Modern day Medicare Field Marketing Organizations (Medicare FMOs) often walk a tightrope – working hard to simultaneously keep their carriers and agents happy. In order to stay competitive, its essential that every opportunity for modernization is embraced – digital transformation, and specifically, digital distribution, have an important role to play here.

In this article, we’ll explore the contribution and opportunity of digital distribution as a competitive advantage for Medicare FMOs.


What Is Meant By Digital Distribution in Insurance?

Digital distribution is the process of assets being digitally transferred – usually via the internet. In the context of the Medicare industry, digital distribution is having a transformative effect, diversifying the way in which plans are being sold and serviced. This is marked by a move away from traditional physical channels, towards more user-friendly and efficient digital ones.

Digital distribution represents a fairly radical shift within the insurance industry, as traditionally, the sector has been slow to adopt and adapt to new digital methods and channels. With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic forcing incumbents to catch up with other industries, today, many more are embracing the opportunities and advantages that digital distribution offers.

For many, the move to digital distribution is a necessary one. Clients and prospects will no longer tolerate lengthy waiting periods, delays in paperwork or being kept on hold. Expectations, forged during interaction with other more progressive industries, have evolved. As a result, FMOs should embrace the shift towards digital distribution for the opportunities that it holds.


What Are The Core Advantages Of Digital Distribution For Medicare FMOs?

Digital distribution holds a number of exciting opportunities for Medicare FMOs in the modern insurance industry. The main opportunities include:


Being able to meet evolving customer experience expectations.
Digital distribution has influenced customer expectations – expedited workflows, instant support messaging and digital signing are all tools your agents should have access to.

A more personalized offering and service.
Through the collection and application of data, coupled with the ability to distribute assets digitally, it is much easier to customize and tailor-make Medicare offers to specific needs of clients.

Sharper messaging.
As an extension to the data opportunities available through digital channels, digital distribution also allows for greater segmentation and therefore increased ability to personalize communications according to behavioral insights gathered.

Slicker point-of-sale experience.
The ability to design e-proposals, e-renewals and e-submissions means that Medicare FMOs have the ability to create sleek experiences that elevate their brands through refined visual identities.

Increased opportunities for upsell and cross sell.
Artificial Intelligence incorporated into digital distribution platforms enables ‘next-best’ action recommendations for agents, thereby giving them greater capability to upsell and cross sell products and product combinations.

Reduced turnaround time via streamlined processing.
Digital processes allow for the removal of inefficiencies in the system and result in reduced turnaround times and streamlined processes.


What Are The Potential Pitfalls Within Digital Distribution For Insurance FMOs?

While digital distribution and its adoption into business processes hold a number of advantages and opportunities for Medicare FMOs, it is also important to understand that there are potential issues to mitigate.


The main pitfalls to look out for include:

Poor adoption and underutilization.
Implementation is vital to the adoption and utilization of any digital platform. If this phase is not carefully considered, it may result in poor adoption by agents and an asset that underperforms.

Increased training burden.
Creating understanding as to how your new platform works is vital to adoption. There will be a greater training burden associated with getting up and running, but put measures in place to ensure this can be maintained effectively over time.

Agent resistance.
Some more traditionally leaning agents may resist the adoption of digital technology. Go into the change expecting this and approach the matter pragmatically.

Attrition of agents.
As some resistance to change is inevitable, there may be some attrition of agents from the FMO as a direct result. This is usually associated with a lack of experience and confidence in digital technologies, and can be mitigated through empathetic implementation practices.


5 Best Practice Tips For FMOs Looking To Embrace Digital Distribution

1. Focus on the experience.
Ensure that the customer-facing experience is designed from every angle. Build strategies and define what each claim or renewal experience will look and feel like. The ability to control the experience is in your hands, so be sure to maximize it to its full potential.

2. Make use of data.
Digital distribution unlocks so much potential in terms of accessing detailed behavioral information at scale, and this data is the key to unleashing new levels of service and satisfaction for your organization.

