4-page Case Study
Posted: 5/31/2012
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Insphere Insurance Solutions Insurance Distributor Delivers Mobile CRM App to Agents, Drives Adoption and Sales Growth

Insphere Insurance Solutions, one of the nation’s largest independent, career-agent distribution groups, serves small businesses and the middle-income individual market and aims to be the leading distribution channel for each of its strategic carrier partners. Aiming to double the size of its sales field over the next few years, Insphere wanted to streamline its career-agent experience. To do so, the company implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM and then worked with Pariveda Solutions to build a fully integrated, cross-platform mobile application. With this efficient field-selling environment in place, Insphere now drives more productive agent activities and gives managers greater visibility into those activities. Insphere believes that the unified software environment has become a key component of the company’s value proposition for retaining and recruiting agents.

Situation

Insphere Insurance Solutions is an independent, career-agent distribution group that specializes in small business and the middle-income individual market. When formed in January 2010, this new structure allowed the company to reposition its sales field from being a single product, niche-market player into one with a product portfolio broad enough to serve most customers.

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* Just four weeks after providing functionality from Microsoft Dynamics CRM in our mobile applications, user adoption increased by 40 percent. *

Steve Jensen,
Vice President of IT, Insphere Insurance Solutions

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Frank Jackson, Senior Vice President of Insphere Insurance Solutions, explains, “As Insphere made a shift from an exclusive carrier distribution to a general agency, our agents had to adjust their mindset and think about the lifecycle of a client.”

To support its growing number of agents, Insphere sought a technology solution that provided the tools essential for managing key business processes across multiple carriers and lines of business. Additionally, because the agents are independent contractors that purchase and maintain their own hardware, software, and connectivity, they use a variety of different smartphones. For that reason, the solution would need to work on major smartphone operating systems and provide a consistently productive, efficient working experience for all sales agents.

Solution

To support the current sales field and meet goals for growth, Insphere chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM and tailored the solution, with the help of a Microsoft partner. Currently, more than 1,500 agents use the solution every week.

Providing Robust Capabilities

Within the solution, agents now have a single source to monitor the status of all customer applications and policies across all carriers, including open underwriting requirements and notifications when policies are about to become active.

As agents work their leads, Microsoft Dynamics CRM tracks all prospecting activities, such as making calls and setting appointments. The tool presents agents with an overview of their current lead inventory, by status, in a graphical funnel view. Agents click on the funnel status sections to access and work with the leads. Agents’ activities automatically update the lead status and funnel overview. In the same screen, a graphic shows agents their weekly results compared to their defined goals.

Agents can also draw on the solution to format a customer-ready needs analysis report that shows a variety of coverage scenarios to address the customer’s insurance requirements. For quoting, agents access multicarrier tools directly from the Activity Center. The quoting tools also display dashboards that provide the status of previous quotes.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, agents have visibility into sales funnels and other key information.
By using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, agents have visibility into their sales
funnels and other key information.

Enabling Marketing and Communications

Working in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Insphere agents can also efficiently manage client communications and marketing efforts. Insphere provides email templates and approved marketing materials that agents can use for individual, personalized notes and for targeted marketing campaigns. By using its wealth of customer data, the company can also conduct national marketing campaigns that agents can tap into.

Going Mobile

After completing its initial implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Insphere then sought to bring the solution to the agents’ mobile devices to drive further adoption. To do so, Insphere extended Microsoft Dynamics CRM with a fully integrated write-it-once mobile solution developed by Microsoft Dynamics partner and Microsoft National Systems Integrator Pariveda Solutions and built on theRhoMobile Suite platform from Motorola Solutions.

Steve Jensen, Vice President of IT for Insphere Insurance Solutions, notes, “We knew the success of the application would depend on the design and performance. Our design phase consisted of a small team of agents from across the country and we delivered functionality every two weeks. It was absolutely invaluable, and in eight weeks, we deployed our pilot application. Our application is truly designed for agents, by agents.”

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* Providing leading-edge tools for mobile devices is a competitive advantage for our agents and key differentiator for us in agent recruiting and retention. *

Steve Jensen,
Vice President of IT, Insphere Insurance Solutions

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Specifically, the mobile application, which was written once with the RhoMobile Suite platform, is currently available as an app for iPhone and Android, and in testing for Windows Phone devices. It provides agents with lead notification and ability to input status updates and notes on all opportunities. Agents can even view all their business information and manage all related activities and tasks from the application.

