Automating Your Sales Process

Article 1 in a 6-part series

Sales automation is one of six primary categories we recommend independent insurance agencies invest in to build out their InsurTech strategy in 2020.

What Is Sales Automation?

Boost your sales by managing and utilizing relevant information on prospects, leads, and clients. Centralize information and streamline your workflow to increase sales efficiency and productivity.

Why It’s Important to Use These Tools

Sales are about contacts, numbers, and nurturing. Now, more than ever, technology provides you with actionable intelligence about your prospects and clients so you can tailor your engagement, convert more business, and keep happy policyholders coming back for new coverage, as well as renewals.

The Always Essential Role of Sales

There will always be market dips and other times when you’ll need to ramp up quickly or even rebuild your business. Sales automation tools accelerate the sales process, so you can do more in less time.

As you prepare for the US economy to reopen, these tools can make a big difference right now. Not only can you laser focus your prospecting, you can spot opportunities within your own data, and take your client nurturing to new heights.

Sales Automation Solutions To Consider Implementing

Here are some of the functions you can automate. We’ve included representative solutions vendors as well. These are just examples. Our list is not intended to be exhaustive of all the options out there, nor does ePayPolicy endorse or prefer one vendor over another.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM), also known as Sales Force Automation (SFA), captures every prospect/client interaction in a live record. This includes everything from emails and calls to quotes and renewal notices. Major platforms like Salesforce, Pipedrive and HubSpot let you:

  • Replace multiple tools (or manual tasks) with a convenient, one-stop solution
  • See where to focus efforts and receive alerts when action is needed
  • Sell smarter, close faster, and grow your agency
Meeting Software

You might think of meeting software as a digital “time management assistant” that coordinates your schedule, organizes meetings, and keeps your team on track, wherever they’re working today. Apps (some free!) like Calendly, GoToMeeting and Google Calendar:

  • Alert you about upcoming tasks and appointments
  • Schedule team meetings without the back-and-forth emails
  • Make it easy to attend video meetings remotely via any mobile device (or computer)
Tracking & Analytics

Business Intelligence (BI) solutions let you manage and support business data with analytics, easy-to-understand visuals, and reporting. BI software providers include Tableau, Sisense, Domo, and many more. For insurance agencies, advantages include:

  • Securely connect, combine and manipulate data from multiple sources
  • See key data in real-time across agency functions (sales, marketing, customer support, etc.) to track and plan 
  • Get trusted insights to make decisions faster and more confidently

Thinking Ahead

Who wouldn’t want easy-to-use tools that help you focus, organize, track, and ultimately, boost your sales? With powerful automation technology like CRM Solutions, Meeting Software and Tracking & Analytics (BI), your sales team becomes super productive—and nothing falls through the cracks. 

Where Does Your Agency Stand?

Find out! The InsurTech Award presented by ePayPolicy is now open for entries. Top scorers will get cash and other awesome prizes. All entrants receive their InsurTech adoption score, along with valuable feedback. Enter today and find out how your agency stacks up against others (and how you’ve improved over time, if you’ve entered before). Judges even offer tips on specific ways to leverage automation for:

  1. Sales
    2. Marketing
    3. Team Collaboration
    4. Client Experience
    5. Customer Support
    6. Agency Management Systems


Our 6-part series covers all of these InsurTech solution categories. We invite you to explore them all.

Finding The Perfect Payment Processor For Your Agency

“It’s not us, it’s you.” Several insurance agents that use large payment processors (operate in multiple verticals) have reported being kicked off their payment processor, with no other explanation than “our product is not a good fit for your industry.” Well, their loss is potentially your gain. We can’t tell you exactly why these companies are rejecting business from the insurance industry. But we have some educated guesses. Even better, we have a solution! First and foremost, the insurance industry is highly regulated and involves a lot of tracking funds for compliance purposes. Some payment processors are designed for straight sales transactions. They simply can’t handle the additional levels of accounting and code compliance the insurance industry demands, in other words, they don’t speak insurance. “Not a good fit” is their way of admitting they’re not set up for a complex, regulation-driven industry like insurance. Here are some likely reasons why they might be rejecting business from insurance agencies:

