps for smart phones today,” says David Taylor, Vice President of Product Integration at WEBCETERA. “We believe strongly that the extensive EZLynx network of over 5,000 agencies will make this a compelling business model for third-party vendors and insurance carriers.”

David Taylor, an insurance software industry veteran, has recently joined the WEBCETERA family to lead this effort.  Taylor began his career in 1991 as an assistant Controller at the major national MGA Combined Group Insurance Services, Inc.  Taylor served in various roles including CTO for Combined Group and Quantum Integrated systems and later as National Sales Director for AgentDirectExpress and RealtimeExpress.  His responsibilities included marketing initiatives and sales as well as managing analysis of all revenues and costs generated by those industry changing products.

“With this innovative new effort, we believe we can make a solid step towards the future of insurance software technologies.  WEBCETERA is committed to being a leader that plays a major part in bringing the benefits of new technologies to businesses in our industry.”

Insurance Software Industry Veteran Mele Lynn Fuller joins the Webcetera Team

We are excited to announce that Mele Lynn Fuller has joined the WEBCETERA® family as an industry consultant to provide her extensive experience and knowledge with standards organization. Mele’s résumé boasts an impressive career spanning 47 years of service in the insurance industry.

Mele has served as a representative of Safeco and Liberty Mutual Agency Corporation in multiple industry organizations including, ACORD®, ACT®, IVANS®, and IIABA’s Agency Council for Technology. In the past decade she has navigated some of the most important technology transitions in a lead role, pioneering and overcoming some of the most crucial technical challenges that our industry has faced in that time. With Webcetera she will provide an excellent point of view for upcoming business initiatives with Policy management. We look forward to her insightful contributions allowing Webcetera to further develop and strengthen our industry standards and relations.

“Mele Fuller will be a tremendous asset to our organization. We are proud to have such a seasoned expert with a remarkable background and list of accomplishments join our team,” says Nag Rao, President of Webcetera. “As Webcetera helps Independent Agents prepare for the challenges of the 21st century, Mele will help us to coordinate our plans with industry standard organizations and thus help move the whole industry forward.”