Insurance | Innovate agent onboarding to accelerate productivity

Carriers who can remove operational hurdles to agent onboarding immediately benefit from higher productivity

Michael Herman

Michael Herman

Principal, Advisory, C&O Financial Services, KPMG US

+1 212-954-3898

A national auto insurance carrier has a billboard that announces, in large yellow letters, the availability of many local insurance agents. The sign is a nice reminder that, in an increasingly digital world, you can still talk to a person when shopping for an auto policy. It’s also a reminder that insurance carriers are reliant on agents to grow their business.

Onboarding challenges—from two perspectives

Recruiting engaged agents and keeping them motivated is difficult. The challenges facing insurers include:

  • High onboarding and training costs
  • Difficulty retaining agents
  • A wide spectrum of experience and capabilities amongst agents
  • Preserving momentum, excitement, and motivation
  • Speed to a first policy issuance

You should also consider onboarding from your agents’ point of view. Prospective agents report that they face

  • An eagerness to get set up and sell the first policy
  • A desire to understand the carrier’s offerings and value proposition
  • Mountains of information, yet an inability to find answers to critical questions
  • Overwhelming paperwork with no personal touchpoints
  • Uncertainty about the culture and what it takes to succeed

Clearly, agents want to start selling faster. They simply face confusing, inconsistent onboarding journeys that sometimes rely on hand-written applications, faxes, data entry, and lengthy issue-resolution procedures.

Fortunately, most of agents’ pain points are operational. Carriers who can remove these operational hurdles stand to immediately derive benefits in the form of lower costs, improved retention, reduced turnover, and higher agent productivity.

What does it take to streamline agent onboarding?

By realigning onboarding operations around the agent, carriers can accelerate the time to agents’ first sale—all with the ultimate goals of boosting revenue and reaping operational efficiencies. Portal-based, automated, and self-service solutions help deliver a successful, modern onboarding journey. The best onboarding solutions include these five components:

  • Onboarding roadmap and timeline. Give agents a clear path and at-a-glance insights into where they are in the journey in real time.
  • Guided workflows. Simplify navigation and guide users through each step of the onboarding journey.
  • Interactive and predictive training and knowledge. Create a culture of engagement with content to teach agents new skills and inspire them to learn more. Enable agents to search, access, and bookmark reference information.
  • Collaboration. Enable agents to connect with others in the organization to create a virtual community without walls
  • Mobile & omni-channel. Gain access to these capabilities regardless of device, location or channel

Together, KPMG and Salesforce can help you deliver an onboarding journey with better experiences and outcomes. Agent onboarding built on Salesforce Financial Services Cloud provides an integrated, purpose-built technology platform for insurance carriers. As a business integrator, KPMG has the skills in the Salesforce ecosystem as well as depth of industry expertise to ensure you realize value from your investment.

Now is the time

Carriers that follow traditional onboarding methods will lose to competitors that onboard digitally. Now is the time to invest and innovate the agent onboarding process. The more you can streamline the onboarding process, the faster agents can be on the field, pushing new business, and earning revenue for your company.