CRM Might be the Swiss Army Knife of Sales Technology, but ARM is the Magic Bullet

Excerpt: An analyst with a large technology analytical services company commented that he received inquiries from insurance companies about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. When asked specifically what they were looking to do with a new CRM system, the insurer said they wanted to manage their agents and overall distribution. After further discussion, the analyst firm noted that the insurer’s use case was more suited for distribution management software than it was for CRM.

Based on what CRM software has become over the past decade or so, it is easy to see why someone would assume that since a CRM solution performs contact management or sales management, it would be the solution of choice for managing agents. Looking at various rankings and reports on vendors for CRM, it seems CRM has become the “Swiss Army Knife” of technology. The idea is that a particular CRM solution can meet the requirements for a myriad of use cases—it can do anything. However, this conception is a pitfall that insurance companies should avoid.

Pre & Post Enrollment Materials Updates: 10 Solvable Workflow Challenges for 2016 Enrollment Season

The publicized problems that have plagued the health insurance exchange projects are illustrative of the challenges health insurers have long faced in regard to generating information for their members. Billions of dollars are spent annually to ensure members receive the communications needed to enroll for services, legally notify them of coverage changes, and help them to understand and use plan benefits. In both scenarios, there is government mandated language along with deadlines for its availability. For health insurer that offer Medicare, Medicaid, and hybrid government sponsored plans, the regulations established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) run deep. In the case of printed correspondence, plans are required to follow CMS published models that define how and where information is formatted on the page. Penalties imposed by CMS for non-compliance with published models and delivery dates are costly.

CMS guidelines apply to all the materials mentioned above however this paper segments them into two categories based on the frequency of the required updates. Documents updated once each year in preparation for the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP); and materials that require monthly revisions to provide members with up-to-date information related to their coverage.

Streamlining Underwriting: Life Insurance Operations

Competitive forces and not-to-be-missed opportunities are driving many insurers, and should be driving all insurers, to reexamine the underwriting process. To launch compelling new products and enter new channels and markets, new and enhanced capabilities are needed in underwriting.

A number of life insurers have implemented innovative solutions that reduce the cost, complexity, and time to assess a risk and issue a policy. These streamlining efforts are helping to enhance the experiences that agents have in doing business with the insurer and give consumers the purchasing speed and simplicity they want. Underwriters are finding that more efficiency improves the quality of the job and offers expanded job opportunities.

Many streamlining solutions have not been widely adopted in the life insurance industry. As the life insurance market continues to evolve, the underwriting function must keep pace. Insurers who ignore this imperative almost certainly imperil future profits.

Coordinating the Chaos: Creating an Insurance Customer Communication Portfolio

What you say to your customers, when you say it, why you say it, and most recently where you say it; represents some of the most valuable intellectual property within your insurance business. The communication style of your company establishes your image in the marketplace, sets the tone for important business transactions, influences renewal and referral decisions, and differentiates you from your competitors in a competitive market.

The Digital Insurer: Change now to get ahead

The life insurance industry is currently facing an unprecedented set of challenges: game-changing regulatory and macroeconomic factors, and the exceptional pace of consumer and technological change. While the industry is used to living with a constant stream of change, this time it is different…