Top 10 CRMS For Insurance Agents

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Are you struggling to keep your contacts organized, or wondering which lead opportunities in your prospect database to prioritize? Maybe you already have customer relationship management (CRM) software, but perhaps it doesn't have the full functionality you need or maybe the price is too high. This article will help you understand the full capabilities of what a CRM can do for you, and let you know which CRMs are the most agent friendly.

In our previous blog post, we mentioned how important it is for agents to have a CRM so they can follow up on the 75% of leads (or more) that aren't ready to buy on the first phone call. Some of the reasons a lead might not be ready to buy on the first contact:

  • Health conditions don't allow the lead to qualify for coverage within a certain defined underwriting period i.e. being hospitalized 2 or more times in the last 2 years
  • They don't trust you or the information you have provided
  • They don't see the need to change (yet)
  • They have previous commitments that don't allow for taking an application (i.e. vacations, etc.)

Just because a lead isn't ready to buy doesn't mean it's a bad lead; it just means that lead is in a different part of the buying cycle.

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Regardless of where prospects are in the cycle, you should store their information for either a future follow-up call, or to market to them via other channels like direct mail or email.

What is a CRM and How Does it Work?

For new agents reading this and wondering how a CRM works, the easiest way to understand it is to liken it to an Excel spreadsheet that keeps all your lead information in practical categories that make it easy for agents to:

  1. View a lead's information, including contact details
  2. Know where a lead stands in the consumer buying cycle
  3. Store leads in an accessible format for more convenient follow up

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Of course, not all CRMs are created equal. Some CRMs are cheap to free, while others can cost several hundred dollars a month with all the bells and whistles.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll not only know the most popular features of a CRM, but which CRM is best for your budget.

Can't I Just Use an Excel Spreadsheet?

Absolutely you can! While an Excel spreadsheet can work, there are other functionalities besides just storing information that you might want your CRM to have that an Excel spreadsheet won't have. But just in case you like the simple Excel format, we highly recommend Jerard's Commission Spreadsheet (updated 3-20-17) that can act as both a prospect and customer tracking tool.

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But for those that want more functionality, like being able to market to leads via autoresponders, newsletters, emails, etc., choosing a CRM will be inevitable. Sure, you can spend money to have programmers add macros or formulas to your Excel file to beef up its functionality, but for the majority of agents, this isn't a practical solution.

Top 10 Functions of a CRM

Combing through the multitude of CRM options that insurance agents have at their fingertips, we were able to come up with 10 main functions that many CRMs share. Not all CRMs will offer every function, but some might if you're willing to pay a higher monthly price for it. This makes it even more important to compare CRMs, especially if you need your CRM to have multi-use functionality in addition to just storing contact details.

1. Tasks & Calendar Notifications
Beyond just collecting contact details, a good CRM will keep you on track by sending or displaying appointment reminders and other important to-do's. Without reminders, agents are stuck writing down meeting dates on Post-it Notes, juggling a stack of paper reminders between several places – not exactly an efficient process for keeping track of appointments. This function is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a CRM that makes it more functional than a spreadsheet.

2. Reports
Wondering how many leads are going from one disposition to another? Do you know how many leads you sold last month or how many leads became qualified (warmer) leads? If you don't track your metrics, how will you know what to improve upon? Agents should be running reports weekly or monthly to figure out how efficient their sales process is and to see if their long-term performance is holding up or beating their averages.

3. Lead Dispositions
Unfortunately, not all leads are ready to buy the moment you ask them to. This is because all leads lie somewhere along a spectrum of "not interested" to "ready to buy." Labeling a lead based on where they are at in the buying cycle can help an agent decide which leads to prioritize and follow up on. Most CRM dispositions are customizable, but usually you will find the traditional dispositions like 'cold,' 'warm,' 'hot,' 'not interested,' or 'call back.'

4. Email & Autoresponders
Some of the more advanced CRM packages contain email capabilities that allow agents to readily contact leads without leaving the CRM or switching over to another program. This promotes time efficiency, especially when combined with autoresponder capabilities that send automated messages to leads based on certain conditions or actions, such as a change in dispositions or emails received from the lead to a specific email inbox.

5. Calling or Dialing Out
Built-in calling or dialing features can also promote time efficiency by allowing agents to simply contact any lead or client in their CRM without having to load up their dialer software or whip out their cell phone. This also helps agents potentially save thousands by cutting down on duplicative software like the aforementioned dialing software.

6. Commissions Tracking
Some of the more advanced CRMs also help agents track their commissions by assigning specific companies, plans, or premiums to the lead's file. Besides helping agents with their tax liabilities, tracking commissions can help an agent figure out which company hasn't paid commissions on a particular case. Remember, insurance companies make mistakes. Don't let their mistakes rob you of your rewards for helping others with their insurance coverage.

7. Lead Routing for Agencies
Not important for the one-man show but certainly for the small to larger agencies, lead routing helps channel the flow of leads to the right agents. If you have a strong closer or more experienced agent in your agency, routing the warmer or "ready to buy" leads to that agent will help ensure your agency closes more leads in less time.

8. Workflows
Workflows are the latest feature to be popularized by CRMs, enabling agents to automate certain actions based on the lead's disposition. Maybe you want an introductory email to go out to every new lead entered into your database, or perhaps you'd like all new clients to receive a customized direct mail card welcoming them to the team. Workflows give agents a set-it-and-forget-it system that helps channel leads through the buying cycle, nudged by constant reminders and communications.

