Budget for Success: Don’t Ignore the Front Office

What do you do when the budget discussion comes up every year?

  1. Run and hide
  2. Copy and paste the data from this year and hope it works for next year
  3. Add a few new things that you know won’t make it past the chopping block
  4. Propose investing in proven front office tools to create organizational growth and customer satisfaction

Regardless of your answer; the right answer is D! Read on to find out why it is an easy choice.

If growing your customer base and increasing revenue are some your top priorities, then front-office solutions could be the catalyst that achieves the alignment between your company’s goals and budget/spending. We know that front-office spend often gets a bad rap. Maybe it’s considered too showy, or that everything else has to be perfect first, or maybe organizations don’t truly understand the value. How will the reward outweigh the risk?

Exactly what parts of the business are we talking about when we say Front Office?

Basically, the front office refers to the areas that are responsible for interacting with your clients. And, since the front office handles customer satisfaction, this area is often held accountable for company growth (especially revenue). Roles and responsibilities in the front office typically include areas such as lead generation, marketing, communication, engagement, client support, and client satisfaction. In contrast, the back office focuses on more of the administrative functions and usually has no interaction with clients.

Do you need to shift your spend to the front?

Take a look at your goals for the next year. The list of goals for an organization can get very long, very quickly. However, there are common themes that typically arise, such as:

  • Increasing revenue
  • Elevating prospecting efforts
  • Securing new clients
  • Improving client satisfaction
  • Raising client retention rates
  • Increasing client engagement

If any or all of these points are on your goal sheet, then you need to figure out an efficient and effective way to proceed. A shift in budget dollars to the front office may be the answer. Often, insurtech tools provide a tangible way to reach those goals

How can tools and technology help?

Think about the way you sell, service and market to your clients. Using tech tools can put time back in your day so you can focus on what is important – delivering your customers an exceptional experience. When agencies more deeply integrate their management systems with modern sales management, client delivery, content and analytics solutions, it unlocks unlimited potential for greater automation, efficiency, and profitability.

Using tech can free up time spent on mundane tasks and allow producers to spend more time with clients, adding value with conversation and consultation. Some of the tools types to consider when amplifying your front office tech include:

  • Digital prospecting and lead generation – With integrated solutions, your marketing team can centralize lead generation, driving qualified prospects to sellers in a consistent and process-oriented fashion.
  • Digital quoting – The quoting and proposal process is still incredibly manual and inefficient at many organizations. By automating CPQ, you can eliminate tedious, error-prone spreadsheeting, and streamline sales and renewal workflows. CPQ automation allows you to quickly deliver accurate quotes, put together custom presentations and proposals, and provide data-driven consulting in just a fraction of the time. This automation allows you to provide superior value to your prospects and clients, while putting more time back in your day.
  • Marketing automation – Sending the right message to the right person at the right time can make a huge impact. Use a tool that provides on-demand content that meets client and/or prospect needs, questions, and concerns. The result is a greater volume and greater quality of leads for your sales force, as well as increased client satisfaction and engagement. Look for a marketing automation system that allows you to quickly push out personalized content to clients and prospects so you can foster engagement without spending hours composing individual emails.
  • Client software – Client software is a broad category and refers to all the different digital client software solutions your machine can deliver. Some popular solutions include client portals, online enrollment systems, interactive HR applications (e.g., employee handbook creators, salary benchmarking tools and compliance calendars) and online learning management systems with workplace health and safety courses. While all these solutions serve very different purposes, what they all have in common is they make your clients’ lives easier and satisfy the need for the self-service.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A CRM is traditionally where your sellers and producers spend most of their time. A CRM allows you to manage all your top-of-the-funnel activities and accounts you’re trying to win and renew at any given time. A good CRM elevates your sales process and helps sellers and producers more easily manage their opportunities and track where customers are in their buyer’s journey.

As you can see, there are many opportunities available to streamline processes to improve efficiency and boost the customer experience. Using tech tools can also serve as a great value add in a time where growing competition from both established players and smaller firms runs rampant.

It’s time to budget your money for success. Invest in the front office for a change (for the better).

Want to learn more about insurtech tools?

An insurtech company, like Zywave, can offer everything you need to grow your business as an agency or a carrier. This includes all the critical front office tools we have discussed – everything from lead generation to prospecting to client engagement by delivering relevant content to quoting to issuing, and all the way through servicing customers digitally.

For more information on how to implement more of these tools, you can also reference our guide, “How to Build Your Own Modern RevOps Machine.

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