By Masood Raza
Insurance consumers are increasingly demanding better ways to buy insurance. In response, we’ve seen large insurance carriers investing into technologies that will automate and optimize internal marketing, underwriting and sales operations.
At the frontline level, a lot can be done by advisors to do their part in offering clients more transparent and personalized insurance policy application and ownership experiences.
Here are a list of three productivity tools that will save you time, optimize your workflows, and allow you to focus on giving your clients the personalized attention they deserve.
Toggl is a time management tool that allows you to track every minute of every day, down to the second. That may seem a bit extreme at first, but once you start tracking your time, the value of each of your activities becomes clear and measurable. The end goals are to streamline recurring tasks, identify and better prepare for ad-hoc activities or impediments, and to prevent time wasters from seeping into your schedule.
From there you can begin to automate recurring tasks, and eliminate or delegate tasks that are not high-value activities. Wasteful activities become easier to identify and deal with when you see how much time they drain out of your calendar.
Most importantly, Toggl should be used to determine which activities are producing the best return on your investment of time, so you can find more time to double-down on those actions.
The point of Toggl is not to micromanage yourself or your people. Instead, it enables everyone on your team to maximize their true potential. With a consistent and disciplined approach to time tracking, your team will appreciate how Toggl can help them achieve objectives in a timely manner.
Slack is a collaboration tool that aims to reduce the number of meetings you have with your team, so you can book more meetings with your partners and clients. Slack will also help eliminate internal communications with your staff, save time reading emails or text messages, and reduce unnecessary app-switching.
Slack allows you to create a thread known as a Channel for each topic of discussion that you deem relevant to your business. For example, you may want to create a #newbusiness channel for your team to collaborate on new client engagements. If you opt for more granular segmentation, you may choose to create such channels as #quotes, #underwriting, #approved, #delivered, and so on. The possibilities for organizing your internal communication into categorized channels are endless.
Slack integrates with platforms such as Asana, Trello, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Dropbox, and most other productivity tools. These seamless integrations will enable your team to quickly share messages and documents without having to search through deep email threads. The ability to search for these communications and documents within one user interface is a huge advantage Slack has over other collaboration tools.
Asana is a project management tool that allows you to create Projects in easy to read List, Board, and Calendar views. Advisors can use this tool to manage new and existing client engagements, marketing campaigns, agent onboarding processes, and several other potential use cases.
Easily break your projects down into Sections and Tasks that can be drilled further down into deeper levels of actionable subtasks. The tool allows you to assign tasks to team members and keep track of activities in one place.
The free version allows up to 15 team members and includes all of the core features mentioned above. The paid version allows for more customization should you want to make use of segmenting your activities into data to export and analyze later. The tool also integrates seamlessly with Slack and Toggl, allowing you to track the time you’ve spent on each Task with precision so you can optimize your team’s velocity.
In the beginning, I recommend you start with free trials for Toggl, Slack, and Asana, to see if if they work for your practice. Then if you are seeing gains in productivity I suggest subscribing to month-to-month packages which will run you about $30 (USD) per month total for all three tools. Then if you find that the tools are saving you time and money, switch to the annual plans to save few more dollars per month. Like most life insurance carriers, each of these tools will offer you a discount for paying annually, so there is another incentive to commit to enhancing your productivity for the long-term.