3. Don’t underestimate the importance of adoption.
Be careful not to assume that all your agents will take to the platform instantly. Design a strategy that will help you ensure the very best adoption and success rates.

4. Listen to your agents.
Your agents are your eyes and ears in the marketplace. They will come to understand the opportunities and short falls of this sales method better than anyone else, and are therefore the key to optimizing the platform to become the best possible version. Be sure to listen to their feedback, both positive and negative.

5. Remain mindful of compliance.
Compliance is an essential aspect to quality insurance services in the market. Be sure to work with a platform that places compliance at the heart of its value proposition.


Digital Distribution – Your Pathway To Increased Medicare Sales?

For Medicare FMOS, digital distribution is an essential component of staying relevant and competitive in the ever-evolving world of Medicare sales. The question is no longer should you make the shift, but rather how quickly can you move to secure the long-term future of the organization?

Digital distribution should form part of a wider digital transformation strategy – embracing the opportunity that automation represents for ROI and improved operational efficiency. Commissionly offers a dedicated and intelligent solution for streaming lining Medicare commission payments, removing the admin associated with ensuring payments are accurate and on time.

By building out a modern, digitally transformed operation, you’ll be able to attract the right type of agent – keen to work with a digital-first, progressive FMO which invests in their ability to make more sales.

In the competitive world of medicare FMOs, advantage is everything. When it comes to seeing real traction and success, often it’s the finer details that count – small improvements to process and practice that ultimately add up to a sum total of significant competitive advantage.

Staffing shortages and challenges within ongoing recruitment represent a very real concern for many FMOs currently operating. The difficulty of attracting (and then retaining) talented sales staff is increasing. A shift in expectations of employment and rapid technological innovation (accelerated by the Covid pandemic’s shift to home working) has somewhat leveled the playing field, making it possible for smaller agencies to compete with the larger, well-established FMOs.

As a result, FMOs of all sizes are focused on improving their offering. If this is something that your own FMO has been working on – and, in particular, if you’ve been chasing down ways to become more operationally efficient – then it’s time to consider the benefits that a commission calculator could bring to your setup.

In this article, we’ll cover ten of the most advantageous benefits a commission calculator can bring to your Medicare FMO. From quickly calculating varied commission splits, to easily enabling drawbacks and facilitating multi-currency sales – read on to learn more about the edge you can bring to your operation.


1.   Minimizes human error

While automation is typically viewed through the lens of winning time back for your busy team, another of its key advantages is often overlooked. Busy teams make mistakes. By working with an automated commission calculator, you remove this inconvenient (and often costly) risk factor.

By doing away with complicated manual spreadsheets will do more than free up your team, you’ll also ensure that the inevitable occurrence of incorrect data entry or calculation errors. Manually calculation and tracking your commissions opens the door for human error – even the most meticulous attention to detail is statistically prone to error sooner or later.

Commission calculators such as Commissionly have been created to cater specifically to the insurance sales market. This means that they’re precision engineered to provide all the dexterity of manual calculations, with none of the accidental error. So you can work faster and sleep easier.


2.   Frees up team time

The old adage rings ever true – time is money. In the age of automation, your team’s time and experience no longer needs to be squandered on repetitive tasks, and is much better applied to creative problem solving and revenue generation.

When your agents and managers are tasked with the admin of tracking and calculating their commissions (or, in some cases, spending vast quantities of time simply trying to understand complicated splits and calculations) their time and attention is compromised.

Your business’s foundations are firmly placed upon a commission based sales model – and as a result, commission rates, calculations and accrual are, of course, a primary concern of your agents. By leveraging a commission calculator tool to improve transparency and comprehension, you can give your team a much clearer picture of the state of play, freeing their focus and giving them the incentive to work efficiently.


3.   Enhances sales commission models

Commision models are frequently in a state of flux. As FMOs adapt to become more appealing and competitive to the most successful and talented agents, they need to constantly adjust and fine tune their commission rates and individual agent incentives.

