Mauybe one that does not claim to be an "end-to-end" solution without any caveat. Or a partner that is clear that success will demand hard work by both insurer and technology company. Or admits that no-code/low-code does not make up for a lack of vision, strategy, planning and leadership. Transformation is hard work and requires trust, collaboration and, of course, great planning, resourcing and strategy. And carefully chosen technology partners.
In September 2022 I appeared with Ema Roloff discussing digital transformation from the buyer's viewpoint- just follow the link.
It. Is. About. More. Than. Just. Technology. Technology is the enabler.
Success comes from far more than just technology as this Harvard Business Review (HBR) article by Christopher Senn explains with good use cases.
Senn proposes a "Triple Fit Canvas" project to both choose the right partners and optimise the deliverables for insurers, brokers and MGAs.
Your company and your customers/partners must have aligned strategies and long-term vision. Each team must build and maintain contacts across the organisation and promote good communications. Easily said but hard to achieve without aligned strategies
The power to execute across the solutions, processes and systems is often a gap too far to bridge for some technology companies. Ambition can advance ahead of the ability to execute.
People need skill, clear direction and the structures and processes to deliver the outcomes required by customers. A customer-centric mindset rather than a product lead one. Patrick Kelahan always implores insurtechs to work from the customer backwards but I wonder how many do.
This not a once-off process of course. Innovation is as much about iteration and constant improvement as it is about major disruptive jumps into the future.
Senn gives a self-evaluation "Relationship Maturity Check" which I propose you use with both technology partners and end-user customers. Go on- be ruthlessly objective which means not just you answering the questions but your partners as well as your and customers.
- Complete the check with customers and with partners
- Identify areas for improvement
- Develop workable solutions
- Differentiate between long- and short-term actions
- Persuade your stakeholders
1) Complete the relationship maturity check
You cannot be all things to all people but too often technology vendors pretend they can in the hope of winning new business. But if you are a CoreTech vendor you are more likely to fit either Tier 1/2 insurers or Tier 4/5 insurers. Tier 3 is an overlap area but just because it is do not kid yourself you fit well unless you complete the maturity check with them.
A digital claims platform vendor may cannot be best at both ends of a claims spectrum- simple, high volume accidental damage home claims and at the other extreme major CAT events like oil rig fires. General Insurance claims or low volume high value London Markets claims.
2) Identify areas for improvement
Whilst every technology company can improve it should decide the priorities which relate to the vision and strategy. Where you receive unsatisfactory answers in the maturity check ask why. Not just once but at least five times. "Peel away the onion" to find the real causes of dissatisfaction and ask the partner and customer to help find solutions.
3) Develop workable solutions
The results of step 2 should be the base point to develop ideas to boost value and mitigate risk. This takes time and too many "solutions" are taken to market too quickly on too many assumptions. Just like many sales people start selling solutions the moment they uncover a need. hey should keep "peeling the onion" to uncover all needs and then rank them by pain.
4) Differentiate between long- and short-term actions
The world of insurtechs, just like all start-up scenarios, is littered with companies that add functionality whenever they hear a request without checking if they are real problems requiring a solution. Feature bloat rather than customer focus.
Divide value creation proposals into quick-win actions for 90 day projects and longer ones into 18-month to three-year projects.
Yes; it is always possible to deliver FNOL claim solutions in weeks, and full claims journeys in months, but to get buy-in across all people in the customer takes as long as it takes. Follow the money and get the balance right between cashflow, capabilities and ability of customer to deploy.
5) Persuade your stakeholders
Big picture thinking and strategic collaborative value creation are beyond the capabilities of many. Get the right people who can sell the vision and strategy and get buy-in across the board.
Insurers focus on building out ecosystems and insurtechs on building out partner ecosystems. It takes time and effort to align each of these never mind connect the two. That is the strategic gateway to heaven which all insurtechs should aspire to, execute well and proudly announce with new customers
That was an experience I bet.
Looking at the gaps what do you have to do bridge them? When it comes to partners, are you really on the same page and will it appear that way to your insurer customers? If not, there will surely be pain at some time.
I fully recommend the full article by Christoph Stern linked below where he gives far more detail and valuable case studies of successful implementation.
Too many account plans consist of dozens of pages on sales history, a competitive landscape, and a future sales pipeline but lack a clear strategy.