Loopio was on the ground at the recent InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas. InsureTech Connect is the largest conference of its kind in the world. With over 7,000 attendees representing insurance companies—and the technology and services firms that serve them—there was no shortage of perspectives on the impact of tech-driven disruption in this field.
In that spirit, we wanted to share four tech trends we've seen in the insurance industry, how they're impacting sales and Request For Proposal (RFP) response process, and what insurance companies can do to navigate these changes heading into 2020.
1. The number of technology players in the insurance space is growing
As the global FinTech has matured, the number of new players entering the insurance space has been increasing year-over-year. Last year, investments into insurance technology reached $4.5 billion globally, up from $348 million in 2012.
This trend was evident at InsureTech Connect. In particular, there were a lot of start-ups focused on DARQ (distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality, and quantum computing) technologies for the insurance space attending the conference. There was also a large focus on advanced analytics and big data.
New technologies let traditional insurers innovate and change how they go-to-market. But on the flip side, they also lead to more potential competition in the market. That means insurers will need to be better at highlighting their differentiators when responding to RFPs.
Tip: Make sure you have a streamlined RFP response process in place that lets you spend less time responding and more time tailoring the response.
2. Insurers are moving away from traditional business models.
According to NTT Data research, 61% of insurance firms plan to move away from traditional business models. Specifically, they’re moving away from vertically-focused business models, and are beginning to develop digital ecosystems to offer their products and services to customers. The two key factors driving this change are the need to remain competitive in an evolving market and the need to meet growing customer expectations.
Transitioning between business models might require a rewrite of sales-related RFP content. And while that can be a labor-intensive process, it represents a great opportunity when it comes to improving how RFP content is managed.
Tip: Create a dedicated library for your sales knowledge and give your subject matter experts access so they can easily review and update your content. Structure your library with content categories based on your products or services. It’ll make it easier to deploy content and keep it up to date going forward. Take this quiz to see how your RFP content management currently stacks up.
3. Due to rapid technology adoption, cybersecurity is a growing concern
According to Deloitte, seven out of 10 insurance carriers are using cloud technology services in their business today. While adopting new technologies allows for increased innovation and operational efficiency, it also means insurers are making themselves more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
That means insurance companies can expect to see more in-depth security and compliance-focused questionnaires from potential and existing customers earlier in the sales cycle. They must be able to prove upfront that they have strong security to continue business conversations. Plus, with a higher volume of in-depth security questionnaires to respond, they need to make sure their response process doesn’t slow up the sales cycle.
Tip: Centralize your security content, make it easily navigable with relevant categories, and establish review cycles. This will help you to better deal with a higher volume of security questionnaires. Check out this guide to learn about more best practices for responding to security questionnaires.
Bonus tip: Make your infosec team a strategic partner in the sales process. They’ll help you make sure you’re addressing those more in-depth security and compliance concerns.
4. Companies need to invest in technology to stay competitive
Lastly, investments in new technologies and digital ecosystems aren’t just nice-to-have, insurance companies need them to stay competitive.
Modern buyers expect more seamless experiences, and the insurance industry is no exception. Insurers need to adopt new technologies and innovate at the same rate as their competitors or they’ll be left in the dust. According to an Accenture survey, 96% of insurance professionals agree that emerging technologies have accelerated the pace of innovation in their organization over the past three years.
Tip: Consider investing in a digital RFP response solution to help speed up the sales cycle. RFP software can help you save time by automating the more time-consuming aspects of the RFP response process — time you can use to create higher quality responses. This definitive guide to RFP software will give you some pointers on what to look for in a platform.
How RFP Management is Changing Overall for Insurance Companies
At InsureTech Connect, we had several conversations with companies to get a sense of how they're seeing the RFP process change overall. There were two common RFP management pain points that kept coming up:
- RFPs and RFIs are showing up earlier in the sales cycle—all while timelines for completing them are shrinking
- Prospects want tailored responses—not cookie-cutter answers
The bottom line is insurance companies need to be able to act both quickly and thoughtfully to win more bids. A streamlined response process and effective approach to content management—backed by a solid RFP management tool— can enable them to do both successfully.