How to Instill a Sales and Growth Culture within your Agency

YoungAgentsThis blog post is part of a series written by members of the IIANC Young Agents Committee.

Guest Post By: Cameron Annas, CIC – Granite Insurance, Granite Falls, NC

Don’t we all LOVE to see revenue and profitability growth within our agencies?  While we all love to see this growth, according to Reagan Consulting’s “Organic Growth and Profitability” quarterly survey, the independent agency system only registered a 4.4% growth in the third quarter of 2015.  This number has decreased from 6.0% in 2014.  In the below table, you will see two hypothetical insurance agencies.  Both of the insurance agencies do a great job of retention, keeping 95% of their current revenue on the books from current clients.  However, you will notice that Agency #2 has three times the “net” growth as Agency #1.  So what is the difference?  New business! New Sales! New Clients! However you want to phrase it, it all boils down that Agency #2 harnesses a growth and sales culture throughout their entire agency!  So, what are some key characteristics of instilling a sales and growth culture within your agency?

Agency #1 Agency #2
Retention % of Revenue 95% 95%
New Business % of Revenue 10% 20%
“Net” Growth 5% 15%

 

  1. Designate a Sales Manager. Agencies that are focused on extreme growth have someone to lead this initiative. In a perfect scenario, this sales manager should be someone who can inspire, plan and execute a plan of growth and new business.  This does not mean that you have to go out and hire a sales manager to do solely this task.  In fact, for most insurance agencies this would not be the most efficient move.  However, what about one of your producers that always leads the pack in new business?  Are they a leader?  Do they inspire your other sales staff?  Are they a team player?  If so, you may have just found your new sales manager.  Bottom line- get someone to “own” the task of growth and new sales.
  1. Plan! The Sales Manager should help initiate and direct planning for your producers for year 2016 goals. What do these goals look like?  I find a lot of agencies simply ask, “What is your new business revenue goal?”  However, the planning process should be much more detailed and intentional than this.  For example, what specific industries does the producer plan to focus in?  What is the average revenue per account that the producer would like to achieve?  How many accounts would the producer like to land this upcoming year?  (The number of accounts goal X average revenue per account goal should equal their new business goal for the upcoming year).  Bottom line- if we do not have benchmarks and measurements for our sales team, how can we make sure they are achieving all the dreams and goals they wish to accomplish?
  1. Inform! It is essential that the whole agency staff is on board and in the mindset of growth and new business!  For example, the account managers that work on the producer’s team should be knowledgeable of the producer’s new business goal for the year.  They should also be kept up to date monthly of the percentage to goal progress.  In fact, why would everyone not be aware of the producer’s goal and year-to-date progress?  Let’s harness a growth culture and thrive on the success of the team in landing new business!

While the above is only 3 short characteristics of how to instill a growth and sales culture within your agency, I would encourage you all to think outside the box.  One solution does not work for every agency.  However, what is most important is that each member of the staff truly enjoys coming to work every day!  A true level of success is whenever your clients can see through every one of your staff’s actions that you are passionate about making sure their business has the maximum opportunity for success and fulfill their dreams, no matter what!  Until next time folks!

 

cannasCameron Annas is a Business Risk Consultant on the Granite Insurance team.  Cameron is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a double major in Risk Management and Insurance; Finance and Banking.  Cameron has his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and serves clients in all regions throughout the United States.  He specializes in providing risk management solutions to the challenge course/zip line industry and also the manufacturing industry.  Cameron is able to apply unique risk management strategies to an organization in order to help minimize their total cost of risk while protecting their assets and boosting their bottom line.  Outside of work, Cameron enjoys hiking, biking, running and anything else that has to do with being active and outside.