Jan. 3, 2023

Adopting CRM Best Practices in a Simple and Elegant Way with Michael Toran

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Customers are the lifeblood of any business. It is, therefore, essential to have a system that can help manage customer relationships. CRM systems can be powerful tools for managing customer data and interactions, but only if used effectively.

In this episode, Ali and Sanjeev talk with Michael Toran, Senior Vice President of Information Technology at Relation Insurance Services. In his role, Michael is responsible for all aspects of planning, managing, and securing corporate and business-unit IT operations, software development, and infrastructure for Relation Insurance. With 25 years of insurance industry experience across various disciplines, including prior senior financial and operational roles, Michael brings a well-rounded, business-focused approach to technology management and strategic decision-making.

Michael talks with Ali and Sanjeev about how he and his team at Relation Insurance Services deliver customized services at scale in different markets. Michael also provides an overview of industry best practices for CRM, why CRM can be a differentiator in recruiting and acquiring producers, and the importance of having a shared vision when adopting CRM practices. 

Key Takeaways

  • [01:14] - What Relation Insurance Services offers its clients.
  • [02:16] - How Michael's firm utilizes CRM platforms effectively.
  • [04:50] - How Michael made CRM integrations scalable, effective, and future-proof.
  • [10:22] - An in-depth look at how Michael integrates CRM technologies.
  • [15:05] - Michael's efforts to promote user adoption.
  • [19:25] - How Relation Insurance Services is structured.
  • [22:24] - Why CRM can be a differentiator in recruiting and acquiring producers.
  • [28:00] - The importance of a shared vision when adopting CRM. 
  • [29:30] - What's next for Relation Insurance Services.


[15:15] - "You can have a great salesperson that's technologically a horrible individual to deal with on a day-to-day basis. They can barely open a laptop or get into their email, but they can close deals and sales. You have to realize that just because they're not a tech-savvy user doesn't mean they're not a valuable member of your sales team." ~ Michael Toran

[22:38] - "Depending on where producers come from, they expect a certain level of software. If you don't have a CRM, they're not coming." ~ Michael Toran

[28:12] - "Many missteps happen when a salesperson sells to a leader that sees a dashboard and has no idea how much work it is to get to that point." ~ Michael Toran


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