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Data is extremely important to your Agency. Why? It’s simple; you can’t improve what you and your agency aren’t measuring. Measurement is key!

I can assure you that it doesn’t matter how big or small your agency is. You and your agency has data within your management system that is readily available to you, and when understood, it can have an enormous impact on your agency’s future success.

Data can and will give you a snapshot of how you’re presently doing and forecast future successes and failures. That data can and will help you better plan where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.

Have you ever sat down and looked at how other industries are using data to better understand their prospects and customers? Think about how Amazon, Apple, or any professional sports team uses your order and search histories to recommend products to you that you’re more likely to buy based on what you were looking at. Or, how Netflix does the same thing with what you watch and what it thinks you’re going to want to watch next. It’s a simple process, they use the data that is already there to predict what direction things are going in.

The more you know about your prospects and customers, the better your chances are in getting them as clients and keeping them for the long hull. The more they know about your agency, the more successful you’ll be as well. Insurance sales are based on three things: ease of purchase, trust, and the customer experience.

There are all kinds of data you and your agency can and should collect.

You can track data on your prospects and clients such as emails, birthdates, locations, current carrier, lead source (Facebook, referral, TV ad, or billboard etc…). Are you collecting data on your agency’s net promoter scores? We use Rocket Referrals to do this in our agency. The million dollar question is, are you collecting this information?

You can track data on your agency’s performance, such as revenue by line of business, mono lines business, the amount of retention premium verse retention rate, gross premium per staff, amount of business per carrier, or location. Then there’s closing ratios, loss ratios per carrier, retention rates, retention premiums, and new business written. There is a whole lot that each and everyone of us should be tracking, but the question is, are we?

You should also be tracking by producer performance such as activity (how many quotes), X dates, closing ratios, and policy count per household. We’ve found that it’s important for producers to track number of calls made per day/week, because activity always leads to apptivity. Remember – all the data in the world doesn’t mean a thing if it’s not quality data and entered into the right areas inside your agency management system.

If your agency has a management system then you have data and that’s a good start. The first step I would recommend is to analyze the data and whether it’s being properly put in to the management system, because quality and clean data is key to mapping out future successes along with helping you improve where your agency is struggling.

Without data can’t tell the current state of your agency. You can also learn a tremendous amount about your agency’s sales and service activities with clean data. Most management systems allow you to pull reports to see how much new business you wrote last month, and then compare it to the same time the prior year. But remember, clean data is when you have processes and procedures implemented that has your team recording clients. For example, you rewrite a client from one carrier to another, but when that downloads it will appear as new business if not recorded properly. When I say clean data, this is what I mean.  You can see cancellations and expiring policies. Other data we must monitor is agency fees (if you charge them because it can alter your growth numbers) and reconcile your commissions.

Another piece of technology data that is overlooked is the data in your comparative rater. This data can give you insight into your sales process and your sales pipeline as well. It helps with tracking where your leads are coming from. Do you know how many quotes does your agency or producers do in a day, week, month, or even year? How many of those quotes does the agency/producer bind (closing ratio) per year or their success on closing? How did the prospect contact you; was it from Facebook, text or phone call? This is all super important data that must be tracked.

Let’s dive into your agency’s website. First and foremost, please don’t tell me you don’t have one! If you do have one, but you aren’t measuring the data points we are going to talk about then it’s nothing more than a phone directory. Your website holds a tremendous amount of very valuable data. Your website can track who’s coming to your website and how they found you. Did they land on your agency site from a carrier’s site, a backlink, or did they directly type your website address in? More great data is did they come from a smartphone to your site, or with a desktop computer? What hours are your visitors coming in at? All of this data will help your marketing team and also help you understand with what’s working and what’s not. You can’t improve if your not measuring.

We have established the importance of management systems and rating systems in the collection of data.  Now let’s take a minute to talk about VOIP phone systems. With VOIP (voice over IP) you can measure everything possible along with recording calls through your phone system’s dashboard on the computer. You can look at numbers such as how many calls per week are being made, and it’s also great to use recorded calls for coaching.

The critical part of all these systems… You need to invest in training your team on to collect data and properly place it into the right areas in your systems.

Educate and train your team on all your systems and on sales we must invest in our team! Share with them why you need this data, why it’s so important, and how it’s going to help them understand on how they are doing and the agency. Make sure each teammate understands all aspects of the data, so they see why it is so critical we all place data in the right areas.

Then start measuring and hold them (teammates) accountable if they’re not entering data in the right areas or if they’re entering bad data. Clean data is key!

When you use your agency’s available data, you can uncover so many opportunities to round out accounts and also help retention. You’ll identify clients of one or two lines of business that you can then market and sell another line of business to.

It’s cheaper and easier to market to existing clients because they already know and trust you. If you want to increase revenue, start with running the reports that will show you cross selling opportunities and then create a strategy to sell more policies to existing clients.

Data is critical to our agency as should be to your agency because its vital to the success and future. You and your agency have so much data available to you in the management systems you’re already using. Facebook and Google only dreams of having the data we have we just haven’t realized how to use in our favor and I hope this article helps you.

So, take a look at the reports both in your management system and comparative rater. Check out your Google Analytics; remember it’s a free tool that will help you understand your website traffic and pull things together for you.

Data is a game changer for each and everyone of our agencies, it is the field of diamonds in our backyard.