Customize the Sales Pipeline in HawkSoft 4 (Bonus: Sales Pipeline Infographic)
HawkSoft 4 launches this October with a visual overhaul and a redesigned sales pipeline that will help you support and understand your agency better than ever.
HawkSoft has been building up to this change over the past year. We refuse to be just an electronic filing cabinet for our customers. Agency Intelligence, HawkSoft Rater, and e-Signature integration were the vanguard in our push to empower independent agents to better manage their businesses, sell more insurance, and improve service to their customers. HawkSoft 4 is the next powerful tool that improves business workflows through a rich and customizable Sales Pipeline.
I sat down with HawkSoft’s Development team to hear first-hand why HawkSoft pursued this major revamp of core functionality, and how the new Sales Pipeline works to benefit agencies.
The Sales Pipeline
Most people understand the concept of a sales pipeline — the classic metaphor for how a lead travels through your processes to eventually convert to a sale. (Need a refresher? We recommend HubSpot’s succinct explanation here). Our legacy status workflows allowed for basic tracking of a prospective customer through the pipeline, but as Product Manager Patrick Cheung observes, “our customers’ needs became more intricate and required advanced tracking.” Agencies wanted more granularity to monitor their sales pipeline and make informed business decisions. It was clear to HawkSoft that the Status field, which served to track the legacy pipeline, was not enough to proactively drive action through the various stages of a sales pipeline.
Statuses and Sub-Statuses
As is customary for HawkSoft, we went direct to the source to gain valuable feedback. “We talked to agents about their sales processes during the development of Agency Intelligence,” explained Product Management Team Lead Javier Torres, “This is when the need for new Status workflows and better sales pipeline support was discovered.” We saw a clear need to add extra depth to the pipeline and to make the new details available from our Agency Intelligence reporting suite for quick consumption.
HawkSoft’s development team interviewed successful independent agencies with these needs in mind. Every agency had common sales processes at a macro level. Everyone dealt with Leads that were nurtured to become Prospects. Where things were different among agencies, however, was with the specifics of each stage of the sales pipeline. How an agency tracked progress from Lead > Prospect > Sale was different. The objections agencies received from prospects was specific to their region and type of insurance products. With this in mind, HawkSoft updated our main Status fields to match the macro pipeline categories that all agencies follow, and we introduced customizable Sub-Status options to support the different individual agency workflows.
The redesigned sales pipeline was inspired by HawkSoft’s Sales and Marketing departments. As many of you know, we use HawkSoft CMS for our own customer management system. Patrick notes, “We looked at the model that HawkSoft’s own Sales and Marketing department uses. They were noting ‘objections’ in the system at each stage of the pipeline. We asked, ‘what does this mean?’ Objections are reasons preventing a potential customer of HawkSoft from moving further through the sales pipeline.” The new Sub-Status fields will work the same way: they allow you to define what needs to be done to get the prospect to the next stage in the sales pipeline.
Javier, before joining HawkSoft in 2012, managed an insurance agency for several years. “I had an ‘A ha!’ moment when I realized that Sub-Status fields were actionable items. You don’t have to go through log notes to determine what to do next. The Status and Sub-Status reveals what the next steps are for your prospect.”
With Sub-Statuses, you can see why a sale fell through or track a group of leads at a granular level. Javier continues, “When a sale doesn’t go through, you have a tendency to move on. But, you’re sitting on a goldmine of information. With HawkSoft 4, you can identify why that sale wasn’t successful at a more granular level. You can come back to address it; take action on it. You’ll discover new marketing opportunities and areas where your sales strategy needs re-thinking.”
Discover Sales Insight in Agency Intelligence (AI)
One of the best “consequences” (for want of a better word) of these improvements are more robust reports available in the Agency Intelligence (AI) and Sales & Retention reporting suite in HawkSoft. Javier admits, “A lot of the design started as, ‘what should we see in AI or Sales & Retention reports?’” All new Statuses and Sub-Statuses (even your custom ones) appear in Agency Intelligence and Sales & Retention. This allows you to discover sales trends in your pipeline from Lead to active customers to lost customers. Previous unknowns can now be answered with HawkSoft 4, giving you optimum insight into managing your sales efforts:
- Where are prospects getting stuck in the pipeline?
- Did the email campaign you sent out impact the number of leads coming in?
- What reason caused the most cancellations this month?
Bonus: Default Sub-Statuses
It takes time to define a sales pipeline. Javier and his team noticed during development, “One thing we struggled with was realizing that some agencies don’t use a sales pipeline. They want to, but they don’t know how to start. Our goal was to help them start by creating a default pipeline to serve as a guide. We consulted with various agencies that successfully used a pipeline, validated commonly used options, and packaged all that knowledge into a default pipeline in HawkSoft 4.”
“If you don’t already have a sales pipeline in place, the pre-configured one that comes with HawkSoft 4 allows you to hit the ground running,” explains Javier. To further help agents, we created the following infographic to guide you through the default Sales Pipeline and Policy Life Cycle in HawkSoft 4.
HawkSoft 4 Sales Pipeline Infographic (Downloadable PDF)
Author: Kenneth Hendricks
Kenny is a Marketing Coordinator at HawkSoft, focused on engaging with our active community of independent agents and spreading the word about product updates.