Working with a commission calculator helps bring much more clarity to this decision making process, by facilitating more effective financial management, reducing uncertainty around ongoing business models. Forecasting becomes easier, and there are positive knock on effects to your agents, as you’re able to calculate the very best offers, retaining talent to strengthen your business in the short and longer term.


4.   Allows you to set effective goals

In addition to giving you clarity over your commission structures, working with a commission calculator will also allow you to get a better understanding of your team’s ongoing performance at a glance. Setting realistic targets for agents (that walk the line between motivation and possibility!) can be difficult, but when you’re running commission calculator software, you’ll be able to recognise patterns in performance with much more ease and confidence.

In addition to setting clear goals, a commission calculator enables a greater degree of clarity and transparency to your agents, both in terms of business’s financial position and the kind of  revenues expected of agents.

When the business, managers and agents all have a solid comprehension of the current state of play, it becomes easier to set goals that make sense for that time period, are likely to achieve buy-in, and are ultimately more achievable.


5.   Encourages transparency

The best disinfectant is sunlight. By working with a commission calculator your business is able to offer true transparency to your agents, removing gray areas that can rapidly become friction points – damaging to your agent relationships and time-consuming to rectify.

Commission calculators deliver transparency to the most important part of the business from the perspective of the sales agent – their earned income (both received and projected.) Through a commission calculator, every agent can see exactly what they will earn from each of their sales, delivering clarity to both the agent and the FMO.


6.   Opens communication channels

With so many agents working independently, communication is of utmost importance to any Medicare FMO. Without clear communication, delivered via open and accessible channels, efficiency within a business is hard to establish and maintain.

The basis of the most impactful communication? Trust. By investing in commission calculator software, an FMO demonstrates its commitment to its agents’ experience, showing a firm resolve to provide a fair, open and opportunity-rich environment where agents are supported to achieve their best results.


7.   Improves personalization

Personalization makes the professional world go round, and isn’t something that should be reserved for customer experience alone – your agents also care about the nature of the investment and attention that they receive. While a commission calculator can, in a slightly roundabout way, help you to develop more personalized experiences for your customers (based on the insight it sheds on highly successful agent approaches) it also enables personalized programmes and experiences for sales agents.

If managers know how their staff are performing, then are better equipped to understand where they need help and improvements. This then in turn allows the FMO to deliver the right kind of support and mentorship needed in order to more effectively drive business objectives. High performing agents can be paired into mentoring programmes, and commission structures can be tweaked depending on the kind of motivations that are being demonstrated.


8.   Creatures a scalable system

The ambition of most business models is growth – but as we all know, growth can mean growing pains. The ability to scale free from the stresses of a tech stack and administrative procedures that are threatening to buckle under the weight of your success is a blessing no business can take for granted.

Commissions calculated in the traditional, spreadsheet heavy fashion are a ticking time bomb, becoming increasingly problematic as the business scales. More data entry, more to manage, more margin for error, more time needed to investigate discrepancies and challenges. The list goes on.

The irony is that, without a dependable, automated commission calculator in place, the more successful you are, the more strained your operation becomes. More time is funneled away from revenue generation, as your team dedicates their bandwidth to rectifying errors and incorrect payments. If trust is eroded when friction flares up internally, you even risk losing your best agents (the engine of your business.) Efficiency is reduced, and ultimately profitability is affected.

A commission calculator ensures an infinitely scalable, secure system that will be able to keep pace with any degree of success within your business, accurately, efficiently and transparently.


9.   Enhances efficiency

It’s important to remember that leveraging commission calculator software does more than simply increase the efficiency of your commission calculations! A commission calculator also functions as a “self service” buffet for your agents’ queries. Instead of time-consuming interactions with responsible team members, they can instantly access information pertaining to their earnings and progress within any given time frame.