Insurance Code Mandates and Trust Account Management

Most vendors who use a large multi-vertical payment processor have a simple business model: receive payment in exchange for goods or services provided. It’s straightforward. No fancy accounting required. Think coffee shops, digital storefronts, hotdog guy at the block party. But not the insurance industry. As you know, premium payments in some states are subject to insurance code regulations. When you receive premiums you are operating in a “fiduciary” capacity. You are not the “owner” of the premiums paid but are acting as a fiduciary of those funds.  As such, you must keep premiums in separate trust accounts that are segregated from the agency’s business operating funds. This is to protect premium funds from agency creditors. And you can’t take them out of the trust account without proper documentation of the commission earned and an audit trail, either. Truth be told, general payment processors are not set up for this level of sophistication. Volume, yes. Sophisticated accounting, no. Trust account (TA) management is a huge responsibility with potentially heavy consequences. You need a payment processor that understands the “ins and outs” — which, for insurance agents, involves more than simply depositing money from the client into your agency account, or even passing it directly through to the carrier! Terms like net funding and premium funds should sound familiar. 

State Compliance and Regulations 

Each state has its own set of regulations for selling insurance. The requirements in Ohio may be different from those in New York, California or Florida. That’s one reason why the trusted choice / BIG I associations are so valuable. They keep you on track to maintain compliance with any and all state-specific mandates. Needless to say, the big global payment processing companies are not operating at this micro (state regulations) level.  But you are. And so are we at ePayPolicy. We maintain close relationships with the Big I / Trusted Choice state insurance associations nationwide and are in the process of getting all 50 states endorsements. Their stamp of approval is their way of saying, “This vendor gets it. We trust them. You should, too.”

An insurance Industry-Specific Solution

I’ve kind of hinted at the solution in the “issues/problems with general payment processors” sections above. Yes.  I am talking about ePayPolicy — the insurance payment processing platform built specifically for independent insurance agents. We are not a general-purpose payment processor. We are a payment processor that was built by insurance professionals for insurance. We work exclusively with and for the insurance industry. By focusing on your business needs, as well as the highly regulated nature of insurance, we have created an ecosystem that streamlines your operations while ensuring compliance across the board. Check out ePayPolicy. We make collecting credit card and ACH payments as easy as possible and to get started takes only 5 minutes. 

Paradiso Presents: Now Playing In A City Near You

“The only way to get better is to surround yourself with better people.” Since that quote is attributed to ‘Anonymous’ I feel justified in adding “… and better practices and better technologies.”  There. Now it’s relevant to our industry. 

You may already know that ePayPolicy is about constant improvement. We’re always looking to discover and hang out with people who can make us smarter. And we never (ok, very very rarely) miss an opportunity to share what we’ve learned, so you can become smarter, too.

A perfect example is Chris Paradiso. Chris is pretty well known in insurance marketing. ePayPolicy is proud to associate our company with Chris and his Paradiso Presents events. Not surprisingly, Chris jams this two-day, hands-on marketing workshop with marketing topics you’ve likely read about here once or twice — or about 50 zillion times by now. 

But it’s one thing to read ePayPolicy blog posts that suggest, “The agent of the future should embrace branding and take full advantage of digital technology and social media to engage with clients and prospects.” It’s quite another to spend two intense days learning not just why you should do this, but how. Chris shares the latest insurance marketing best practices — point by point and step by step. Participants leave with practical, deployable action items they can actually implement.

Paradiso Presents workshops are geared for agency owners and marketing specialists. Whether you’re a complete neophyte or fairly marketing savvy, you’re sure to learn something useful. You owe it to yourself to experience Paradiso Presents. 

Now here’s the thing. This is an ongoing series, but there are only two left in 2019. By the time you read this, the Chicago Area event will be in full swing (September 16-17). Realistically, it will probably be over, as we’ll be busy schmoozing at the workshop and won’t get this posted till later in the month. But there’s another opportunity coming up fast: Paradiso Presents Northern California (Walnut Creek), October 16-17. Not convenient? Not enough time to get out to the West Coast? Watch the upcoming events page for Chris’ 2020 schedule, coming to a city near or near(ish) to you. Trust me, it’s worth the trip.

Of course, we’re not just passive Paradiso cheerleaders. As sponsors we’re right in the room, listening and learning with the attendees.  We also get to do a brief presentation on digital payment processing. We break down the real cost of writing checks and share data on the four credit cards most preferred by policyholders — among other fun facts. 

