Now that the new year is upon us (and your busy renewal season is done!), it’s time to look ahead to 2017. You’ve likely evaluated performance from last year and set 2017 sales goals. Have you defined how you will meet these goals?
There are many strategies you can use to boost sales, but the beginning of the year is a particularly good time to examine your insurance sales processes. Why? While you undoubtedly have standard sales processes in place, there is always room for improvement. And because your insurance sales processes can significantly impact sales performance, you should consider evaluating your current processes and looking for areas to adjust. This blog will share tips for effectively evaluating your processes and tweaking to boost sales production.
Look at the data
The best place to start is with metrics and data from 2016. Not only do you have a whole year of data, you also just finished your busiest season, which can yield some important insights. Consider data such as:
- What was your close ratio? Does it vary widely between producers or among different types of employers?
- What sales stage are prospects most likely to stall? Are there patterns you can look to address with process tweaks?
- How well did producers follow your existing sales processes in 2016? Are there areas that were consistently overlooked or forgotten?
- Did you meet your sales goal? Additionally, did individual producers meet their goal? If not, try to parse out why.
Talk to your producers
Of course, sales is people-focused, so you can’t get the whole story just by looking at your data. Another great way to ascertain areas of weakness or opportunities for improvement is by talking to your producers. Ask them questions like:
- Are there parts of your sales process that they feel are unnecessary, or could be improved? Get specifics.
- Give examples of when they struggled to close a deal. Is it because of the group size/type, an objection that was tough to overcome, an inability to show the value of switching or something else?
- Are there areas that producers would like more help or guidance?
Once you’ve gathered all the data from last year and talked to your producers, it’s time to evaluate and make decisions. Look at your areas of weakness according to the numbers, and see if they match up with what producers told you. Likewise, see if what your producers told you bears out in the data.
Change itself can be overwhelming and tough to manage, so you definitely don’t want to implement too much change to existing sales processes. Instead, identify a couple areas of opportunity you feel producers would benefit most from, and look for ways to support your team. For instance, if you identified a particular objection that several producers find hard to overcome, consider how you can address the issue. Perhaps mock demonstrations or mentorship would help, or maybe you need to rethink your agency story and pitch.
Changing your sales process isn’t something you should take lightly. Let the data inform your decisions and think about the impact to producers before making a change. For more tips and strategies for starting 2017 strong, be sure to check out this resource.