If you look beyond the surface and dissect the performance of your producer team, it is often an eye-opening experience but uncovering the data and analytics for your sales team is an essential practice in building a high performing sales team. Most insurance sales leaders report on year over year results, sales YTD against plan, how their team is doing against other sales divisions or peers in the industry, and new business. What isn’t typically discussed (and metrics your agency should take a close look at) is:
- Over 90% results are probably coming from 36% of the producers.
- The bottom 36% of the sales team is responsible for less than 4% of total sales.
- Of the last 4 hires – only 1 of them is doing better than the people they replaced.
- The company could eliminate the bottom 36% and increase profitability significantly.
- Many senior producers are not performing nearly as well as some of the newer salespeople.
The challenge most insurance firms have is the answer to the question: Are we growing and acquiring new relationships from existing clients and new clients? If that answer is no or not enough, it needs to be addressed.
The Importance of Ongoing Sales Training
The importance of ongoing sales training can be substantiated by the data and analytics of your sales team noted above, but how does an effective insurance agency leader and coach go about addressing these problems? Here are 3 methods to implement ongoing sales training immediately.
- Speed to failure – With new agents, sales managers must find out quickly if both of the producer and the manager made the right decision. In the hiring process, the sales manager making the offer must let the new hire know everything they are going to have to go through, what numbers they will be managed to and what is expected in the first 90 days and the following 6 months. That is the basis of ongoing sales training and coaching. New producers should be followed closely for both effort and execution so that any gaps can be addressed and coached.
- Conversation is KING – Despite all the technology that is available to help agents create opportunities, nothing yet has replaced the value of quality conversations, sales coaching and training. Agency leaders must have a very high standard for training, practice and preparation before they put people out into the market. The importance of ongoing sales training starts at day 1 establishing regular one on one coaching sessions, demonstrating and observing the new hire in sales scenarios, prior to being in the field.
- Sales technology should make it easy for salespeople to communicate to suspects, prospects and clients. It should be easy to use and provide extremely useful information for the sales manager as well as producers. It should drive salespeople to consistently follow the company sales process and it should provide the sales leader with the sales data and analytics to coach that person to improvement. Sales technology is an important component of effective ongoing sales training. It is substantiated that top “elite”
producers follow a stage-based selling process. This allows the producer and the coach to identify if there are areas needing improvement and coaching.
Taking a close look at the data and analytics of sales and then implementing ongoing sales training, whether it is in house or with an external sales training firm, will go a long way to helping companies improve their sales environment and productivity of the entire team.