In today’s unsteady and fiercely competitive marketplace, life insurance agents need to work harder than ever to retain existing clients while finding the time to cultivate new business. To that end, they need to be more efficient, more focused and less process-ridden in the quest to free up valuable time needed to run their business.
For the insurance agents reading this, you are all too familiar with the inevitable burdens of paperwork associated with this industry. I refer to those nagging forms that never seem to end: life applications, replacement forms, addendums, questionnaires, authorization forms, consent forms, claims documents, etc.
By some estimates, agents can spend countless hours a year filling out and processing paperwork. That is valuable time you could be spending selling policies and strengthening customer relationships. Scaling your mountain of paperwork can become a daunting burden, especially for top producers. To help minimize that burden, below are five easy steps you can take to get back valuable time and energy.
1. Reduce Data Entry
Haste Makes Waste: Cut down on manual entries and processing time by leveraging data you already have.
Many of the documents you fill out depend on information kept in CRM databases. This information is sprinkled across various forms and needs to be correct in every instance to avoid application kick-backs.
The first step to get ahead in the paperwork race is to more effectively leverage your CRM systems as a central source of client data. By transferring data directly from your CRM system, you will cut down on manual data reentry and speed processing time. Some automated forms-filling software even provides “off the shelf” CRM integration capabilities to handle the transfer for you. This is a worthwhile option to pursue if your carriers have made their forms available on this type of technology.
2. Reduce NIGO
Get “smart”: Improve your not-in-good order (NIGO) rate by verifying that all fields are completed to prevent paperwork from being rejected.
It is all too easy to accidentally leave important fields blank when completing large volumes of forms, whether electronic or printed. Not only does the oversight negatively impact the carrier’s NIGO rate, but the slower transaction means you get paid later. Asking customers to sign new paperwork can also result in loss of the sale. If you are the agent who can’t get all those boxes filled the first time around, a “smart form” enabled system could be helpful for you. Smart forms alert you to the fact that you’ve missed required form fields. If a technology solution is not an option for you, you should, at minimum, add a manual field check to your forms management process.
3. Leverage Existing Technology
Efficiency is king: Be more efficient by using the same software and processes for insurance and securities products.