For most agencies, the cornerstone goal in 2017 is likely new business written, allocated by producer.
“In 2017 we’ill grow 15 percent; each producer will write $125k+ in new business.”
Seems like a logical place to focus, right? Not so fast.
First, there is no sense of urgency. Next, because the goal set has no real basis, nobody believes in it. Because nobody believes in it, there's no accountability or consequences when it isn't hit. As a result, the goal is nothing more than a suggestion.
The root problem with this approach is that it pays little attention to the activities that lead to new sales. To improve odds for success, make your primary focus the activity that allows the final goal to be achieved.
Sales isn't the job
Your primary goal must shift to opportunities created, both quality and quantity.
Two sources, one goal
Leads come from two basic sources: Marketing efforts and salespeople (a.k.a., prospecting). It's time to establish a coordinated goal for both.
Start with the following:
Agency growth goal – It's still important. Let's assume $500,000.
Average account size – Assume $10,000/year/revenue.
New accounts written – You need 50.
Close ratio – If your close ratio is 20 percent, you need 250 leads.
“In 2017, we will create 250 new, ‘ideal opportunities.’”
Here's why this is a more appropriate cornerstone goal:
You can break it down to five leads/week, creating a sense of urgency.
You get buy-in because it's based on past results (close ratio).
Accountability and consequences become easier because it's immediately measurable.
With accountability and consequences, stuff gets done.
Who will do what?
While marketing efforts take longer, they are the most predictable generator of leads over time. Conversely, prospecting, while less predictable, is a quicker path. Decide how much of your growth needs to be driven by marketing and how much by prospecting. Let's assume 50-50.
Marketing's primary goal should be the creation of 125 “ideal” leads. Secondary goals could include website visitors, conversions, marketing-qualified leads, etc.
Prospecting's main goal should be 125 “ideal” leads (divided among producers). Secondary goals could include cold calls, referral conversations with clients, etc.
It's a new ballgame
The 2017 game is lead generation via a combination of marketing and prospecting. Play at a high level and you’ll blow through your growth goal.
Of course, goals mean nothing without execution.
Have you armed your producers with the training, sales process and value proposition to prospect with confidence?
Have you developed a marketing strategy capable of actually generating leads?
If you can't answer yes to both questions with absolute confidence, it's time to get “game ready.”
Kevin Trokey is founding partner and coach at St. Louis-based Q4intelligence, a business, sales and marketing consulting firm working with insurance agencies. Contact him at (314) 436-7171, check out his LinkedIn profile and follow him on Twitter @kevintrokey.
Originally published on BenefitsPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.