Research reports: Characteristics of successful insurance agencies
What separates a high growth agency from the pack? What are the practices and qualities that characterize highly successful insurance agencies? A pair of recent studies offer clues as to why some agencies experience more success than others.
Focus, research and networking yield success
An Austin, TX-based research and marketing firm conducted a study to learn the characteristics of high performing insurance agencies and revealed the results at a recent Independent Insurance Agents of Texas seminar. Risk Communities LLC studied 32 U.S. insurance industry organizations, including insurance agencies, carriers, wholesalers, law firms and claim organizations.
They found a marked contrast between high growth and low/average growth agencies:
The high growth firms consisted of “individuals or groups of individuals that were known in their niche. They had built-in connections and networks. They used social media, publishing and expert speaker and interviews at a very high level. They built business on the strength of who they were as compared to other firms.”
... On the other hand, low or average growth firms typically did not have specialty niches and self-identified as generalists.
Employees at such firms tended to have high level technical skills “but they didn’t really have the skill set to build leads on their own. They depended on one or two rainmakers in the insurance agency,” Davis said.
Recruiting and prospecting were among some of the highest challenges that all agencies faced, along with competition and building and branding reputation.
Technology adapters sold 43% more policies
Another recently released report points to technology adoption as a success factor in growth. A survey of more than 1,000 insurance agencies showed that insurance agencies that heavily relied on tech tools in marketing and customer relationship management sold 43% more policies per producer that those who used tech tools less. Agencies of all sizes and types — independents, directs and captive — as well as some carrier personnel were represented in the survey. The 20 question survey focused on six key agent technologies
Marketing Automation Software
Lead Management Software
Comparative Raters (Rating Engines)
Agency Management Systems
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
While the gains were greater in larger, direct agencies, the report noted that "agencies of all types and sizes saw greater revenue and productivity as technology usage increased"