If you’re an agency owner or higher-up with multiple insurance sales agents under your purview, you’ve got three clear charges:
- Ensuring that your team is working toward the same goals.
- Providing quality training and continuing education.
- Determining how to best arrange your team to maximize talent and abilities.
This means you need to think about how to structure your team philosophically, consistently and logistically. Let’s look at each challenge separately.
Having a Common Goal
Perhaps the most important part of structuring a sales team is making sure they are clear on your agency’s primary goal as well as any important sub-goals. (If you haven’t already clarified them, see our post on identifying your agency’s values, vision and mission for more ideas.)
For instance, if your top goal is to provide consistent and excellent customer service, you’ll want a strong, dedicated sales manager. This person should not only make sure all new employees get the same information and training, but also actively evaluate each team’s work to see if it is up to par. If, however, your top goal is to maximize sales, you might allow each sales representative a little more leeway in how they accomplish that goal. In that case, you might choose to forgo a sales manager and use the money you would have spent on their salary for cash and other incentives instead.
Being clear on your common goal will help you determine how to allocate your resources and help to ensure that you and your sales crew are all rowing the boat in the same direction.
Training & Continuing Education
What is your employee onboarding process like? How well do you train new employees? Do you build in time for them to practice and learn at the beginning, or expect them to hit the ground running and figure it out on their own?
Making an investment in training and continuing education will cost you time and money, but it can pay off in terms of creating agency consistency and employee satisfaction. Well-trained, competent agents and support staff build trust with your clients—an important commodity in insurance sales. And supported employees tend to be loyal employees; it is often cheaper, in the long run, to invest in your current agents rather than deal with the disruption and hassle of bringing on new people regularly.
Creating a training and continuing education program tells your staff that you value them while also ensuring that your customers are dealing with top-notch insurance professionals and receiving consistent service.
Configuring Your Team/s
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to deciding how your staff can best work together to sell insurance. Many agencies choose to go with a pod model where a set of accounts are assigned to a group of staff members with the skills needed to manage all aspects of those particular accounts; this could include account executives, customer service reps, an IT troubleshooter and more.
Other agencies create groupings based on specialization—one sales team might focus on homeowner’s insurance, while another might be the experts on life insurance. Or it could be skill specialization, pairing a salesperson who is great at explaining confusing coverages with another who has excellent closing skills and a detail-oriented admin person who ties up the loose ends.
As you consider the model that works best for your agency, be sure to think about its sustainability. You don’t want to build your structure around specific individuals who might move on without warning or tie it to a particular software or technology that could become obsolete.
Thoughtfully choosing how to configure your sales teams can help service your clients well, further your mission, and improve your bottom line.
When you’ve got a plan for how to configure your sales team/s, put it to one more test: is the way they are oriented, trained, and organized going to work for your customers? Because in the end, servicing them is what matters most.
Looking for fresh insurance leads to grow your agency’s book? Call Hometown Quotes at 800.820.2981 to find out how we can help support your sales teams with pre-qualified insurance shoppers.