The rise of the “multi-access” customer – a customer who engages with the provider at multiple points in the customer journey – has pushed insurance companies and benefits organizations to seek ways to provide more comprehensive levels of service. The days where a customer’s point of engagement begins and ends with a sales agent are fading fast, as companies recognize that improved sales to service models will expand delivery of service, lead to better management of budgets and hidden costs, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction and retention.
Historically, insurance and benefits organizations have been structured to work in silos, with different business units often operating on different legacy CRM and project management platforms. Companies are quickly outgrowing these disconnected legacy systems, and they are actively seeking to upgrade their systems to an end-to-end ERP solution that can connect and integrate all business units.
Modern cloud-based ERP solutions can seamlessly integrate departments while still leaving the door open for the customized solutions that may be needed within each business unit. For example, custom solutions like Velosio’s Advanced Project Accounting can be built within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central suite to improve the sales to service handoff by elevating CRM systems into robust project planning solutions that track resource utilization and project dollars in real-time and create automation tools that interplay with workflow and metrics within the entire organization.
Many insurance providers are taking the leap to digital transformation and breaking down the barriers that keep different business units from working together. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan recently invested in a cloud-based ERP solution to integrate four legacy systems. This helped them to streamline their financial processes, improve reporting, and make it easier to integrate new business units.
These investments help companies better manage quote-to-cash and revenue recognition lifecycles on a broader scale, while enabling sales teams to work in step with the rest of company. This offers a unique advantage for sales agents who often work separately and are seen as middlemen that simply negotiate a sales rate to complete a transaction. Improving sales to service means viewing sales teams as equal stakeholders in the full delivery of a product. Bridging this gap will help companies ensure that sales quotes are translatable and built on an engaged understanding of contracts and resources.
As insurance companies and benefits organizations expand their capabilities and adapt their offerings to fit their customers’ demands, they need to equip sales agents with a better idea of project costs which will, in turn, better inform budgets and resources. Investing in technology that drives sales to service automation will tighten the link between sales and project management, shine a light on hidden costs through the entire project pipeline, and create less guesswork for budgeting. This will enable insurance companies to maximize their service potential, whether it means revamping benefits offerings, offering more digital services, acting as compliance advisors, or even taking on the role of program managers themselves.