When choosing a CRM system, you’ll want to be clear and specific about your goals and conduct side-by-side comparisons, measuring features, support, capacity, and automation abilities.

Major CRMs in the business include:

  • Salesforce: The industry leader offers tons of integrations and apps
  • Microsoft Dynamics: This system lets you go in-house or cloud-based
  • Oracle®: Oracle offers two CRMs, NetSuite and Siebel. NetSuite is cloud-based while Siebel can be cloud or in-house
  • Sugar: Sugar has great automation and can be cloud-based or on-site

In addition to CBLife’s customized system, CRMs optimized for the insurance industry include:

  • Snapii: cloud-based and codeless
  • A1 Tracker: flexible and able to track many types of contracts
  • Insly: cloud-based and user-friendly
  • Zoho: cloud-based, with more than 25 million users
  • Radius: Great integration and a low monthly price
  • StarterCRM: tailored to the insurance industry and affordable, but lacks call-out
  • Pipedrive: cheap and feature-packed, but steep learning curve

Multicarrier Platforms

In addition to what Global Bankers Insurance Group has built for CBLife, there are off-the-shelf tools that agents can use, says Ken Leibow, Global Banker’s head of distribution technology & strategy.

If, for example, someone wanted to look at CBLife’s single deferred annuity rates, they could find it at Annuity Rate Watch, on Wink, or on Beacon Research. That way CBLife’s products are available on those more commercial, third-party, multicarrier platforms, he adds.

“So we’re providing all these great tools through our portal,” Leibow says, “but we’re also sitting on some platforms where they’re selling multiple carrier products and making our stuff available there, too.”

May the “Sales” Force Be with You

The biggest name in CRM belongs to Salesforce, poised to earn $10.48 billion in revenue this year, according to Forbes.

GBIG uses Salesforce CRM internally, says Liebow, and uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud for some marketing and distribution.

“But those are tools we use behind the scenes here to get information out to our distribution—the stuff that the distributors see and touch are on the agent portal,” Leibow said. “We don’t offer a Salesforce license for agents to use. If they want to track clients using Salesforce, it’s something they would have to get on their own.”

Keep These Essentials in Mind

The key ingredients to a successful CRM, Leibow says, are simplicity and ease of use, performance and quickness, and speed to market.

Clean, fast, and accurate

If the portal is complicated, then it’s going to be bypassed and ignored, and if the system is slow, then you lose people. Finally, if information in an agent portal is not correct, then users lose trust in the content—that does not matter if agents are looking at rates or state approvals.

Optimized for multiple devices

Also, Leibow adds, whatever technology you use should be optimized to as many devices and environments as possible—you never know what an agent might use to sign on and complete a sale.

“Whether you’re deploying a portal or platforms and tools for distribution to use or you are integrating the whole thing, either way, those are very important ingredients that work,” Leibow says.

The Bottom Line

“You want to be a store in someone’s mall,” advises Leibow. “Out of sight is out of mind. CBLife.com is easy to remember. If you saved the link on the home screen of your tablet, it’s always there in front of you and you just click it and you go. You’re in. It’s important to have quick access without having to figure out where it is, how do I find it, and so on,” he adds.

“We’re not the only store in the mall. And I don’t just mean other insurance companies, I mean every other app that they use, website they visit, tool they open,” says Leibow. “If we don’t make it easy, they’ll forget we’re there, won’t do it, and submit the business to somebody else.”