With thousands of Americans looking to agents and brokers for help navigating the confusing world of health insurance, qualified insurance agents are in high demand in the U.S. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of insurance agents is projected to grow 5% by 2029—that’s higher than the average for all occupations.
Given this demand, it’s essential that agents today are prepared with the right tools to meet this growing need and aid the many Americans who need guidance on how to find the right healthcare plan for them and their families.
In this article, we’ll cover five essentials tools every insurance agent should have at the ready:
- A website
- A customer relationship manager (CRM) software
- Cross-channel communication tools
- Office organization software
- A password manager
1. A website
First off, the best way for anyone to get their start, no matter the industry, is by building their own website. For insurance agents, your website will serve as the number one place for you to promote your work, build awareness, and ultimately attract new customers.
Especially in the increasingly virtual world we’re living in, having a quality website is more critical than ever for establishing the kind of credibility and professionalism you need to connect with potential and current customers remotely.
Oberlo reported that over half of small businesses increased the number of online interactions they had with clients in 2020. By putting yourself online, you’re able to cast a much wider net and reach people you may not have otherwise been able to find.
If you’re not as tech-savvy as you like, don’t worry! While you can certainly hire a web designer to do the work for you, there are dozens of online templates that make the process simple if you’d like to tackle it on your own.
Many templates are low-cost, or even completely free, and most are built for beginners with little to no coding experience, so it’s easy to get started.
Here are just a few of our favorites you can check out:
2. A customer relationship manager (CRM) software
Next, you’ll want to invest in a good CRM software to store all the information you have about your leads and customers all in one place. Your CRM will help you better organize, analyze, and personalize your interactions with each person or client you talk to.
After all, information is the key to any sale. If you're calling a lead that you talked to six months ago, you should have notes about that call. Everything they might have told you about their past experience with health insurance, any dependents they may have, and their long-term goals should be readily available to you so you don’t waste time bringing up questions you’ve already asked.
Through a CRM, your customer service experience will become that much smoother for both you and your clients when you can instantly look up a client’s contact records and see a full report of everything you've ever known about them.
Here are just a few CRMs that can help you optimize your lead and customer experience:
3. Cross-channel communication tools
Once you’ve got your website and CRM set up, you’re ready to get some communication tools up and running. When it comes to connecting with leads and customers, you’ll need to communicate in the places they’re already on. This includes email, text messaging, social media, and more.
With so many platforms to keep track of, implementing cross-channel communication tools allows you to connect all of these forms of communication within one single platform.
In the insurance industry, the fourth quarter is easily the busiest time of year, with open enrollment bringing in new customers ready to sign up for a new plan on top of existing customers ready to renew their current policy.
With cross-channel communication tools, you’ll be able to stay on top of your overflowing inbox and ensure you don’t miss a single email, message, or comment.
Here are a few tools for email marketing, chat and messenger tools, and social media management to help you stay organized:
- MobileMonkey for SMS
- MailChimp for email
- HubSpot CRM
- HootSuite for social media
4. Office organization software
With more and more homes turning into offices, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got all the office organization software you need to do your work from home. Whether it’s note-taking, list-making, or document-signing, there are dozens of tools designed to make traditional office work even easier.
The best of these tools will be cloud- or web-based, so all of your work is instantly saved, backed up, and accessible whenever and wherever you need it—even if you have a power outage or your computer crashes.
While there are seemingly endless office productivity tools, we’ve listed a few of our favorites:
5. A password manager
Finally, with all the different forms of software you’re getting set up, you’ll want a password manager to keep your logins straight. While it’s tempting to simply keep a sticky note on your desk with your passwords or make a list in a notebook, this isn’t secure or even practical.
With a password manager, you’ll only have to remember one password to log in to your account, and all of your passwords for every online account or profile you’ve ever saved will be there whenever you need them.
Here are a few password managers you can try:
With more and more people looking to insurance agents for help finding the right healthcare, you’ve got to be prepared to meet the demand. Equipped with the tools outlined in this article, you’ll have everything you need to stay organized, find new clients, and instill policyholders with confidence that they have the right plan for them.
Interested in partnering with PeopleKeep? Through PeopleKeep’s referral program, brokers and insurance agents can offer health benefits solutions that other advisors don’t know about, or don’t understand. After you join our referral program, we'll give the insights you need to become well versed in HRAs so you can off your client's choices that work best for them and remain their number one resource for all things benefits-related.
This article was originally published on July 16, 2009. It was last updated on May 28, 2021.