Assuming that you actually have goals in all areas of your agency, attaining them is huge. As part of your NO B.S. (Non-Optional Behaviors and Strategies) business plan, you should have one-year and three-year plans for the following Key Performance Indicators.
The big question here: What percentage of your producers met or exceeded their sales goals in 2016? In the average agency, it’s a fairly small percentage. If you’re an agency owner and you can’t tell me that well over 80% of your producers exceeded their goals, that should be a big red flag! Unfortunately, in most agencies it’s half that number—or less.
This tells me one of two things. Either the sales managers are doing a very poor job of setting goals or they’re setting unrealistic goals. For example, “Everyone will do $100,000 of new commission income this year!” For veteran producers, that figure may be too low. But for others, such as newer producers and underperforming RIPs (“retired in place” producers), it’s way too high. Therefore, goal setting must be personal: an individual, one-on-one challenge to excel. Note the word “challenge.” You don’t want to set the bar too low. Rather, you want to set stretch goals, provided they’re reasonable.
Yes, yes, yes—of course you know all about creating a culture of accountability, because we talk about it in almost every article! But if you’ve heard it before and still haven’t done it, you might want to get your hearing checked.
Holding people accountable to do what they say they’re going to do is simple and straightforward, yet it’s so rarely done. Unless you establish and implement a culture of accountability, it’s nothing more than a good idea. That’s why it’s so important to identify exactly what employees should be doing, and then have monthly reviews using Reverse Performance Management (RPM), which we’ve discussed before. With RPM, employees “report up” to their manager,based on the goals and behavioral improvements to which they have agreed.
So yes, there is a Better Way. But first you must establish clear goals for employees and then make them accountable for reaching them. The Three 100s make it easier to remember the steps you’ll want to follow, and I hope they will become a part of your agency moving forward.
As always, it’s your choice.
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