Cross-Selling: How to More Effectively Execute, with Better Tools

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Who needs monoline when you can have multi-line?

Cross-selling may well be the one key growth strategy you’re not currently leveraging to your agency’s full advantage – and Renaissance Alliance offers a solution to its members that can change that.

First, consider this: When it comes to personal lines, the average agency’s book of business contains between 25% and 35% worth of clients who buy only one policy.

It’s likely that your agency has an equally high number of customers who have only have one policy with you. Rather than viewing it as a problem, it’s an opportunity you may be missing out on: Cross-selling those clients to multiple policies leads to better retention, increased customer loyalty and long-term revenue and premium growth.

Cross-Selling As a Mindset

The fact is, many customers who carry only one policy would be happy to have more than one if the savings are right and if the total value of the coverage being offered is clearly and effectively communicated to the client. The difference in price on having an auto and a renter’s policy, example, could make the latter essentially free to the customer and a bonus for you.

Naturally, it all depends on the client, but in many cases such decisions are a no-brainer once the opportunity is put in front of them – and the loyalty engendered in the process can go a long way when renewal time comes around.

“Renaissance’s technology tools and dashboards allow our Agency Growth Partners to analyze the characteristics of mono-line and multi-line policy customers,” says David Dawson, Renaissance Alliance’s Senior Vice President of Agency Growth. “Quite often it’s the mono-line policy customers who are leaving; account rounded, multi-line policy customers make better clients, bring more lifetime value to your agency and generate more revenue and premium over time.”

Proper Tools for a Sharper Approach

All told, cross-selling is a means for contributing to the overall health of your agency. However, cross-selling isn’t just a practice. It’s a mindset – an agency-wide strategy that principals must embrace and make a priority with their customer service reps in order for it to be truly successful. There are two key steps that must be taken: changing your CSRs’ behavior (achieved by clearly communicating to your sales staff that cross-selling is going to become a daily conscious effort among the team) and building the process.

Building the process is a lot easier for Renaissance Alliance member agencies, who are able to leverage their agency’s data to gain a distinct competitive edge.

Renaissance member principals enjoy the advantage of Arno, a convenient mobile app that offers a quick and easy way to surface cross-sell opportunities right at your fingertips.Arno - Cross-Selling

With Arno, member agency principals can literally scroll through their entire book of business on their mobile device and view their upcoming renewals, giving them a complete menu of which policies your clients are carrying and which ones present an opportunity for cross-selling.

Renaissance members also have access to Maestro, a powerful email marketing tool that you can use to strategically reach out to monoline customers to cross-sell additional coverage.

Those who want to learn more about Renaissance’s technology suite are encouraged to contact us to get a full demo of how these tools can be put to work at your agency.

What’s my motivation?

Once the benefits of cross-selling are acknowledged by the agency principal and it’s decided that this strategy is the way to go, how can CSRs’ efforts be best directed in this area?

Financial incentives are one way to motivate the troops, as is gamification of the process. Creating a contest that awards the highest converter to multiple policies is an option that can yield successful results for your agency.

For example, Ted Hughes, Director of Sales and Business Development at Renaissance Alliance member agency Cushman Insurance in Brockton, Mass., decided last year during the first months of the pandemic that it was time to accelerate his agency’s cross-selling efforts.

Hughes launched an incentive program in which Cushman’s account executives could earn a cash incentive for each newly rounded existing account. Some managed to round five or six a month, while others upsold eight to 10 a month. Tickets to a Patriots game were awarded the CSRs who rounded the most accounts.

A year later, Cushman had sold 300 new policies.

Hughes is an avid user of Arno. “I’d been trying to get meaningful data out of our AMS for years. But now I’m getting reports that I never knew existed, that are yielded from our data set,” he says. “It’s very easy to track. We use the Arno app regularly. It’s definitely one of the big benefits of the Renaissance relationship.”

Maximizing Your Member Benefits

Leaving money on the table is not the style of independent agents, who know both the value of customer retention and the financial benefits of having clients with multiple policies.

Yet another advantage of being a Renaissance Alliance member agency is that your Agency Growth Partners can calculate for you the projected lost revenue over the next five to 10 years that you could be missing out on by not cross-selling – and those numbers are often much higher than you expect.

Additionally, member agency principals can consult the Retention Dashboard (available under GrowthTrak), which helps them better understand their retention over time by Carrier, Line of Business, and Monoline vs. non-Monoline.

Independent agents are busy every day, and in the process of continuously trying to gain new clients, it’s easy to lose sight of how much revenue they can add with existing customers.

Speak with Renaissance’s Help Desk about Arno or reach out to your Agency Growth Partner to learn how cross-selling can boost your revenue, improve your retention and help increase your agency’s valuation.

Ask yourself this:Who needs monoline, when you can have multi-line?”

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