Super Agent

Chicken-and-Egg Debate

We often see agencies get trapped in a vicious cycle that plays out like this:

-Producers aren’t producing
-Pipelines are empty
-There is a lack of belief or confidence that producers can fill their pipelines
-Agency leaders choose to do one of two things:

  • Provide training to producers with the expectation that they will sell more
  • Hire a group of telemarketers to fill producer pipelines

So, which investment comes first? Do you invest in helping agents get better, or do you hire a business development person/team to generate leads. The problem with option one: What good does it do if you have a flood of new business appointments but your sales team can’t execute an effective sales process? The problem with option two: What good does it do if you have the best sales team in the world, but they never have a first appointment?

Focusing on only one tactic will likely lead to frustration and disappointment—agencies should focus on both simultaneously in order to set producers up to succeed.

How? Here are 5 steps to consider:

1.  Cultivate lead development and nurturing strategies—agencies have a choice to make here.

  • Outsource, or hire an inside business development person/team making sure that they are representing the agency brand, qualifying right-fit prospects, and successfully positioning producers for first appointments.
  • Train producers to employ an effective messaging and lead generation strategy that piques curiosity, and measure key performance activities

2.  Implement a consistent, repeatable and effective sales process. In addition to providing structure, and strengthening your brand, it also ensures that prospects and clients enjoy a consistent experience when engaging with the agency.

3.  Adopt a process for evaluating producer abilities (non-revenue indicators of success and selling skills) as well as revenue generation.

4.  Mentor and coach, then hold producers accountable. Top producers will lead during the sales process, learn the skills to align resources, goals and objectives of all stakeholders (agent, agency, prospect) and demonstrate how they create value for businesses.

There are no magic bullet solutions for helping producers achieve success, but if you take a, thoughtful, process-driven and comprehensive approach instead of getting caught up in the debate of which comes first, there is greater opportunity for improved outcomes.

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