Use a virtual assistant – InsuranceNewsNet
Insurers are locked in to accelerate growth in 2022, Deloitte reported in its 2022 Insurance Industry Outlook. “But attracting (and retaining) talent in an evolving hybrid work environment will be critical,” the report says.
Jacobson and Ward’s latest labor market survey of the insurance market found that 62% of insurance companies plan to hire staff, but “recruitment challenges are increasing”. For the first time in the study’s history, from IT to sales to operations, all roles are rated moderately to extremely difficult to fill.
The average salesperson only spends 35% of their time selling. The main obstacles to sales productivity are administrative. According to the insurance marketers at Zip Quote, the tasks that hinder advisor productivity are:
» Email and inbox management — a black hole that changes every day.
» Poor customer relationship management data hygiene. Inconsistent and incomplete contact information and status.
» Lack of a lead management system. Physical tracks on business cards and Post-its disappear.
» Time spent prospecting. Finding and researching qualified leads, building lists, and making contacts takes time.
» Inconsistent lead tracking. Lack of a formal lead follow-up process.
» Tedious manual workflows. Monitoring of new applications and renewals.
The vanishing administrative assistant
The Wall Street Journal wrote about the “disappearing administrative assistant” in 2020. The decline has been gradual but massive. The number of workers with the administrative assistant title has dropped by 65% since 2004. The United States has cut more than 2 million administrative assistant jobs since 2000. Meanwhile, job site Lensa has reported that administrative assistant is the third most difficult position to fill in 2022. .
It turns out that every productivity app designed to empower executives and had the opposite effect. A Service Now study found that salespeople only spend 35% of their time selling. The rest of their time is spent on day-to-day tasks such as email correspondence, scheduling meetings, entering CRM data, prospecting and finding leads.
Enter Managed Admin Services for Executive Teams
The shortage of administrative assistants is particularly difficult for companies with larger management teams that need to rapidly increase their support. According to LinkedIn, the tight job market and growing demand means it takes a median of 33 days to hire an administrative assistant. Stretch that timeframe for several frames and you have a tall order.
Companies are realizing that paying executives to do administrative work is bad business, and they may instead outsource the work to experts – managed remote virtual assistant services. In a managed virtual assistant service, the service provider hires, trains and supervises assistants – the assistants work for the service provider. Leadership teams get a layer of professional administrative support without the time and cost of recruiting, hiring, training and managing more people.
Leadership teams can:
» Hire faster. Service providers maintain a bank of qualified and trained assistants.
» Evolve faster. It is much easier to hire several assistants to form a cohort.
» Reduced overhead. Assistants are employees of service providers, with no human resources or performance management lever for companies.
” Lower cost. Assistants are hired on a split basis and you pay for the hours used.
What can managed virtual assistants do for insurance sales teams?
Virtual assistants can perform many tasks that slow down agency productivity. The beauty of a managed service is that this work happens in the background while the sales team focuses on selling and customer relationships. Managed virtual assistant providers train assistants to perform the following functions.
CRM management. Validity and Demand Metric’s latest CRM data management study found that while 86% of companies said their CRM system was “important or very important” to meeting revenue goals, 39% said they weren’t. didn’t have a CRM data management process or that the one they had was inefficient.
Your assistant can:
» Enter all your contacts into your CRM and fill in the missing information about them.
» Keep your contact data clean and up-to-date by editing statuses as needed, deleting duplicate data, etc.
» Run reports and send them to yourself so you have access to the latest information about your pipeline.
Lead management. Between 30% and 70% of prospect data “degrades” every year (job changes, promotions, changes in phone number and email address). A virtual assistant prevents this by:
» Continuous updating of contact information.
» Recording of all communications such as calls, emails and meetings so that you have a record of all your contacts with prospects.
» Maintain the status and ownership of prospects in your CRM.
» Tracking requests, renewals and policy changes.
Prospecting. Over 40% of salespeople say prospecting is their biggest challenge, according to the HubSpot 2021 Sales Enablement Report. Prospecting is tedious and time-consuming. Virtual assistants can:
» Search contact databases such as Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo based on lead qualification criteria.
» Build lists for e-mail distribution.
» Launch and manage email campaigns.
Lead tracking. The HubSpot report also found that 80% of customers buy from the first company to respond to a request, but most sales teams take five days to respond. Your virtual assistants will:
» Contact qualified prospects who fill out forms on your website or respond to campaigns.
» Schedule calls to meet prospects.
» Confirm appointments to reduce no-shows.
Create and manage workflows. According to Salesforce, it takes six to eight contacts to close a sale, but 70% of salespeople stop at one. Here’s how virtual assistants help:
» Create automated email campaigns for your prospects.
» Plan a social media post.
» Set up alerts and contacts for customer milestones such as renewals, birthdays and holidays.
More tasks than a managed virtual assistant service can provide
All sorts of back-office tasks distract producers from their primary mission: winning new business and serving existing customers. Some of the tasks performed by managed virtual assistants include:
» Communications with the underwriter, so you are not on hold for hours.
» Processing riders as plans change.
» New business and quote preparation.
» Invoicing and payment processing.
» Preparation of tear-off sheets for sales calls.
Find the right solution
There are several virtual assistant business models, including hiring a local freelancer, using freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, using an outsourcing agency, and using the managed service model. described here. Review sites such as Investopedia and The Balance SMB provide helpful tips for finding the right solution to ensure you don’t fall behind the growth curve in 2022.