Insurance software provider Vertafore is partnering with Microsoft to give insurance agents access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM features and functions. The partnership aims to improve customer-facing interactions and equip agents with strategic insights that can help them manage business and close deals more effectively.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM capabilities will be integrated into the Vertafore Agency Platform and mobile offerings. That means insurance agents can tap into Dynamics CRM pipeline management, prospect and opportunity tracking, e-mail campaign and other CRM capabilities.
“Positive customer engagements are the cornerstone for all customer-facing organizations,” said Bob Stutz, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “Insurance has long been a high touch point industry and it’s now more important than ever that insurance professionals invest in solutions that help them win and retain customers.”
Increasing Conversion Rates
Insurance professionals are starting to deploy CRM-driven campaigns that share valuable customer data across the distribution, underwriting and service channels, according to a recent Novarica report. In fact, CRM deployments are expected to increase in 2015, with 21 percent of respondents in a Novarica survey planning to integrate them into their businesses.
According to Microsoft, the Dynamics CRM integration will allow customers to leverage the Dynamics platform to build out feature rich sales force automation applications that integrate seamlessly with the Vertafore Agency Platform. Insurance agents will have a complete view into policy lifecycle, the ability to track prospects, as well as the ability to use strategic information to increase customer conversion rates.
Last week, Microsoft started offering discounts to Vertafore customers on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, HP, and Toshiba Tablets to drive more seamless customer interactions for field agents. According to Channel Harvest Research, insurance agents expect a significant increase in tablet-based applications over smartphone apps, especially for display-oriented tasks like sales presentations and training, over the next two years. Specifically, 25 percent expect tablet use to increase for sales purposes and 22 percent expect tablet use to increase for accessing training tools.
The CRM-Tablet Connection
We caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his thoughts on the growing Microsoft-Vertafore partnership. He told us insurance is one of the vertical markets that went to other tablets long before there was an iPad.
“The Surface Pro 3 was designed to outperform the iPad in this and other tablet-centric business segments but getting people to try it once they’ve locked in on an iPad has proven difficult,” Enderle said.
The strategy is clear: These incentives are designed to help people see the value in trying a Surface tablet, because if they try it out they are far more likely to see the unique business advantages that differentiate this offering, he said.
“This product has surprised a lot of us as it is increasingly preferred by those that want a tablet with the power of a laptop,” Enderle said. “Tablets are perfect for customer-facing applications and the only tablet that may be better than the Surface Pro 3 is the new Surface 3, suggesting Microsoft is far from done here.”