Customer Centricity - Do you “CRM?” Part II

September 7th, 2016

Alright, so in my last blog post I said I’d give my perspective on what a better view of CRM looks like. I suggested we combine CRM data and marketing automation with a dose of smart analytics to really show some basic examples of true CRM that can help move a company’s customer relationships forward. So without further ado, here are a few simple examples.

Since I am in the insurance industry, let's pick three triggers that identify the need to contact a client or prospect. The first is when a prospect inquires online about their insurance needs. The second is when a client has a birthday approaching and the third is a client that has a policy purchase anniversary date approaching.

How can a solid CRM strategy and methodology help address these scenarios? Here is how:

1.New lead prospecting. When these situations arise, score the opportunity each new lead represents. Typically, a two-million dollar whole life policy presents a lot more commission for an agent and revenue to insurance carrier than a $500k term life policy does. Scoring accordingly can help prioritize the focus of the agent. But what if we take this a step further, what if we knew there was only a 10% chance the whole life policy inquiry had a chance to be put in force and the term life had a 90% chance. In this situation, a likely to convert or a likely to be approved model could be used to score the opportunities. This score then would be made available to the agent in a visual representation (say 1 star versus 5 star rating). As you could imagine, that would be useful information to know if I am an agent looking to make the next best phone call or appointment.

2.Customer Relationship Building / Retention. My client is having a birthday and I think we all agree that being recognized on our birthday is a nice gesture. As an agent, should I send an actual card, make a phone call or send just an email? That is where knowing my customer's current and future value would be important. Heck, the CRM system itself could be setup to handle automating the email and mailings so that I don't ever have to think about it. Since mailings are expensive, perhaps a card is only sent out to customers who are worth over $X amount to the company. Taking this further, perhaps customers worth over $Y to the company get a gift card to a steak house as an extra sign of appreciation along with a phone call on the day of their birthday.

3.Cross-sell / Up-sell. So as an agent, I sold a policy to a customer 5 years ago. If I am "doing CRM" I hope I have been communicating with the customer on a regular basis to know when their needs may have changed. At a minimum though, it would be nice to have a system alert me to these key dates related to my customer. One of those could be a policy anniversary date (date I purchased the policy). As a best practice that date should be leveraged to force a conversation with my client and assess if any changes with my customer warrants new insurance. Taking this story further, what if the CRM system promoted what one of the next best products would be. Taking directly from the retail / Amazon playbook, this would be the "Customer who bought X also bought Y" cross-sell/up-sell opportunity. This type of propensity to buy / market basket analysis is extremely useful. Knowing all these details really arms an agent with information that will make for a very relevant conversation and help optimize the chances to grow the lifetime value of the customer.

Hopefully these examples have sparked ideas of your own and I would love to hear them. Like any good idea, it is important to have a “test-learn-adapt” approach which forces you to continually try new approaches and learn what is making a positive impact and what is not. Thus why I have said from the start, CRM is one-part strategy, one-part system/technology and one-part analytics.

Until next time….

Steve Malliard is a CRM and Customer Engagement enthusiast focused on driving profitable customer relationships and maximizing the benefits of the technology and marketing/sales investments companies are making. As a business-minded technologist, he blends technology and strategy into a comprehensive transformational business approach. Having a career that has spanned across multiple industries and disciplines, he borrows ideas from each to create innovative CRM strategies that move businesses forward. At iPipeline, he directs the AgentOne Salesforce solution implementation practice and is an active member of our consulting services offering with the whole goal of delivering the needed solutions to the customer centricity challenges that insurance agents face every day.

If you would like to discuss CRM and customer engagement strategies, please connect with me on LinkedIn @

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