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Paradiso Presents event and getting smarter together.

And speaking of smart business, you have until October 4 to apply for the 2019 InsurTech Award. Check out the criteria and submit your application here: Don’t worry if you’re just starting out in InsurTech. You may not win the grand prize this year, but you’ll definitely get valuable feedback and insights, like where you rank along the Insurance Technology Adoption (ITA) continuum and solid ideas for improvement. 

ePayPolicy Integrates with Vertafore’s AMS360

AUSTIN, TX July 23, 2019 –  ePayPolicy, a Vertafore Orange Partner, today announced it is adding payment processing capabilities to Vertafore’s AMS360 agency management system and extending its integrations into five Vertafore management systems.

ePayPolicy supports independent insurance agency efficiency and superior customer experiences by enabling agencies to accept payment via credit card or ACH instead of check.
“It makes paying for insurance like paying for most any other purchase in today’s digital environment — instant and easy,” explained Milan Malkani, ePayPolicy co-founder.

AMS360 is Vertafore’s foundational agency management system, designed to help independent agencies to streamline workflows , improve renewals and retention , and drive new business, resulting in improved employee productivity and a superior customer experience.

“ePayPolicy has proven to be an indispensable solution partner. Its team is as avidly customer-centric in its thinking and product delivery as we are at Vertafore,” said Doug Mohr, VP of Industry Relations & Partnerships, Vertafore. “The 6,000+ agency users of our best-in-class AMS360 system now have best-in-class payment processing capabilities. This partnership is truly customer service at its technology-driven best.”

ePayPolicy shows the exact balances due. Once payments are made, activities and suspenses are created automatically within AMS360. Users will also benefit from easy on-boarding, quick setup, clean accounting and a fast, one-to-two-day go-live timeline.

“Our valued relationship with Vertafore just got deeper and stronger,” added Malkani. “Integration with such a powerhouse system as AMS360 exponentially increases our exposure within the independent agency market.  More important, it offers thousands more independent agents and brokers the ability to modernize the way they accept insurance payments.”

About Vertafore
For over 50 years, Vertafore, the leader in modern insurance technology, has built and supported superior InsurTech solutions to connect every point of the distribution channel. Vertafore agency management, ratings, regulation, compliance, and connectivity products streamline workflows, improve efficiency and drive productivity for more North American insurance professionals than any other provider—including more than 20,000 agencies, over 1,000 carriers and 23 state governments. Through a continual focus on operational excellence, development of innovative solutions, and alignment with key industry partners, Vertafore is leading the way for customers of all sizes by delivering results that make a difference.

For more information about Vertafore visit

To learn specifically about AMS360 visit

About ePayPolicy
ePayPolicy is the simplest way to collect digital insurance payments. Austin, Texas-based ePayPolicy is the nation’s foremost provider of payment processing developed exclusively for independent agencies, brokers/MGAs and premium finance agencies.  The company’s  innovative electronic payment processing portal enables clients to accept credit card or ACH without messy merchant accounts or hidden fees.  ePayPolicy sets up quickly, integrates seamlessly with leading management systems, and is endorsed by independent insurance associations nationwide. To find out more visit

The company’s annual InsurTech Agency Award recognizes independent insurance agencies/brokerages for leveraging technology to enhance their sales, marketing, and customer service. Details and call for entry are at

Media Contact:
Seth Nagle, Director of Marketing, ePayPolicy | 512-643-9015 |
Alexea Candreva, SSPR | 719-475-0370 |

Finding Inspiration for Your Agency Outside Insurance

People have looked for inspiration for their business since … forever. It’s what drives creativity, injects motivation across members and most importantly improves the customer experience. In today’s world of content marketing and social media,  there are some amazing individuals sharing their ideas and philosophies across a variety of mediums, all you have to do now is know where to look.

In this post we’re going to highlight three innovators outside the insurance industry that have helped redefine brand management, marketing, and entrepreneurship and explain why you need to take a moment and listen to their podcast or at least click around their websites.

Don Miller, Founder of Story Brand

Let’s start with Don Miller. His company is aptly named StoryBrand. Don’s premise is simple: “Clarify your message and grow your business.” Yep. Don’s a branding guy. I know, “branding” can be time-consuming and feels like something only huge consumer companies spend time on. But it’s really fundamental to every business – including your agency. Branding occurs at every customer touchpoint. It’s the connection you make that pulls customers to you instead of the competition. It’s the sense of caring customers get when they interact with you. And brand messaging is a powerful part of building and maintaining that impression and that connection over time.

