Skip to main content

Navigating technology: Creating digital referral partnerships

November 27, 2023

You possess an asset in your network of referral partners, which typically includes financial advisors, community banks, mortgage brokers, auto dealers and Realtors. As a tech forward agency, you have the opportunity to extend your sales and service tools to these partners, creating mutually beneficial relationships and expanding your business. Let’s explore strategies and considerations for you to leverage your technologies, enabling referral partners to seamlessly send business your way. By embracing this approach, you can tap into new revenue streams and strengthen your agency’s position in the market.

Identify ideal referral partners

The first step in extending technologies for referral partnerships is to identify potential referral partners that align with your target market and share a common customer base. Financial advisors, community banks, mortgage brokers, auto dealers, and Realtors are excellent starting points. Research local businesses and professionals who cater to the same clientele and have a vested interest in ensuring their customers have appropriate insurance coverage.

Assess technological compatibility

Once you have identified potential referral partners and established a rapport with them, it is crucial to assess the technological compatibility between your agency and those partners. Evaluate your existing sales and service tools, such as client management systems, quoting platforms, and policy management software, to ensure they are adaptable and scalable for integration with external partners.

Consider investing in cloud-based solutions that offer flexibility and ease of integration. This allows for seamless data sharing and collaboration, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors or delays. It is important to note that with any arrangement that includes sharing data across platforms and parties, you and your partners should involve legal counsel to draft appropriate acknowledgement and consent forms that your clients acknowledge and agree.

Develop a referral partner web experience

To facilitate the seamless exchange of information and streamline the referral process, consider developing a referral partner web experience on your agency’s website. This online platform can serve as a central hub where referral partners can easily submit leads and track the progress of their referrals. The page should be user-friendly, intuitive and accessible from any device. Again, work with the appropriate legal counsel to draft appropriate acknowledgements.

Within the referral partner web experience, incorporate features such as lead submission forms, document sharing capabilities and real-time status updates. This enables referral partners to efficiently refer clients to your agency and stay informed throughout the sales and service process. Implement automated notifications to keep partners informed of any updates or milestones reached, ensuring transparency and effective communication.

Provide training and support

To ensure a successful integration of technologies and maximize the benefits of your partnerships, it is crucial to provide comprehensive training and ongoing support. Offer training sessions or webinars to educate partners on how to utilize the referral partner landing page and effectively refer clients to your agency. Provide them with resources such as user guides, FAQs and a dedicated support team to address any questions or concerns.

Additionally, establish a feedback loop with referral partners to gather insights on their experience with the technology. Regularly solicit their feedback and suggestions for improvement, as this fosters a collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship. You can deploy customer satisfaction, customer experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to keep track of sentiment over time.

Promote the tech and human benefits to referral partners

To encourage referral partners to actively engage, it is essential to highlight the technological and human resource benefits they will gain.

Emphasize the advantages of referring clients to your agency, such as competitive insurance products, personalized service and a seamless customer experience. Showcase the efficiency and convenience that the integrated technologies bring to the referral process, saving partners time and effort.

Communicate the potential financial benefits of the partnership if there are any applicable referral fees. Highlight how referring clients to your agency can enhance their reputation as trusted advisors and provide additional value to their customers.

Utilize various marketing channels, such as email newsletters, texting, social media posts and direct communication, to regularly update referral partners on the success stories and positive outcomes resulting from the initiative. This reinforces the value of collaboration and encourages continued engagement.

By extending technologies to enable referral partners to send business your way, you can unlock new revenue streams and strengthen your market position. Through technological integration, the development of referral partner web experiences and ongoing support and training allows you to streamline the referral process, enhance collaboration, and provide exceptional service to shared customers. By promoting the benefits of the partnership and cultivating a culture of collaboration, you can harness the power of digital referral partners to drive growth, expand your customer base and create true differentiation in the competitive landscape.


  • The information included in this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, including subject matter experts, to help users address their own risk management and insurance needs. It does not and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the suggestions. Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2023 Nationwide