As insurance agents and brokers face a growing hard market with uncontrollable macroeconomic factors, it’s more important than ever to proactively cultivate an organic growth mindset within your sales culture.
The fastest growing firms are consistently driving double-digit organic growth – but it didn’t happen overnight. Strong commitment and systematic, strategic planning helps build a culture that encourages all employees, from executives to support staff, to focus on increasing new business production, generating profitability and driving growth.
Even more important to a growing a firm is the need to successfully develop, train and perpetuate the next generation of producer talent who will succeed those seasoned producers moving up or retiring.
Producers are the lifeblood of a firm
Sales producers are responsible for pumping in qualified, new business that makes continued growth a reality. They’re the feet on the street, communicating your firm’s core values to clients and prospects. Their ability to attract new business, maintain existing accounts and “hunt” for qualified prospects drives the sales life cycle.
So, what happens when producers hit a wall? Most firms at some point experience a bottleneck in the sales process. But most leaders feel constrained or helpless as they examine their sales culture and recognize those individual producers that don’t produce or validate quickly enough. That’s when leaders turn to the annual sales meeting as the source for inspiration, motivation and (hopefully) results that drive organic growth. But what they really need is a road map – with a strategy to deploy a sustainable, repeatable sales process – that includes purposeful planning, goal setting and continuous producer training.
Reinventing the annual sales kick-off meeting
Most producers tell us that their sales meetings are a complete waste of time and annual kick-offs (if a firm has one) are just social events with very little outcome.
But that doesn’t mean you should abandon the kick-off meeting – you just need a better plan for improving the effectiveness of it. As a leader, you probably spend a great deal of time planning sales growth goals. Your sales growth is the most instrumental component of your business for long-term success – and you want to give your salespeople a clear plan for reaching those goals. And the annual sales kick-off meeting is the right time to communicate those goals to the whole team.
One of the most missed opportunities prior to the annual kick-off meeting is providing upfront training to producers. Without it, producers are left with misunderstandings or confusion around expectations for the meeting and spend most of the meeting just getting up-to-speed on the agenda and basic goals.
The right producer sales training can help set expectations for your organization’s sales process, value proposition, proven techniques, individual goals and measurements for success. All of which help create more producer accountability and help them understand how sales meetings and kick-offs help them sell more new business.
Once producers are aligned with your sales growth goals, clearly defining the purpose of a sales meeting and laying out a crystal clear agenda helps prepare your team and get them excited about the event and the year to come.
Measuring the success of your producers
Organic growth and sales velocity are the leading indicators of a firm’s future success. But what indicators can you use to measure producer success? Most firms only measure their producers’ performance based on data they have on the other producers within their firm or a producers prior year performance. While this approach may work at the beginning, it does introduce limitations. A firm might not have many employees to compare against or they could be newer with no real baseline to measure. Then there are firms that have super star producers that make all other producers look poor. But is this a true measure of producer growth?
MarshBerry offers comprehensive training and benchmarking at Producer Academy
Whether you are looking to train a new sales producer in the art of insurance sales, or develop an entire sales management team to help accelerate producer validation, MarshBerry’s Producer Academy can provide tailored solutions to build and maintain sustainable sales practices and strategies.
These live, instructor-led training workshops are intended to help producers get on track to validation through proven selling techniques, strategic goal setting, and data-based success measurements.
Additionally, through MarshBerry’s proprietary financial benchmarking database, Perspectives for High Performance (PHP), participants at Producer Academy have the opportunity to see how they rank against industry benchmarks. This proprietary tool can shed light on whether your producers are growing at the rate of other similar producers in the industry.
If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint or would like to learn more about Producer Academy and how to gain a competitive edge in your organic growth strategy, email or call Don Folino, Vice President, at 440.220.4105.
Producer Academy – Reserve Your Spot in Nashville!
It takes skilled people to accelerate your firm’s growth. MarshBerry’s Producer Academy is designed for insurance agency/broker new hires and producers looking to sharpen their skills, and to help get sales producers on track to validate and increase new business production. Space is limited for this 1 ½ day session that begins on November 1. Register today!