So back to StoryBrand. What do they help their clients do? They help them “confidently create websites, emails, and whatever else you need, without spending a fortune on another consultant or agency.” See where I’m going with this? Don Miller is an expert at framing your message so that customers listen, and your agency grows. I tend to believe that companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Pantene, Intel, and Prime Lending wouldn’t be clients if he didn’t offer them something of value.

You can tap into the same advice the big guys are getting from StoryBrand for as little as … FREE.  Like any smart marketer, Don Miller offers free resources like the 6-video series “Avoid the Marketing Money Pit” and even a “5-Minute Marketing Makeover.” There’s also an interactive online tool that lets you develop your own brand script. You can also subscribe to his podcast, where he interviews guests and dispenses marketing advice.

Bottom line: Words matter. Whether you’ve never thought about how to tell your agency’s story, or if you’ve struggled with crafting messages that connect and direct customer action, check him out.

Seth Godin, Founder of the altMBA, blogger, entrepreneur & author

Seth Godin is another favorite of mine. This former dot com exec is considered by many the godfather of modern marketing. Seth has 30 years of creative experience under his belt, and is still going strong. The word “prolific” barely scratches the surface. I’m talking about 18 best-selling books, 7,000 blog posts, 8 online courses, 1 marketing workshop, and 3,000,000 people attending 1,000 speeches. Oh yes, you can even join 1,900 graduates and get an “alt-MBA” online in 30 days.
This amazing marketer is an entrepreneur, an author, a speaker, but most of all, a teacher. He motivates and inspires people by “ focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership to the spread of ideas and changing everything.”

So what game-changing strategy can Seth Godin teach you? It may start with a message as simple as:

“If marketing is everything that an organization does that changes perceptions, then leadership is the most important marketing tool. Doing the right thing is at least as important as knowing what the right thing is.”


“People are irrational and they usually make decisions that have nothing to do with facts. And yet we spend most of our time improving our facts and very little concerned with the rest.”

This latter quote is from a short article entitled “How to Run a Useless Conference.” Yet, I think you can quickly see how this concept can be applied to selling insurance by improving customer experience.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO VaynerMedia

And speaking of prolific sources, my final recommended external expert is Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee. Gary is the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, and the active CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients.

If you’re forward-focused and want to know where technology is heading, Gary Vee has some predictions. He’s been spot-on in the past. For example, in the late ‘90s, he identified the internet as a “land-grab opportunity” and transitioned his father’s local liquor store into one of the first wine e-commerce platforms, growing the family business from $3M to $60M over a 5-year period.

Gary is an entrepreneur, CEO, investor, vlogger, and public speaker. He’s another evangelist of “brand over sales.” But he can also teach you about leadership strategy and scaling your business. He’s huge on “patience” and “humility” as business virtues.

Like Miller and Godin, Gary Vee is a multi-platform content producer. He does podcasts, audiocasts, documentary videos and live events. Now, if the idea of a daylong immersive consulting workshop on paid media, influencer media, digital strategy, content production, personal branding, and platform strategy makes your head spin, I understand. That’s not your natural habitat. But it’s definitely Gary Vees. And he makes it all sound so common-sense and doable.

To get a taste of his style, I recommend you check out The #AskGaryVee Show on YouTube. You’ll see this high-energy, extremely charismatic business whizz in action. With 310 episodes to choose from, you could easily find yourself fully immersed and finally taking that deep dive into personal branding, digital strategy, etc…

If any of these outside-the-industry luminaries piqued your interest take some time and listen to what they have to say. I’ll be interested to hear what you think, and how you’re able to incorporate the wisdom of Don Miller, Seth Godin and/or Gary Vee into your agency’s practices.

The 2019 Blue Ribbon Conference – IIABCAL

ePayPolicy had the pleasure of attending the Blue Ribbon Conference at the beautiful Monarch Beach Resort. The Blue Ribbon Conference, held at the beginning of May, not only focused on perfecting business practices, but it also insured that it’s participants had a little fun. While engaging in activities, we were looking over the breathtaking Pacific Waters, which added an overall sense of relaxation to the conference.

