Today, technology is at the heart of nearly every insurance agency. Independent agents rely heavily on a range of systems, allowing them to organize operations, manage client data, attract new customers, and work more efficiently.
While your current technology may have served you well in the past, new advances emerge seemingly every day. If you don’t update your tech stack regularly, you’re missing out on cutting-edge features and capabilities that can take your agency to the next level.
Luckily, updating your tech stack for 2021 doesn’t have to be difficult. If you aren’t sure how to tackle it, here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Tech Stack?
Generally speaking, a tech stack is a set of technology tools that helps you manage your independent insurance agency. Usually, it features a combination of solutions, ensuring all of your major needs are covered by an effective and efficient tech system.
Precisely what you’ll be in your tech stack can vary from one agency to the next. However, for independent agents, most of the solutions are going to be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, allowing you to get robust tech at a fraction of the price of managing it on-site.
Updating your tech stack lets you tap emerging trends and harness cutting-edge technologies. You’re creating an opportunity to get the best of what the SaaS landscape has to offer, ensuring you aren’t held back by old-school software that isn’t designed to meet the needs of today’s leading agencies.
How to Choose New SaaS Technology
When you’re selecting new SaaS solutions, your main goal should be to simplify your technology and automate as much of your workflow as possible. It’s all about enhancing operational ease while simultaneously boosting the quality of your work.
If you aren’t sure how to begin building your tech stack for 2021, here’s a step-by-step process you can follow.
Understand the Tech Stack Categories
Updating your tech stack shouldn’t be a haphazard undertaking. It’s all about ensuring your critical bases are covered. One way to make that as easy as possible is to take a moment to learn about tech stack categories.
Each tech stack category is essentially a single functional business area independent agents usually need to manage. Here’s a quick overview of each one, as well as some example solutions.
Sales solutions make it easier to manage prospects, qualify leads, and pursue new clients. They provide opportunities for task automation, allowing you to streamline workflows, boost the efficiency of your sales team, and generate better results.
Some popular sales tools include:
- Relationship Management (CRM) – Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive
- Meeting Software – Calendly, Google Calendar, GoToMeeting
- Tracking and Analytics – Google Analytics, Tableau
With marketing software, it’s all about generating highly qualified leads, crafting personalized purchasing journeys, and creating meaningful interactions that move contacts through the funnel.
Some widely used marketing tools include:
- Email Automation (MailChimp, HubSpot, Marketo)
- Social Media Management (Sprout Social, HubSpot, Hootsuite)
- Social Media Presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok)
- Digital Advertising (Google Marketing, Google Ads, AdRoll, AdHawk)
Collaboration SaaS solutions ease communication between your team members. These support messaging, file-sharing, video conferencing, and more.
Here’s a list at some popular collaboration tools:
- Messaging (Slack, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams)
- File-Sharing / Document Collaboration (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive)
- Virtual Work / Video Conferencing (GoToMeeting, Zoom, Google Hangouts)
- Task / Project Management (Trello, Asana, Google Calendar, Accelo)
Client experience solutions make it easy for people to do business with you. They simplify contact, payments, and similar needs, ensuring you can offer an optimal customer experience (CX).
Some widely preferred client experience tools include:
- Payment Gateways (ePayPolicy, PayPal, ApplePay, etc.)
- Website (Browser/device compatibility, website building tools)
- Data Security (McAfee, DUO Security, Oracle, IBM Security, LastPass)
- Client Referral Management (Rocket Referrals)
With customer support tech, it’s all about boosting CX. These systems focus on critical areas like client communication and customer interaction, ensuring you can be reached whenever the need arises.
Here’s a list of popular customer support tools:
- Live Chat (InterCom, Zendesk, Podium, LiveChat, Drift)
- Self-Service (Chatbots, Online FAQs)
- Phone-Based Support (VoIP, Text Messaging, RingCentral)
Review Your Current Tech Stack
After you get to know the types of solutions present in an independent agency tech stack, it’s time to review what you have in place today. Consider whether each system you have actually meets your needs, as well as what category it represents.
Essentially, you want to audit your tech stack to identify missing segments and to determine if it’s the best setup for you. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated with a system, including because of clunky operation, a subpar toolset, or anything else, then it could be time to make a switch.
Keep It Simple and Effective
When you’re building your tech stack for 2021, keep it simple. It isn’t about getting every solution; it’s about choosing the right mix of systems based on your needs and goals.
When you decide to add a new piece of tech, or replace an existing solution with something better suited to your operations, create a roadmap for implementation before you begin. You don’t want to overwhelm your team by bringing in a ton of new systems all at once. Instead, pace yourself, bringing in new solutions after your team has had a chance to get comfortable with the last implementation.
By using that approach, you can update your tech stack efficiently, keeping everything simple and boosting your agency’s effectiveness every step of the way.
Looking for More Independent Insurance Agency Tips?
At ePayPolicy, we understand the power of a great tech stack. If you’d like more tips about how independent agents can update their tech stack for the new year or how they can boost their business, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Facebook for more tidbits, tricks, and insights.