Why is using technology to improve service to the agent distribution network so important? Our readers tell us that one of their chief concerns is agency attrition. One source quoted in this month's cover story talks about an 80% agent attrition rate within three years - that's a powerful number. Is it a question of insurance companies not understanding what agents need? Or is it a question of producers being unwilling or ill-equipped to adopt the technology necessary to compete in today's marketplace?Jeff Yates, executive director of the Agents Council for Technology at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, suggests carriers can improve channel management by first seeking to understand the channel's challenges. To succeed, producers-especially those working with multiple carriers-must automate their processes while moving to a paperless environment and taking advantage of real-time rating systems. In the process, they can boost efficiency and productivity.

Industry analysts maintain that responsibility falls to carriers to use standards and technologies that will make doing business easier for producers. The producers that embrace standards and technologies to improve sales performance will succeed.

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