Acting as “single source of truth” countless wasted hours spent chasing the right files, spreadsheets or data sets are also saved. Accounts can be carefully controlled to give the right levels of access to all members of the organization, meaning everyone has the ability to get eyes on the information that’s relevant to them, quickly and independently.


10. Drives profitability

We’ve spoken about the need for efficiency within a business, but this is only half of the story. The reason we chase efficiency is to increase profitability. A commission calculator acts as a driving force behind multiple business activities that support profitability via more impactful and effective systems and processes.

Profitability increases when efficiency increases, because wherever systems and processes are optimized and trust is enabled, revenue cannot fail to follow.


Is your Medicare FMO ready for a commission calculator?

As the world of Medicare gets more competitive, things are getting more complex. In order to stay competitive, improvements to the technological architecture that is underpinning your operation will be the key to staying one step ahead of the competition.

More efficient internal processes. More revenue. Enhanced profitability. This trinity of interdependent goals is the key to unlocking sustained (and sustainable) growth in a busy market.

Commissionly’s commission tracking software represents the perfect fit for any medicare FMO looking to drive efficiency through their business via automation, transparency and enhanced data control. With experienced staff, well-versed in the specific needs of Medicare FMOs and their common commissioning structures, Commissionly offers expert guidance, assisted onboarding and ongoing support that factors in the common pain points of the industry.

With the impact and benefit of commission calculators so clear cut, adoption across the Medicare market is rapidly accelerating. The sooner an FMO incorporates them into their business, the better off they will be.


Speak to one of Commissionly’s Medicare commission experts to discuss the benefits for your FMO: book a demo today.



How To Track And Optimize Your Medicare Commissions


There is a strange paradox in the world of Medicare sales. The better the agent, and the more sales that the agent is able to generate. The more sales they generate, the greater the burden placed on them to keep track of their commission payments in order to ensure that their books balance each month!

We don’t mean to make light of a serious situation – underpaid (or unpaid) commissions quickly add up – and can represent a real issue for those working in the field of Medicare sales.  For most agents, implementing a digital solution can help to transform their process here – reducing the burden of admin, and freeing them up to make more sales (ones which they know they’ll actually get paid in full for!)

In short, optimizing their efficiency when it comes to tracking their Medicare commissions, frees them to focus on what really matters… growing their business and increasing their revenue.  

In this article, we’ll shed light on these issues, helping Medicare agents to not only understand what causes them, but also to provide a solution to assist them in freeing themselves from the burden of tedious financial admin.


Tracking Medicare Commissions: Common Problems 

When it comes to understanding the issue of commission tracking for Medicare agents, it is important to understand the common problems associated with the issue. These will give you a greater macro perspective in order to deal with the root causes and mitigate against the implications that they hold. 

The biggest issue for agents generally revolves around payments from carriers for sales made. From this perspective, it is common for carriers to either miss payments, due to them being bogged down in large volumes of paperwork, or to make incorrect payments to agents due to a mismatch in communication and expectations. Either way, it results in an increased burden for the agent, from both a workload perspective and a frustration perspective. 

This issue is compounded when payments are of a recurring nature, and even a small discrepancy in this regard has the potential to become a large problem if not rectified quickly. Take for example, a minor discrepancy of 8% on a book of business equating to $120,000. This discrepancy will result in the agent losing $9,600 in profit. This example demonstrates the importance of catching the issue in good time, to ensure that it does not impact the agent’s bottom line drastically. 

While this issue has the potential to be cumulatively dramatic for the agent, it is important to note that it is usually not the intention on the part of the carrier, but rather due to the process involved. Traditionally, commission tracking and payments involve a taxing manual process, with multiple points of reference and sources to check that payments are made on time, and constitute the correct and expected amounts. If agent splits are involved, matters are further complicated, with the potential to become hugely time consuming and oftentimes tricky to ensure that they are correctly allocated. 


The Solution to Optimized Tracking of Medicare Commissions 

So, what is the solution?

