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Most small to middle size insurance agencies never track their business processes enough to understand how their agency could operate more efficiently, at an overall lower cost, and still grow. Some of them have purchased tools such as CRM tools (customer relationship management tools) lead management tools, and use predictive dialers. These programs will give them the math they need to make sound marketing decisions but often they ignore the math and hope things will work themselves out, (Hope is not a money making process, but it is the #1 leadership tool used by weak leaders. How often do you hear or say this statement? “I was hoping that my staff would do what I needed them to do, but so far they have not.”) As president of Williams Family Agency group this is one of my most important roles.
By using standard core processes and tracking the results of those core processes agencies can answer questions such as:
•· What is the best marketing campaigns for my agency’s sales personality
•· Which of my staff is overpaid and underpaid for what they do in the agency?
•· Where am I wasting money on marketing?
•· What is a real weakness within my agency versus us just being lazy or irresponsible?
What are you tracking in your agency? Answering the following questions can help you determine if you are using effective tracking tools and processes in your agency. This short list is by no means comprehensive enough to build a business plan around, but it will give you a good idea of tracking based weaknesses within your agency. You see each question tells you something about the efficiency of the agency, staff, tracking tools, as well as pointing out training weaknesses within your agency.
•1. How many outbound prospecting calls occur daily in your agency?
•2. How many outbound prospecting emails go out daily in your agency?
•3. How many quotes does each staff person perform daily?
•4. How many sales does each staff person make per quote (Quote to close ratio)?
•5. What is the average premium per sale for each staff person?
•6. What lead sources produce the greatest volume of sales?
•7. How many up-sells and cross-sells occur per endorsement?
Let’s look at some of the questions and the information you get from the numbers
Q1. How many outbound prospecting calls occur daily in your agency?
•· Let’s you know if the agency and/or staff is focused on prospecting tasks (hunter) or a reactive tasks (Gatherer or keeper)
•· Identifies if the agency truly has dedicated Green Time (money making time) or if prospecting it hit or miss in the agency.
•· Identifies if the agency leadership tracks important math based items such as quote to close ratio (How many qualified quotes does a staff person have to complete in order to get one sale?), Calls to contact (How many calls on average does it take to reach a prospect?), and the best times to outbound call.
Solutions: Set aside one hour of uninterrupted time for staff to make outbound prospecting calls, start with x-selling current customers, make the use of a predictive dialer mandatory (for tracking purposes), and use a quote tracking tool. (A spreadsheet will work fine to start with if you don’t have a lead management program. Members – several tracking spreadsheets are provided to you in the library) If you honestly can’t or will not perform outbound prospecting, use one of the available outbound telemarketing services listed on the recommended vendors page of our website. Members – Review the Income training of I.C.E.C.R.E.A.M., review Green Time Tasks for Licensed sales producers (Process 03C), review Predictive Dialer Training (Process 10)
Q2. How many outbound prospecting emails go out daily in your agency?
•· A value based drip email campaign for your agency is an important tool to have in place. It works on behalf of your agency without you having to micromanage it. The key words I used were value based. Send emails that are more important to the customer or prospect than they are to the agency, such as birthday wishes, wedding anniversary wishes, policy weaknesses your agency is focused on addressing this month such as: lack of jewelry protection, no pet insurance with the agency, or no life insurance with the agency. Set up a drip email campaign that touches your customers and prospects about once a month. I know that email marketing companies will tell you to send more often, but surveys from our customers show that once a month is enough without it becoming too much.
Solutions: Take the email addresses that you have in your database and set up birthday email campaign to customers and prospects, and a monthly policy weakness campaign. Members – review the suggested email templates and timelines in the video library (Process 08)
Q3. How many quotes does each staff person perform daily?
•· You can’t sell insurance if you are not quoting! By tracking how many quotes are completed in the agency weekly, you can see the sales trends coming a mile away. If all of your quotes are coming from one staff person, you are building the foundation of your business on that person. That is ok if the agency principal is that person, but if it is a key staff person, what happens to your agency if they decide to leave? Tracking your quote to close ratio will help identify prospecting weaknesses, sales training weakness, and lead source issues within your agency.
Solutions: Use a spreadsheet or an automated tracking tool to identify your quote to close ratio over a one month period. Review your lead sources; do you need to concentrate on more business referral partners, reenergize your customer referral program, or look at different lead sources? Members – A full business tracking log spreadsheet is provided to you on Process 5 Daily activity and sales log, also review Creating Business referral Partners (Process 11C)
Q4. For the sake of space and time I am going to combine several questions into one overview question. Is my agency offering additional protection to my customers when they are servicing them?
•· We have one job as professional insurance agents: To offer the coverage that will best protect our customer’s quality of life should a claim occur! It is not to try and get them the cheapest insurance we can, or to cut out important coverage they need because we have to make a sales goal. I can tell when my staff is doing a great job of having value based conversations because I will see added coverage such as: increased rental car coverage on customers with new cars, lock and key coverage on a renter’s policy, increased building property coverage on condo policies, business interruption insurance on commercial policies, etc., This lets me know that the staff within that agency is spotting a weakness on a customer’s policy and more importantly they are pointing it out to the customer. All customers are price sensitive because no one wants to pay for coverage that will not protect them when a claim occurs. If your staff is only quoting apples to apples and they never point out a policy weakness when servicing a customer, they are not building agency value in the customer’s mind.
All things being equal a prospect will always go with the lowest price. What type of sales and service training is occurring in your agency so that your conversations are not equal to the cheaper competitor down the street?
Solutions: Role play at least once a week on how to spot policy weaknesses and how to bring them up to the customer when doing an endorsement or a policy review Members – review the DecisionFlow Handout on Process 01C, and continue to role play in your agency.
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