Today, more than ever, there is an urgent need for brokers and agents to find new ways to streamline operations and boost productivity, specifically when it comes to the quoting and proposal process. While productivity has always been important, the market changes brought on by the digital transformation within the industry have only been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will continue to bring an even greater sense of urgency for more efficient processes and a higher level of customer service.
Examining the Current Process
Flat out, the current quoting and proposal process is broken. Workflows at most employee benefits agencies are full of inefficiencies and manual repetition. While each agency likely experiences its own unique set of challenges in this area, here are some of the most common issues with the quoting and proposal process:
- Multiple data sources that do not integrate well with one another
- Reliance on complicated, error-prone spreadsheets
- Lots of manual data entry, resulting in wasted time
- Lost productivity due to time-consuming, disparate processes
- A lack of reliable data for plan design guidance
All of which can result in a delay in getting accurate and timely quotes to prospects and existing customers. And the longer a customer has to wait for a quote, the greater the chance that they’ll start shopping around with one of your competitors.
To help automate this process, many brokerages have started looking for ways to streamline their CPQ workflows.
What is CPQ?
The term CPQ stands for Configure, Price and Quote. Other industries and technology providers have long embraced the idea of an automated CPQ process, but this trend is just starting to take foot in the insurance world.
In fact, according to Accenture Interactive, 83% of sales professionals are using some form of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) system today. Additionally, Gartner, the leading global research and advisory firm, predicts the CPQ market will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% through 2020.
This all sounds great, but how does CPQ apply to the insurance industry?
Today, your team already has some sort of quoting and proposal process in place. But, by applying a more formal CPQ concept to your brokerage, you have the potential to significantly improve your efficiency and effectiveness. Here’s what the quoting and proposal process of tomorrow could look like:
- Configure – Easily identify the right carriers with the right plan designs to meet the needs of each individual employer based on comprehensive, data-driven insights. Some details you could include during this stage are plan design benchmarking, level-funded and self-funded plan analysis, and interactive modeling.
- Price – Instantly access pricing directly from multiple carriers and simplify the RFP process for small, level-funded, self-funded and fully insured groups.
- Quote – Quickly deliver quotes to clients and prospects using custom, professional proposals and presentations. Create these deliverables in minutes instead of hours, and use the data-driven insights mentioned above to lift the curtain and provide greater insight into multi-year benefit strategies, cost-containment options, contribution modeling, plan comparison features and more. By offering this greater level of analysis, you can move beyond being a transactional broker and become a strategic business advisor to your clients.
How will CPQ help my brokerage?
With CPQ automation, you can increase deep-selling opportunities, reduce manual errors, boost your team’s productivity and save your agency money. For instance, CPQ software has the potential to double account managers’ productivity by automating workflows and reducing the amount of time spent identifying and fixing errors.
Imagine a brokerage with 300 small groups, with six full-time account managers handling about 50 groups each. With a CPQ solution, you could raise each account manager’s capacity to about 100 accounts—thereby doubling their productivity and allowing them to spend more time strengthening client relationships. The impact of this could be huge because it allows your agency to grow without having to bring on more account managers or payroll.
This streamlined efficiency can be a massive benefit come renewal season. Just think about how much more business could be won and retained by automating your quoting and proposals process. CPQ is where the future of insurance is headed, and when implemented correctly, will allow you to spend more meaningful hours consulting with clients and engaging new prospects.
Want more information?
To learn more about how an integrated CPQ solution can help automate operations at your agency, check out our recent webinar, “The Secret to Smarter, Better Quoting and Proposal Process.” This webinar dives deeper into the benefits of embracing an automated CPQ process and ways insurance professionals can leverage CPQ to streamline their end-to-end quoting and proposal process. Ready to realize these efficiencies for your agency? Check out Zywave CPQ.