This is where technology rides to the rescue. Medicare Commission Tracking Software, like the one offered by Commissionly, is proving invaluable in helping to mitigate the issues around payments and ensuring that as an agent, your time is spent doing what you do best… making sales. 

The Medicare Commission Tracking Tool is affordable, easy to set up and easy to use, and offers exponential Return on Investment due to its ability to catch and flag missed or incorrect payments automatically – saving money and time (which, as we all know, is also money!)

From a functional perspective, The Medicare Commission Tracking Tool allows you to connect to your carrier’s systems or bulk upload all your policy details via CSV with custom carrier templates. It has a carrier statement import system that matches the headings in your carrier reports to swiftly import commission payments, which means that you can convert multiple carrier reports into a standard format so that you can extract useful resorts from the data.

The system also offers One Click Discrepancy Reports, which quickly identify any Medicare commission payments that do not match the schedule or amount you expect to receive, and it also has the ability to automate agent commission splits, so that if and when you are working on a sale with other agents, you can produce commission reports that will ensure clarity around remuneration, and manage the expectations of all parties involved. 


Tracking Medicare Commissions: Why It’s so Important to Get it Right 

There is no doubt that Medicare commission tracking is a vital aspect to the business of any Medicare sales agent. Mitigating against this expensive, time-consuming problem sooner rather than later is vital when it comes to ensuring that your bottom line stays intact, meeting your expectations and ensuring the longevity of your position in the market. 

In addition to optimizing your efficiency, implementing a Medicare Commission Tracking Tool also holds a number of secondary benefits that go beyond simply ensuring that you are paid in full. It allows you to build better ongoing relationships with carriers, as issues can be resolved swiftly, without drawn out grievances that have the potential to sour the partnership. By removing the need for manual tracking, you are able to free up more time to focus on other, arguably more important aspects of your business, generating revenue and improving your offerings. It will also facilitate greater motivation from a productivity standpoint, as you see your commissions grow.


Take Control Of Your Medicare Commissions

As a Medicare sales agent, it has never been easier to ensure that the commission payments that you receive, match the expectations and work that you put into earning them. The days of inaccurate, inconsistent and missing payments are finally coming to an end. Technological, automated innovation is the key to fighting this issue with the greatest degree of efficiency and accuracy. 

However, it is up to you to take the first step on this journey. While there are other areas of your business that have a strong claim to your attention, ensuring that your hard work translates into due revenue, is the obvious and most vital first step in future-proofing your business and your bottom line. 


Book a demo today and find out how we can help!


Digitally Transforming Your Medicare Sales


The Medicare sales industry in the United States is a highly technical and extremely competitive landscape. As a result, Medicare-focused insurance agents operating within this space need to constantly keep themselves abreast of changes that can influence their position in the market.

Digital transformation is one such change – exerting an ever increasing effect on how businesses operate, especially in a post pandemic world. A new benchmark of customer experience has drastically shifted the goalposts for anyone trying to remain relevant, let alone competitive, in this industry. 

As a Medicare-focussed agent, you’ll be no stranger to the impact of digital transformation, and taking some kind of action in this area has possibly been on your agenda for some time… However, getting up and running here can feel daunting. In this article, we’ll focus on where emerging software and digital tools offer the most advantage and opportunity for businesses exactly like yours. 


Digital Transformation And The Insurance Industry 

It is estimated that over 90% of insurance executives today have a coherent, long-term plan for technology innovation in place

The reason for this is simple: technological innovation has completely transformed the world in which we live, and holds serious ramifications for any industry or business that fails to adapt in time. Beginning in the early 2000’s and accelerating with the rise of social media, digital technologies have come to shape the way consumers engage and interact with brands. Additionally, consumer expectations have shifted and they now expect the companies that they procure services from to meet them where they are, and be available to them exactly when they need them.  