The conference offered an array of notary keynote speakers such as; Erick Dickerson, an NFL Hall of Famer, who spoke on the ability to succeed in any field as an Entrepreneur. Sarah Sladek, who presented her research on engaging the next generation in the workplace. Kate Browne, who pinpoints California’s climate and technology change as a barometer for the future of America.

Outside of listening to these knowledgeable speakers, we were able to enjoy a poolside gathering, designed to trade knowledge with like-minded industry professionals. There were also plenty of networking opportunities arranged during the conference. For instance, there were multiple gatherings in the beautiful wine room, dessert receptions for all, and a game of Texas Holdem to close out the event. There was even a golf tournament for attendees who like to take their conversations to the course.

“Coming events like these allows us to connect with the agents and understand their current pain points and strategic objectives. This combined with the information we receive from keynote speakers and panel discussions around industry trends allows us to continue to innovate around payment processing in the insurance industry” said Todd Sorrel, Co-Founder of ePayPolicy. “

Consumers Expectations Fuel Growth of InsurTech Across Agencies & Brokers

Consumers Expectations Fuel Growth of InsurTech Across Agencies & Brokers
Insurance has historically been a traditional industry, driven by personal relationships — and paper. While not the earliest adopters of technology, we’re making significant progress in this area. According to industry statistics, some 90 percent of agencies use an AMS. Chances are you’re reaping the benefits of your AMS system (Vertafore, Applied 24, other) to streamline your operations even as you read this.

Welcome to the digital age of InsurTech!

While you’re working smarter due to technology within your agency, what about your clients? What role does technology play in their lives? Quite frankly, they’re way ahead of us in the tech adoption department. Consumers today are not only demanding, but getting, service on-demand digitally, from a variety of sources.

Insurance offerings may not change much over time. But you’re selling them to modern consumers. They want immediate results, they want personalization, they want ease of use. In today’s digital world, convenience is king. Just look at the industries that have sprung up — and exploded — around the concept of convenience.

A prime example is food delivery. Thanks to apps like Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates, the term “take-out” now means ordering from your favorite restaurant and having the food delivered right to your door — for an extra fee.

Convenience can be defined in several ways:  time, accessibility, usability, design. Different consumers have their own definition, and it’s important a product or service caters to all their needs. It’s not just about the rate they pay, but the level of support, customer care, the ease of use of the company’s services. If consumers aren’t 100% satisfied with every aspect of the transaction — and every interaction with the vendor — they have plenty of other options that offer the same service.

This is the standard technology has set for service delivery in the digital age.

Your clients are mobile

With the growth of digital, consumers are conducting more business via their mobile devices. Some 40% of online transactions are happening via mobile.* A busy business owner orders supplies, books travel and even pays the company’s credit card bill with a few clicks of a button. Their business is not confined to “business hours,” because their phone/tablet allows them to multitask out in the field, or pay business bills from their home, hotel room or truck. It’s anything but business as usual.

Bridging the convenience gap

In response, many agents and brokers have made their websites responsive and even offer some type of convenient app. And that’s a good start. However, your client can easily spend 90 percent of their time on their phone. Agents and brokers need to put themselves in their client shoes and identify the disruptions that are causing the most pain because odds are there is a service or product currently available that would address the problem. Take for example the payment processing, consumers prefer to pay via digitally, however historically accepting credit cards and ACH payments were either to costly or there was just to much red tape to get started. But with a company like ePayPolicy they provide an easy and secure solution that allows agencies and brokers to start collecting payments within 24 hours after signing up.

Where to start with InsurTech?

With so many InsurTech providers in the marketplace it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The best place to start is internally. Working with your team and creating an action plan around your clients needs will set a solid foundation moving forward. Then as your attending tradeshows, sitting through product demos, and speaking with your peers you’ll be able to select solutions that address your current and future needs.

A Business Guide to Surviving Any Natural Disaster

A Business Guide to Surviving Any Natural Disaster
2017 was a catastrophic year full of devastating storms. Harvey, Irma, Maria, Jose. The list of last year’s now-infamous hurricanes unfortunately goes on.

And as the rain and wind in 2018 continue to hammer down (many are still suffering setbacks of Hurricane Florence), it’s more important than ever to educate and prepare for inclement weather.

As a business owner, it can seem like spending time preparing for something out of your control is a waste of time. Or trivial. Especially in comparison to bringing in leads, serving customers, and improving general business.

