Creating the perfect sales journey is a challenging task. Technology helps. Today’s top insurance sales platform solutions are effective, but not every size fits all.
Each firm has unique needs and a different view on what the ideal customer experience looks like. Every organization has its own goals for growth and plans for new markets or sales channels, along with their own budget restrictions to carry out their plans.
There are now end-to-end solutions that manage the full breadth of the sales process, without having to integrate dozens of disparate solutions together in a Frankenstein environment. To get the most from your sales platform, however, you need cost-effective ways to create custom user experiences (UXs) and test new markets — without starting from scratch each time. Embedded technology has the potential to bring these dreams within reach.
Solving Age-Old Problems
The challenge with creating the ideal sales experience is everyone needs their own. It’s an age-old problem.
A carrier can stand up an e-application solution with the perfect user interface (UI), only to realize each of its distribution channels has different needs. An advisor and a call center have vastly different preferences for features and workflow.
Independent distribution is a complex ecosystem for carriers. The choice of insurance sales platform can act as a language barrier. Carriers cannot afford to support five different platforms to meet their own demands and their distributors’ diverse systems.
Another challenge for carriers is finding cost-effective ways to grow into new markets and distribution channels with traditional systems. Recreating products, rules and processes is time-consuming and expensive.
This is where embedded application programming interface (API) technology can make a difference. It can mitigate the challenges of traditional methods. Plus, it prevents the duplication of work and creates new opportunities for all sides of the industry.
More Bang for Your Buck
Embedded technology allows you to get more mileage from your efforts. You can build your products, processes and business rules — once — and deploy them to multiple sites and applications. This could be your own customer website, a call center system, a worksite marketing application or a bank site. Insert your dream deployment here.
One door embedded technology unlocks is the ability to launch a product where the client already is. For example, consider an employee who logs into their HR website to enroll in health coverage and make annual elections. What if this individual could shop for and buy individual life insurance from the same site? Now the customer has an easier way to shop.
There are many use cases for embedded technology. Your distribution partners can create a custom UI inside the system they already use. This eliminates the need for a carrier to support multiple platforms to work with different distributors.
You also can affordably test new markets and UIs with embedded technology. You can use existing business rules to stand up a system for the new partner within a couple of months. The process is much faster and less expensive than building a system from scratch.
Another use case for embedded is post-issue self-service. You can build service transaction rules for use in your back-office call center and embed those same rules in your client portal with a different UI. This way if the customer comes directly to your website to make changes to their policy, you can be ready.
Loved by Distribution
It is not just carriers that enjoy the benefits of embedded technology. Distributors have their own reasons to appreciate the technology. Firms selling direct to consumers can control the experience with a custom UI powered by the carrier’s insurance platform. When carriers make changes to their products and rules, it automatically updates inside the distributor’s UI. Both the carrier and distributor don’t have to recreate the changes.
Embedded technology can save advisors from jumping between systems to sell different product lines. Think of an example where an individual walks into a bank to buy a home. As they talk, the advisor realizes the customer is also in the market for a life insurance policy. With embedded, the bank can have a tailored solution that lives inside the mortgage system the advisor works in all day. They can sell the life policy without leaving and entering a different system.
A Crowd Pleaser
Embedded technology for insurance sales platforms is an innovation in our industry that is good for everyone.
Carriers have the freedom to test new markets. They can deploy to all their distribution partners without recreating products and business rules.
Distributors have more control over their user experience. They save money and the hassle of managing updates to carrier products themselves.
Finally, the customer enjoys a sales journey made specifically for them. They experience a UI optimized for their preferences and a sales process.
Article by Doug Massey, EVP, Sales, Hexure
This article was first published on LIMRA MarketFacts (April 2023).