The insurance industry landscape is set to undergo some seismic changes later this year. With new healthcare reform policies coming into play, many customers will be exploring changes in their coverage, researching new options and contemplating provider switches.
The role of the insurance agent will be as vital as ever.
For the team at River Bluff Technologies, this presents a prime opportunity to tout their flagship product, SmartAgent. Built on the Salesforce platform, this CRM tool is tailored specifically to the needs of an independent agent.
Chiefly, SmartAgent is an organizational tool, enabling agents to track tasks, appointments, customers and prospects. The product includes a calendar, methods for categorizing and grouping contacts, extensive reporting capabilities, email campaign creation and more. SmartAgent acts as a carefully customized one-stop shop, offering the scalability and user experience of SalesForce’s powerful platform.
Bob Schmaltz founded River Bluff Technologies and serves as CEO, drawing from an extensive background in the insurance industry to design a solution that addresses the pain points for independent agents. While Schmaltz originally began marketing software to streamline agent processes as far back as 2004, the current version of SmartAgent, which is both web and mobile enabled, launched last June.
“Bob saw the need for something better in the independent insurance agency market, and went out and built a product to solve a problem that wasn’t being solved very well prior to our solution,” says Randy Halvorson, the president of River Bluff Technologies.
Subscribers to the software pay a monthly fee that varies based on the number of users and whether or not they wish to utilize the mobile component. Schmaltz and Halvorson feel confident in their value proposition, pointing out that smaller outfits will gain the resources and infrastructure needed to expand, while larger companies will save expenses elsewhere thanks to the product’s comprehensive feature set.
“One of the large health care carriers stated to us that we nailed it,” recounts Schmaltz. “They said we basically have put together this app that is perfectly designed for an agent, and they could not build it for the price that we’re offering.”
With open enrollment for healthcare launching on October 1 of this year, the coming months will prove pivotal for River Bluff Technologies as they reach out to potential clients and pitch their solution. Halvorson believes it’s an easy sell.
“At a very basic level, we’ve improved on something that’s been around a long time,” he says. “We don’t have to sell the value of CRM. What we’re really selling is: what you’ve been doing in the past doesn’t work. This is going to be better than what you’ve had in the past.”