I am surprised when I find out that some sales organizations, especially in the insurance world, don't require their sales people to create a plan for the year. Often it’s the sales leadership team that sets the sales goal or quota for the year.
Let’s be clear - a quota is not a plan.
By definition, a plan should identify where you are at currently, where you are going and the steps necessary to get you there. In the case of sales people, there are 5 key components to a successful plan:
1. Assessment - The plan should start with a complete analysis of where the sales person is at. It should assess their results over the past year and then evaluate current sales skills, technical skills and their general business skills.
2. Identify Goals - The plan should identify sales goal as well as other critical indicators they will be striving toward to meet that goal, i.e. Conversion Rate, Closing Rate, Ideal Client Profile, Revenue per Relationship/Sale, Total New Sales Goal, Number of Referrals
3. Personal Development - The plan should also include a personal development component. This is where you revisit the first step. Once you an assessment completed, you have the foundation for a good personal development plan. This should include ways in which you will improve your sales skills, increase your technical skills and build your business skills.
4. Marketing - The plan should include your marketing approach. How will you go about identifying suspects? How will you turn suspects into prospects? What will be your approach to becoming more involved in the community? Additional items to consider:
- Niche or niches to build suspect lists
- Number of cold calls per week
- Center of Influence Development
- Association Involvement
- Non Profit Board Involvement
- Natural Network Connections
5. Habits - The plan should include any habits you need to improve upon, as well as any habits you should stop because they are detrimental to your success. In addition, there should be a clear accountability component included - how you will make this plan a reality.
Take the time to work on your business. It will take an investment of time, but in the end you will be more productive and more focused as you enter 2013.
The Author, Gregg Goodmanson, is a Vertical Growth Advisor with Sitkins International.
Perpetuation is one of the biggest problems facing Independent Insurance Agencies/Brokerages today. It is not a matter of who will buy the Agency/Brokerage in the future, but also who is going to lead the Agency/Brokerage and continue the legacy that has been built.
The Future Leaders Program has been designed for next generation leaders in the business, or strong producers in the company that may take over the business.
We will be dealing with the following topics from the ground up starting with the basics and incorporating more complex concepts.
For more information on the Future Leaders Program contact Sitkins International today!
One of the early analogies we used in our selling system is the Insurance and Risk Management. If you look at an iceberg, only about 10% of it is visible above the water; 90% is below the water. Like an iceberg, the majority of insurance and risk management is largely unseen. It's easy to forget it's there because it's below the waterline, out of sight. With insurance, Product and Price are above the waterline and all the Value-Added Risk Management Strategies are below the waterline.
Most agents only discuss the above the waterline items, the product and price. However, that happens just one day a year — the renewal date — when the insurance company reveals what it is offering and how much it will cost.
What's infinitely more important is what happens the other 364 days a year below the waterline. It's what's going on there that ultimately makes a difference above the waterline with the product and price. So if you're only selling above the waterline on product and price, you're making a couple of major mistakes. First, you're not seeing the whole picture and second, you're facing a ton of competition because that's what the average gents do. You're basically playing the game the way everyone else does.
Excluding luck (yours) and stupidity (an underwriter's), the only way to affect pricing is by doing those things that reduce risk. Where are you selling? Above or below the waterline?
The Author, Roger Sitkins, is the Founder and Chairman of Sitkins International.