Banks and National Accounts face unique challenges in the management of insurance business, since insurance is only one element in a web of offerings available to each client, ranging from basic account services to credit offerings to investments. The insurance sale may be made by a number of different types of staff and may be referred from one area of the enterprise to another. And, since the policy is held by a carrier, a further layer of data exchange exists, that can complicate customer relationship management.
This structure can be difficult to manage, meaning bank clients’ insurance needs may not be identified or met. And even when they are, the process of servicing that business, accepting payment and receiving commissions has its own challenges.
Challenge #1: The hierarchical structure of banks and national accounts make insurance sales difficult to manage
Because of the complex nature of how the insurance channel fits within the bank’s own structure, and the industry’s eco-system, sales can be complicated in a number of ways:
- Accurate commissions for policies sold: The need to ensure they collect the correct amount of commission from the insurer when a policy is sold.
- Commission splitting: The need to pay the correct remuneration or allocate the right credit to the sales channels and channel participants—which could include call center reps, branch staff, or the Bank’s own High Net Worth (HNW) Advisory team.
- Each of the different channels may have different remuneration models and rates—from click-through commissions, to sales credits leading to bonuses, to tailored commission agreements.
- Sales channel licensing management: The need to ensure independent agents and relationship managers’ licensing requirements are fulfilled and their individual over-riding contracts with insurers are maintained.
- Maintaining the client relationship: And the last, but possibly the most critical—the need to avoid losing the client to the insurance company by ensuring all client touch points go through the bank sales channels, including customer 3600 reporting.
Solution #1: A robust agency management system effectively and efficiently handles all hierarchies
Effectively, efficiently and accurately managing commission and payments processes requires a robust management system, tailored to the Bank’s specific needs. The system must be able to:
- Ensure accuracy of carrier fees & commissions
- Identify discrepancies between expected & received compensation.
- Handle complex hierarchy structures to process payouts.
- Manage commissions & compensation
- Support all commission structures, and custom compensation types.
Challenge #2: The lack of centralized data available to all stakeholders makes client relationship management more difficult
Banks and national accounts work in cooperation with the carriers—effectively selling their products—but also need to be careful not to lose the bank client to the insurer.
In the case of banks, for instance, the insurance customer experience can be challenging because, although the policy resides with the carrier, the bank is best served if they are the ones to handle all contacts with the client. If, for example, every time the client had to pay a premium, that notice was sent from the carrier, the bank would lose an opportunity to contact their customer—and the insurer would gain one.
This is a critical and unique customer relationship management opportunity. It’s in the bank’s best interest to be able to handle all questions and service activities related to a client for both their typical banking needs and their insurance needs.
The bank should be able to:
- Send billing notices out rather than the carrier
- Answer policy questions rather than referring their client to the insurer
- Understand everything about that customer, their needs and where they are in the policy lifecycle—just as well as the carrier.
If the bank is not the primary point-of-contact for all insurance activities, they run the risk of losing the client to the insurer—along with those commissions.
To prevent that scenario from unfolding, the bank needs data. They need all the information on that client and their policies, and they need it in real time so they can respond when their customer needs them.
Solution #2: Centralized data feeds within the agency management system enable superior customer experience
Banks and National Accounts need a specialized agency management solution that addresses their unique set of challenges.
The right solution for Banks and National Accounts is one that connects carriers' feeds, parameds, clients, policies, and other contracting and compliance systems in a single platform. This system makes data available to anyone in the organization, whenever it is needed. Single-sign-on access to this data means that it’s easy to complete service transactions without having to refer the client to the carrier. The bank can take a more pro-active approach to routing all insurance communications (from billing to updates on specific policy events like renewals) to the client through the bank channel ensuring that the client gets well-rounded service. This ensures the bank continues to maintain the primary relationship with the client instead of giving an opportunity for the insurance company to try to up-sell/cross-sell.
Challenge #3: Leads are difficult to track and manage – reducing productivity and sales
Insurance sales to existing clients are a tremendous opportunity for sales growth. However, the complicated structure of a bank or national account, where a client may have products and services from several different departments can create challenges. Customers who have savings or credit accounts may also have insurance needs, but how those needs are identified, passed to the right internal resource and then developed into sales needs to be managed—can be difficult in large, multi-faceted organizations.
Solution #3: Optimize lead generation efforts and increase productivity
Modern management system solutions specific to Banks and National accounts will provide insights into the sales and servicing pipeline, helping to track client needs and cross-sell opportunities, while maximizing customer value across lines of business. They come with pre-configured features and tools that make it easier to track leads from all lines of business, and to streamline the process of managing those leads through the entire policy lifecycle.
Functionality like 50+ built-in reports on everything from lead status to policies sold to commission projections help organizations track prospecting and sales activity to support business development. This increased visibility into advisor production enables organizations to accelerate and more effectively manage the insurance and retirement pipelines. While, built in workflows built upon industry best practices, help streamline operations and increase automation and efficiency.
A modern management system will streamline Bank and National Accounts’ ability to effectively administer their insurance and retirement services. They make commissions easy to track. Remuneration can be paid more quickly, with greater accuracy. The industry-specific, built-in tools streamline management of operations and support business development.
Because these solutions centralize all client data in one location customer service effectiveness is increased, client satisfaction rises, and deeper relationships can be forged.