Digital Broker Transformation: What Does it Really Take?

March 8, 2022

BenefitMall hasn't been shy about encouraging brokers to engage with the digital transformation. We firmly believe that going digital is the way forward for brokers, general agencies, and even carriers. Unfortunately, our industry has been slow to make the transformation because the transition is still not largely understood. We want to help change that among brokers.

What does it really take to embrace the digital broker transformation? It takes two fundamental things:

  1. An understanding of the difference between digitization and digital transformation, and
  2. A commitment to change the way things are done in order to maximize digital technology's capabilities.

The well-known Salesforce platform is a starting point for many companies looking to embrace the digital transformation. As for the company behind it, they often cite Netflix as an example of a company that digitized first, then transitioned into the digital arena to the extent that their business was completely transformed.

Digitization vs. Digital Transformation

Salesforce recognizes digitization as the practice of converting analog documents and records into their digital counterparts. Digitization is so commonplace that it is very difficult to find businesses that still operate on older, analog methods. In simple English, paper ledgers have been replaced by digital accounts. Written letters and sticky notes have been replaced by email and text messages.

The important thing to remember is that digitization is only a method of storing and retrieving data. As a broker, you may very well have digitized your business. But do you still do things the old way? Are you still using digital documents the same way you used analog documents? If so, your willingness to digitize hasn't yet translated into embracing the digital transformation.

Changing the Way Things Are Done

How did you handle open enrollment this past season? Perhaps you provided digital documents to your clients and their employees. But did employees still use paper documents to make their selections? Did they still sign up for their benefits by using HR as the go-between?

Digital transformation involves changing the way things are done. In terms of open enrollment, a broker committed to digital transformation would embrace technology that allows employees to review and sign up for benefits online. That same technology would allow each employee to create their own online account to handle all benefits management moving forward.

The same thinking can be applied to quoting new benefits for clients. As a broker, do you look up prices online and then prepare your quotes manually? Do you prepare quotes separate from the software used to look up prices? If so, you are still doing things the old way. You are using digital information to facilitate a manual quoting process.

Brokers who work with BenefitMall have access to a complete broker suite that allows for research, quoting, and deployment all in the same environment. It combines digitized information with digital applications that create a more streamlined process from start to finish.

A Transformation of the Mind

When you boil the digital transformation down to its most basic elements, you are left with the understanding that it is really about a mindset. The digital transformation seeks to use technology to make business more efficient, more effective, and more responsive.

If you are looking to embrace the digital transformation in 2022, here is what it takes: moving beyond mere digitization to change the way you conduct business as a broker. You have to be willing to look at things in a different way. You have to be willing to maximize technological capabilities with the goal of eventually eliminating as much of the analog world as possible.

A general agency with the right technology and industry experience can help you make the transition to the digital world easier and more productive. BenefitMall is that general agency for thousands of brokers. Let's work together to make you and your agency the best it can be.

Let’s end this on a positive note – tying back into working with a general agency who can help you and your agency make the transition to the digital transformation.

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