Analysts at Deloitte polled insurance executives and found that "one-third of the survey respondents expect revenues to be significantly better" in 2022, with demand rising worldwide. Among the greatest challenges to keep pace are:
- Attracting (and retaining) high-producing agents.
- Improving producer productivity.
These two challenges are connected—if you have trouble hiring producers, helping your existing agents do more selling in less time can help narrow the gap. That is one reason innovative insurers turn to managed virtual assistant services to improve agent satisfaction and retention and boost productivity.
5 Productivity Drags on Insurance Sales Teams
According to insurance marketing business Zip Quote, the main drags on insurance agency productivity and sales are:
- Poor AMS/CRM data hygiene: contact information is a mess.
- Lack of a lead management system: physical lead data like business cards vanish.
- Time spent prospecting: research and list building are time-consuming.
- Inconsistent lead follow-up: there is no formal process for following up with prospects.
- Manual workflows: manual back-office processes slow you down.
Here is how productivity drags impact insurance sales teams:
- Inconsistent CRM data entry means you cannot trust the data, so the team stops using the CRM.
- When everyone uses different processes for business development, leads get lost.
- Prospects need to go into the CRM for consistent internal and external communication.
- When no one knows who is following up with leads, they fall through the cracks.
- Due to time constraints, manual sales workflows are often too short and too slow to be effective.
A managed virtual assistant service can fix all these issues—delighting your producers and enabling your agency to grow faster.
What is a Managed Virtual Assistant Service
You know what a virtual assistant is—an executive assistant that works offsite and takes care of your team's administrative tasks. A managed virtual assistant service provider is a company that hires, trains, and supervises the assistants for groups of executives. Key features of a managed virtual assistant service include:
- Quick hiring times—you can employ an assistant in a few days.
- The service provider takes care of onboarding and training.
- Expert process optimization and management—service providers have years of experience dialing in services.
- Fully trained backup assistants—you never need to start over.
- Flexible terms—you can scale up and scale back quickly.
- No added management or HR overhead for your business.
Insurance businesses leverage managed virtual assistant services because:
- They do not have the time and expertise to recruit, interview, hire, train and manage executive admins.
- They do not have expertise in CRM and other tools and systems.
- Office space is often tight.
- Bringing on full-time employees is risky in uncertain times.
What Can Managed Virtual Assistants Do for Insurance Sales Teams
Virtual assistants can perform many of the tasks that slow down agency productivity. The beauty of a managed service is that this work happens in the background while your team focuses on selling and client relations. Managed virtual assistant providers train assistants to do the following functions.
Agencies with solid CRM/AMS utilization raise conversion rates by up to 300 percent, but just 30 percent of companies have a well-implemented one. Your assistant can:
- Input all your contacts into your CRM and fill in missing information about them.
- Keep your contact data clean and up to date by changing statuses as needed, removing duplicate data, etc.
- Run reports and send them to you so you have access to the latest insights about your pipeline.
More than 30 percent of lead data "decays" each year (job changes, promotions, phone numbers, and email address changes). A virtual assistant prevents that by:
- Updating contact information monthly.
- Log all communications like calls, emails, and meetings so you have a record of all your touches with leads.
- Maintain lead status and ownership in your CRM/AMS.
More than 40 percent of salespeople say prospecting is their biggest challenge. It is tedious and time-consuming. Virtual assistants can:
- Search contact databases like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo based on your lead qualification criteria.
- Build lists for email outreach.
- Launch and manage email campaigns.
Lead Follow Up
Eighty percent of customers buy from the first business to respond to an inquiry, but most sales teams take five days. Your virtual assistants will:
- Reach out to qualified leads who fill out forms on your website or respond to campaigns.
- Schedule calls for you to meet with prospects.
- Confirm meetings to reduce no-shows.
Build and Manage Workflows
According to Salesforce, it takes six to eight touches to make a sale, but 70 percent of salespeople stop at one. Here is how virtual assistants help:
- Create automated email drip campaigns for your leads.
- Schedule social media outreach.
- Set up alerts and outreach for client milestones like renewals, birthdays, and holidays.
More Tasks a Managed Virtual Assistant Service Can Deliver
All kinds of back-office tasks distract producers from their core mission—to win new business and serve existing clients. Among those that managed virtual assistants perform are:
- Underwriter communications, so you are not on hold for hours.
- Endorsement processing as plans change.
- New business and quote preparation.
- Invoicing and payment processing.
- Tearsheet prep for sales calls.
Most salespeople spend just 35 percent of their time on sale-focused work. If your growth goals are up against hiring and productivity challenges, a managed virtual assistant service can help. You can quickly and easily give your producers up to 65 percent more selling time at a fraction of the costs of hiring more salespeople.
Prialto has delivered managed virtual assistant services to insurance teams since 2008. To learn more about working with our service, download this guide.
About the Author: Bill is Prialto's senior content marketing manager and writes about the future of work and how businesses can be more productive and successful. His work has appeared in the World Economic Forum Agenda blog and CIO magazine.