9. Document Attachments
Not as important as task reminders, the ability for a CRM to allow documents to be attached to individual cases can help an agent keep track of rate increases, personal correspondences, or policy updates. Simply attach documents to the customer file and easily view anytime. This will help keep all files and paperwork in one easy-to-access place.

10. Sync with Google or Outlook
This can be one of the most helpful features of a CRM. If you have a specific email provider you like to use, this feature allows the CRM to sync with your email provider so you don't have to constantly switch between programs. Some CRMs can even identify emails and assign them to prospect accounts, allowing agents to seamlessly view all correspondences for a given case.

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In addition to these 10 major features, you will find other features that can be integrated into a CRM, such as:

  • Quoting tool integration
  • Web conferencing integration
  • Newsletter or mass mailing capability
  • Direct mail services
  • SMS texting capability
  • Social media analytics
  • Data appending services

These extra integrations can often mean more money, but may deliver more functionality for the agent looking for an all-in-one software that increases efficiency.

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Top 10 Insurance Agent CRMs

I know what you're thinking: "Glen, there are way more than 10 CRM companies out there," and you're right, there are tens if not nearly a hundred CRM providers out there. This made it challenging to figure out which ones to review, so we stuck with the CRM providers that are most commonly talked about within the insurance agent community.

Below are the top 10 CRMs for insurance agents and how they compare to each other. Please be aware, most CRM companies have different pricing packages that enable the agent to experience more functionality with their CRM – so if you don't see a feature in your account but you see it below, it might be because that feature is only available in a higher priced package.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 CRMs below.

FEATURES
PRICING
  • TASK & CALENDAR NOTIFICATIONS
  • REPORTS
  • CUSTOM LEAD DISPOSITIONS
  • AUTORESPONDERS
  • CALLING OR DIALING OUT
  • COMMISSIONS TRACKING
  • LEAD ROUTING FOR AGENCIES
  • WORKFLOWS
  • DOCUMENT ATTACHMENTS
  • SYNC WITH GMAIL & OUTLOOK
  • PHONE NUMBER
  • WEBSITE
VELOCIFY
$60-$90





  • -


  • -

  • 888-843-1777
RADIUS
$35-$300










  • 888-593-2021
BITRIX24
FREE-$200





  • -


  • -

  • NONE
SALESFORCE
$25-$300



  • -

  • ?




  • 800-667-6389
ALLCLIENTS
$35-$80




  • -





  • 888-903-9933
FEATURES
PRICING
  • TASK & CALENDAR NOTIFICATIONS
  • REPORTS
  • CUSTOM LEAD DISPOSITIONS
  • AUTORESPONDERS
  • CALLING OR DIALING OUT
  • COMMISSIONS TRACKING
  • LEAD ROUTING FOR AGENCIES
  • WORKFLOWS
  • DOCUMENT ATTACHMENTS
  • SYNC WITH GMAIL & OUTLOOK
  • PHONE NUMBER
  • WEBSITE
AGENCYBLOC
$60-$160




  • Five9 only




  • -
  • 866-338-7075
ZOHO
$12-$100




  • 3rd Party





  • 877-834-4428
STARTERCRM
$15




  • -





  • 877-872-6869
AGENTCUBED
$85


  • ?







  • 877-424-5888
PIPEDRIVE
$12-$75



  • -






  • NONE

Losers

The losers for our article were based on three factors: pricing, number of features included in the most affordable option, and whether you can call the company up and talk to someone without being transferred to a voicemail system.

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Based on those factors, we found one company to add to the list. Some companies didn't have staff to answer the phone when we called like Radius and Bitrix, but they have great pricing and features. The only company we can award a thumbs down to is AgentCubed. Not only did we try reaching out via phone and email (multiple times) for more information and pricing (which were never returned), but they are more than $80 a month for a single agent. If a company cannot return emails or phone calls for that amount of money per month, they don't deserve to be one of the top contenders for insurance agents.

Winners

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This was a tough one. We found some companies that offered a free CRM, which is great for the agent just starting out who may not have a huge budget for a fully functioning CRM. We also found that 7 out of these 10 CRM providers surveyed had an option that was less than $50 a month. But between free and inexpensive, for the number of features and modules you can integrate with other vendors, Radius was our top pick for insurance agents. For $35 a month, you cannot find another CRM provider that gives agents more capability. In fact, because there are so many features, their system requires a small learning curve – like most CRMs.

The second-place award goes to Zoho. Not only do they offer a low-cost $12/month plan, but they answer the phone when you call, and they have a ton of modules and APIs that you can integrate with the CRM.

If we had to choose a couple more runners up, we would add to the list StarterCRM and Pipedrive. StarterCRM has a dedicated insurance agent CRM at an affordable price, but no call out features. Pipedrive is inexpensive and full of features; unfortunately, it doesn't have a contact number (so you have to fill out a chat form) and the learning curve can be steep.

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Whether you're a new agent or an experienced agent, having a CRM to help you keep track of your leads is vital to a successful career in insurance. Heck, even if it's the classical One Card System (OCS) created by Al Granum, using some sort of process to track the disposition of leads in addition to their contact details is necessary if you are going to follow up and close the 75% of leads that aren't ready to buy on the first call.

We hope this article gave you some good options to choose from. If you have found a great CRM provider we didn't cover, please tell us which one and why you like it in the comments section below so we can have more entries when we update this post down the road.

Also, if you have a CRM that you'd like Lead Heroes' insurance leads to be integrated with, we can set that up for a one-time fee of $100.

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