But having a plan of action for natural disasters could be the difference between an organization sinking or swimming. Without a doubt, it is something any good business leader should have but hope to never use. Here are a few tips to help protect you from even the rainiest of days.

When it comes to being prepared for Mother Nature, checklists are your best friend.

1. Be Proactive
This is so important. Don’t wait until the eye of the storm is over your business to start reacting. Take charge. Make a preparation checklist. Check the weather reports regularly, especially during peak hurricane season. Purchase any gear or groceries you need BEFORE stores start to run out of everything and mobs of people begin fighting over bread, water, and generators.

2. Protect the Property
This one is a given. It’s in your best interest to do everything within your power to reduce property damage (and thus hopefully reduce repair costs). This can include sandbagging areas that have a high flood risk or installing shutters or plywood to windows and doors. You may also want to consider removing surrounding tree branches that could potentially fall on your building.

3. Protect the Gear
Inclement weather hardly ever equals good news for hardware. Whether you’re preparing for a flood, hurricane, tornado, or an earthquake, one thing remains constant: protect your gear.
Electronics are valuable, fragile, and expensive to replace. Take precautions as early as possible to avoid having to buy your whole staff brand new desktops. Move gadgets to an elevated area if you’re expecting floodwaters. Put them in the safest room in your office (one with no windows is ideal). Make sure to shut down computers and unplug machines, cables, and power surges.
Certain tech like external hard drives often hold lots of valuable and irreplaceable information and data. Which brings us to our next, very important, tip.

3. Back Up Data
Boy, is this a big one. Even if you are lucky enough to suffer no property damage, there is always a huge risk of losing important company data, customer insights, contact information, contracts, etc. And while it is challenging to recover from physical damage, losing crucial business documentation could be the end of your organization.

The easiest and most secure way to backup electronic data is by saving files to an external hard drive and then keep that hard drive with you. Do not leave it at the office. Wherever you go, the hard drive goes, too.

What data can your business absolutely NOT function without? Find out, then be sure to back it up on your hard drive.

4. Digitize Everything
Insurance is an old-school business. The industry is changing as insurtech continues to explode, but there will always be a few folks who still don’t do everything electronically. For the most part, this isn’t a problem. But where inclement weather is concerned it can be a huge issue.

If you have valuable paper documents, scan them ASAP and then save those files to the hard drive mentioned in tip #3. It’s still wise to place the physical documents in a Ziploc bag and store them in a dry area while you ride out the storm. But if they get swept away with the rain/wind/whatever, it’s not the end of the world…as long as you have a digital copy on your hard drive, of course.

Companies are constantly at risk. They are at risk of losing money, stagnant business, fierce competition, and on and on the list goes. Sometimes risk is outside of our control, but being proactive and preparing for the worst of Mother Nature is totally and completely within our power. There are no excuses.

According to an August 2017 article by the Associated Press, Hurricane Harvey damaged nearly 700 business in Texas alone. Each natural disaster means every business in the storm’s path is on the chopping block. So it’s up to you as your business’ leader to heed our advice and weather each storm before they arrive at your office door.

Higginbotham Insurance Makes The Switch To Digital Payments

ePayPolicy Case Study: Higginbotham Insurance

Executive Summary
Tony Haas, Controller at Higginbotham Insurance, noticed that customers were frequently asking for electronic payment options to pay their insurance policies. While Higginbotham did accept credit cards, it did not offer the choice to pay via ACH. Haas began searching for a more robust processor and finally stumbled upon ePayPolicy. Signing up, he said, was a must.

“We were getting requests from clients to pay electronically, and after seeing ePayPolicy’s demo, the ACH solution was a much better solution than a wire solution,” said Haas. “A client could either set up a wire account and send money to us, or they could just pull up ePayPolicy and pay us right there. It’s a much easier process,” he said.
“The simplicity of it made it a no-brainer.”

The Goals
Offer clients electronic payments
Integrate with management system, Sagitta
Speed up receivables
Bind policy faster
Streamline reconciliation process

The Results
ePayPolicy Co-Founder Todd Sorrel met Hass for the first time at NetVU 2017, and shortly after, the Higginbotham payment page was live.