Reflecting on the success of the solution, Jensen notes, “Of all the positive feedback we have received, one sales agent went so far as to say that having access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on their mobile phone was the best application in the insurance-selling space.”

Helping the company succeed in its move to mobile, Jensen notes that Microsoft Dynamics CRM provided a few key capabilities. “The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK in conjunction with the RhoConnect Application Integration Server from RhoMobile Suite helped us provide the proper customization to drive performance by minimizing local data on the mobile device while still giving salespeople access to the full set of data if needed,” he says.

Benefits

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Insphere meets its primary goals with the ability to grow and achieve long-term business objectives. “This technology has provided Insphere with a robust, cost-effective solution that makes best use of our agents’ strengths and lets company leadership take firm control of the business,” says Jackson. “Our entire distribution channel relies on a solution anchored by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which provides the scalability, flexibility, and ease-of-use we sought. We are excited about the opportunities it provides for Insphere.”

The Insphere Insite Mobile app draws on information, such as new leads, from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The Insphere Insite Mobile app draws on
information, such as new leads, from
Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Ease Adoption and Empower Salespeople

By making functionality from Microsoft Dynamics CRM available via mobile phones, Insphere has seen a dramatic boost in user adoption. Says Jensen, “Just four weeks after providing functionality from Microsoft Dynamics CRM in our mobile applications, user adoption increased by 40 percent.”

The success of Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been more than just adoption, however. Once adopted, the sales agents have realized the full value of the system. Across both their mobile phones and PCs, Insphere agents can now operate in a seamless multicarrier environment and have complete control of the business processes that help them to efficiently build and manage their client base.

“We believe Insphere technology delivers a tremendous competitive advantage for our agents,” says Jensen. “They can sell more products from more carriers, close business faster, and generate more substantial commissions.”

Enable Management and Agents to Take Control

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Insphere agents gain visibility into real-time sales data. Such data is also available to management teams, enabling them to identify trends, direct their teams, and consider strategic adjustments to the business.

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* Of all the positive feedback we have received, one sales agent went so far as to say that having access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on their mobile phone was the best application in the insurance-selling space. *

Steve Jensen,
Vice President of IT, Insphere Insurance Solutions

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Other employees, such as case managers, use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to support the agents in the field by managing the complexities of the life insurance business, which demands careful tracking of underwriting requirements and the status of applications. The data provided by the solution enables efficient communications between home-office employees, carriers, agents, and clients.

“The solution’s flexibility makes it easy to introduce additional customizations or extend capabilities for certain groups of employees and their information needs,” says Jensen. “For example, without any assistance, agents can establish their own customized view of open leads or complete an advanced find for a targeted email campaign.”

Expand the Sales Team and Grow the Business

Across the insurance sales community and the industry, Insphere gains increasing visibility for its innovative business model, sales production, and steady expansion of its field sales team. And to that end, continued growth of the field sales team is a high priority and technology is part of the value proposition Insphere presents when recruiting agents. As Jensen explains, “Providing leading-edge tools for mobile devices is a competitive advantage for our agents and key differentiator for us in agent recruiting and retention.”

Additional Resources Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. 

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:

www.microsoft.com/dynamics

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com

For more information about Insphere Insurance Solutions products and services, call 1 (888) 870-8051 or visit the website at:

www.insphereis.com

For more information about Pariveda Solutions products and services, call (214) 777-4600 or visit the website at:

www.parivedasolutions.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 3000 employees

Organization Profile

Insphere Insurance Solutions serves the middle-income individual and small-business markets in the United States with insurance products from multiple carriers.


Business Situation

Insphere wanted to provide career agents with the tools they needed to drive productivity while establishing an underlying sales delivery infrastructure for its insurance business.


Solution

The company implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM and integrated the solution with a custom, cross-platform mobile solution built on the RhoMobile Suite developed in partnership with Pariveda Solutions, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator and RhoMobile Elite Partner.


Benefits

  • Ease adoption and empower salespeople
  • Enable management and agents to take control
  • Expand the sales team and grow the business

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM technologies

Vertical Industries
  • Insurance
  • Financial Services
  • Public Sector

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

IT Issue
  • Personal Productivity
  • Supply Chain Planning and Execution

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Pariveda Solutions

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