Think for a moment about offerings like digitally signing documents, cloud-based access to documentation, intelligent chatbot assistance, enhanced digital security, and instant claim handling. Tools like these were beginning to show up in the industry a few years ago, however the impact of the pandemic has made these services a point of parity rather than a competitive advantage.

Add to this, the emerging generation that has never had to deal with long lead times, delayed customer service or even submitting physical claim documentation, and it becomes evident how much the parameters have shifted and how critical this paradigm shift is to the longevity of insurance companies operating in the market today. 


What Are The Core Advantages of Digital Transformation For Medicare Sales Agents?

Digital transformation should not be seen as a thorn in the side of those operating in the market today, but rather as a way of adding exponential value to both the business from an internal perspective, and externally from a customer satisfaction perspective. 

Digital tools offer a number of benefits, including:

  1. Enhanced Efficiency

Through Artificial Intelligence and the associated technologies of Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics, every aspect of the insurance business is being optimized for speed. 

Policy writing can be processed and completed in a matter of minutes due to machine learning capabilities, claims can be handled efficiently through app based technology, and even customer service can be delivered through AI-fueled chatbots, live chat and virtual assistants to ensure that the customer has contact with the business exactly when they need it, wherever they need it. 

  1. Improved Personalization

Servicing the individual needs of each customer has become more important than ever, and the implementation of fields like big data and data analytics is paving the way for a personalized experience that is unparalleled in history. Through digital technologies, insurance companies can truly create a one-to-one experience through the ecosystem and customer journey, creating greater satisfaction for clients, and greater efficiency for brokers and businesses. 

  1. Scalable, Future-Proof Systems

Technology such as self-service dashboards, apps and IoT enabled devices and wearables allow insurance companies to build and offer services to clients that both future-proof the business for longevity, and is simultaneously scalable according to customer and market trends. 

  1. Enhanced Profitability 

Due to the ability of digital tools and technology to increase efficiency and efficacy across the value chain, it therefore also allows for enhanced profitability by removing friction points in the system  and contributing to greater Return on Investment. 


Key Areas of Focus For Digital Transformation of Medicare Sales 

When it comes to getting started with digital tools and technology, there are a few areas of focus that produce the greatest outcomes and return on investment for companies. These areas are detailed below: 

  1. Personalization

It is estimated that 80% of customers are more willing to deal with companies that offer a personalized experience, and 90% of customers are willing to share behavioral data in order to ensure a seamless brand experience.

While the above statistics relate to consumer markets in general, they are especially true for services such as Medicare sales, due to the importance of healthcare in the lives of individuals. This therefore lends credence to the call for the implementation of digital technologies in the Medicare sales domain, and highlights the value and benefits of software such as CRM, due to its ability to optimize for impact in the sales funnel process. 

  1. Operational Efficiency

From a Medicare perspective, back office operations such as commission tracking can become a huge obstacle when handled ineffectively. The complicated nature of deals, the amount of time and resources needed, and the expectations of individual agents can all remove efficiency from the process. That is why commission tracking software such as Commissionly can prove vital to ensuring operational efficiency.

  1. Internal Integration

Lastly, the integration of digital tools is imperative to the smooth function of day-to-day business processes, as they remove individual silo’s within the operations and contribute to greater efficiency across the value chain. The Insurance Commission Tracker Tool is one such example, as it offers the ability to connect directly to your carrier’s systems. It enables the bulk upload of all policy details via CSV with custom carrier templates, and automates agent commission splits. This mitigates against the need for manual spreadsheet juggling and ensures a smooth and efficient process through the entire sales funnel.


Digitally transform your Medicare sales.

Medicare sales is a competitive environment that is only set to become more crowded as new entrants and technologies enter the domain. It is therefore imperative that incumbents get ahead of the competition now, in order to ensure the long-term survival (and success) of their business. By putting in place the systems to automate and optimize your processes, you not only meet increasing client expectations, but also free yourself and your agents up to maximize  the potential in the market and ensure that you actually get paid what you are owed.