After Higginbotham was up and running, it was immediately able to offer clients the option to make electronic payments. Now, the insurance company is able to accept both credit cards and ACH, with payments seamlessly integrating into its management system Sagitta (powered by Vertafore). The technology has allowed them to bind business much faster.

“As soon as customers make payments, we’re getting email notifications to let us know that a transaction is in process,” said Haas. “We can bind things immediately and move onto the next project, instead of waiting a few days.”

Haas said the processor has cut down the reconciliation process by two business days and that ePayPolicy & its ability to integrate with Sagitta has streamlined Higginbotham’s overall process.

“Anytime you can do electronic payments, versus sending an actual check, it makes the whole process easier,” said Hass. “Handling checks is old school.”

The Extras – Hig Helps Page
After Hurricane Harvey tore through Houston last year, Higginbotham reached out to ePayPolicy for help in setting up a donation page for those affected by the storm. Harvey had completely devastated the homes of several Higginbotham team members, and the organization wanted a way to help them through the rebuilding process.

“It was fantastic what ePayPolicy did to help us get that page up and running. We raised about $150,000,” said Haas. “It was a big help to get money and help out to our employees that were hurting.”

Higginbotham Insurance offers risk management and financial services, providing access to commercial and personal property/casualty coverage, employee benefits, retirement plans, life insurance, and executive compensation plans through more than 250 regional and national carriers. As of 2017, the company is ranked #18 on Insurance Journal’s annual list of Top 100 Property / Casualty Agencies. There are over 25 Higginbotham offices in the state of Texas.

Paradiso Insurance, a Yardstick of Quality

The value of good marketing cannot be overstated. If your marketing plan isn’t working (or worse, if you have no marketing plan at all), your organization won’t last long.

You can count on that.

The Internet and social media have made marketing more accessible. But they’ve also created a massive cloud of competition and a hailstorm of noise.

We live in a world of sensory overload. Every company is fighting for consumer attention. With millions of organizations vying for eyes and business 24/7, how do you make yourself stand out?
“Be a yardstick of quality.”

The advice comes from someone who knows a thing or two about marketing, the iconic CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs.

When I think about the insurance space and who makes a good “yardstick” of quality, one name in particular stands out – Chris Paradiso.

Paradiso started his own insurance business in 1998 with just three employees. Today there are over 15 team members and counting, and Paradiso has grown his company and brand into an insurance powerhouse.

Paradiso Presents, LLC is at the forefront of that powerhouse. It began as an endeavor Chris started in order to “teach small agencies how to survive in today’s complex online marketing world.” Since the LLC’s inception, it has grown into one of the most reputable resources for small agency survival.

One facet of Paradiso Presents is the popular industry magazine Be the Last Agent Standing. The publication is one of those tools that belongs in any agency’s survival kit. New and experienced insurance professionals alike will benefit from Last Agent. Readers can expect insight like marketing tips, tricks, and tools designed specifically to help insurance folks grow their business.
Everything from building a brand to search engine optimization to Google Analytics is discussed. Nothing is off the table. Nothing is overlooked. With so much information on the Interwebs these days, it’s difficult to sift through what’s valuable and what’s just fluff. Fortunately, Last Agent is chalk full of rich, valuable, pearls of wisdom from the man himself.

“What Chris does with Paradiso Presents and Last Agent is truly a testament to how well he knows the insurance landscape,” said Milan Malkani, my partner and fellow ePayPolicy co-founder.
“He’s been in this business a long time and still finds all these ways to keep things fresh and fun and current. I think a lot of agencies can learn from him.”

Digital marketing is undoubtedly a frontier that is overwhelming for many. There are a lot of new tricks to learn and insurance is an old business. One that has historically used more “traditional” methods.

For example, using print ads (instead of digital ones), and paper checks (instead of electronic payment processors). However, insurance has gradually been shifting towards a more tech-based industry. And while some are happy with this shift, many are not.

Luckily, there are organizations like Chris Paradiso’s that are dedicated to helping those who do feel overwhelmed. The goal is to elevate the industry and level the playing field. With Paradiso, even the little guys and underdogs have a fighting chance.

What the magazine represents is so much more than articles printed on paper. Be the Last Agent Standing is an integral part of a larger puzzle — a good marketing foundation for budding insurance agencies.

“Any agency worth their salt will pick up Chris’ magazine,” said Malkani. “Everyone can learn something from Last Agent.”