Agency Performance Partners


Posted on July 3, 2023 by Kelly Donahue Piro

Let’s be honest. Sales Training for insurance agents is HARD, exhausting, and defeating – especially with sales professionals. 

There are stats that say 73% of salespeople fail. With those stats, doesn’t it make you want to go out and find a producer? 

Here is the reality: oftentimes in growing agencies, producers fail because we fail to properly onboard and train them. Now, there is the idea that salespeople should be go-getters, study 24/7, and get after it. 

Yes, but…

Salespeople are also often disorganized, bad at following directions, and need attention. In many agencies, everyone is out producing to fund a new producer, and too often new salespeople are left to get their own license, take webinars, sit with someone, and then are told to sell. 

When we hire new account managers we train them and give them things to do slowly. We ramp them up. For salespeople, we tend to have a sink-or-swim mentality. 

In order to really help a producer be successful, you will want to onboard them, train them, and give them a career path.

Remember a bad hire or onboarding costs you and the candidate. Let us help you in this blog give you the tools you need to help train a new producer. 

Common Reasons Insurance Agencies Struggle With Training

Man, do you ever feel like a training failure? You know when you hear from your new team member they didn’t know something, they never learned that or they learned it wrong. It makes you question everything! 

Sales training for insurance agents is a journey, not a destination. Everyone learns differently and let’s be honest, not everyone is a good trainer. 

Most of the time your team doesn’t have the time to really train anyone else. So how can we overcome our top training challenges? 

Let us spill our training tea…

  • Training Challenge 1: Time 

Is there ever enough time? Heck no! This is one of those items though that I struggle with. 

We have no time, so we don’t take the time to train someone new who can help. 

Do you know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The reality is the training of a new person must be a priority. A trainer that is distracted ruins the training experience. 

Watch our latest 3 Minute Video On How To Find Time to Train Your Team

  • Training Challenge 2: Training Plan 

Sales training for insurance agents happens best sequentially. However, in many agencies, we train based on what is happening that day or what is coming in through the door. 

It is much easier for you to work your training plant rather than randomize it based on what is happening. 

  • Training Challenge 3: Documentation 

Have you ever noticed that everyone is doing something slightly different? Imagine being a trainee and having 898098 logins and then everyone shows them a different way to do things. 

You need processes and procedures so that everyone is doing the same thing and that the trainee can go back to reference what they should be doing. 

You may be surprised when done really well your trainee may catch process violations. 

  • Training Challenge 4: Who’s In Charge 

At APP we try to have every new team member have a buddy. Their buddy is the person they go to for random questions and the buddy is in charge of checking in. 

Their manager sets the training plan, monitors it, and manages it to make sure they are on track. New people rarely feel comfortable going to their new manager with an issue. 

  • Training Challenge 5: Patience 

Ohh man do I wish I had more patience. I think that we can export my brain and in 1 week they should be up to speed but it’s not that simple. 

We have processes and software and then we have to learn it for each carrier. You need to remember the FFT (Freaking First Time) and that the person needs to do the same thing 10 times for each company. 

Sales training for insurance agents takes time. 

“As adults, we often forget how hard learning something new is. In fact, as adults when is the last time you learned something boldly new? Think about learning a new language – that’s what new trainees are doing when they get trained in a new position.”

  • Training Challenge 6: Milestones 

Now don’t get me wrong sometimes you make a bad hire. It happens. 

I’ve done it, you’ve done it. Knowing when to cut bait is important. You can’t want the training more than the team member does. 

Milestones identify where people should be in the process. When you know they should be able to quote a monoline auto by a certain date then if they can’t that has to be evaluated. Was the training process followed? Are they capable? 

Sales training for insurance agents has challenges but our checklist will help you identify a great plan that supports the new candidate and your team. 

Remember: a well-trained team member yields the best results. 

Sales Training Checklist For Training Objectives

I remember when I first got into banking. They shipped us off for 3 weeks 45 minutes away for teller training. 

It was great! We carpooled, learned new things in a “faux bank” and had the time to skin our news and learn together. It was awesome. 

Now fast forward to a typical agency. A team member starts on the first day and we hope their desk is clean. We don’t all have the bandwidth to spend 3 weeks in intense training – heck the bank had a training team. A whole team. 

Many agencies are training out of desperation not preparation. 

Clear Expectations For New Hires

As you are working on sales training for insurance agents, it’s also critical that you outline your expectations when you hire a new team member. 

What may be normal and natural for you may be very different for them. Everyone comes from a diverse background and skill set. Because of this training expectations can easily be lost. 

In all of our offer letters, we recommend you insert the following language:


  • We expect that you take this position incredibly seriously; the company will be investing a lot into you and the position. 
  • We expect that you take initiative, take notes, stay focused, and ask questions. 
  • We expect that you will also invest your time in webinars, reading, and self-study to learn the role.
  • We expect you to assimilate into the culture of the sales team by focusing, listening, and diligently checking your work. 
  • When representing the agency, we expect you to dress appropriately and use appropriate language. 
  • This is your opportunity to perform; we expect you to bring your A-game every single day. 

If the role is contingent on getting licensed or selling a certain amount it should be upfront your expectation, deadline, and consequence. I find in insurance we are often far too focused on rewards when instead we should be upfront about the consequences. 

Training Outline

People love a plan. Right? Don’t you feel better with a plan?

Many salespeople love to wing it – they are comfortable getting their way through things without a plan. It makes them good at their job. 

However,  just because they are comfortable doesn’t mean it’s right. Even sales professionals need a plan. 

To create your training outline you want to think about 90 days of training. 

Why 90? Well, most new team members have 90 days to make it or break it, or at least to have a review. 

Now each person will come to you with different skills and backgrounds. Someone with a license is different from someone who is learning insurance. 

We want to give you 2 training outlines for experience vs. non-experience. 

No Experience 

  • Licensing
  • Policy standards
  • Management System
  • Outbound calls to unsold quotes
  • Quote information
  • Outbound calls to lost customers
  • Quoting over the phone
  • Outbound calls to monoline quotes
  • Binding 
  • Networking & prospecting
  • Carrier Appetites 

With Insurance Experience 

  • Policy standards
  • Management System
  • Outbound calls to unsold quotes
  • Quote information
  • Outbound calls to lost customers
  • Quoting over the phone
  • Outbound calls to monoline quotes
  • Binding 
  • Networking & prospecting
  • Carrier Appetites 

Need help with your team’s training on Winning Back Unsold Quotes? We have the answer for you:

New call-to-action

Now you may be shocked that the lists are similar – because they are!

We often think experienced people can bi-pass training they cannot and should not. Now an experienced person will go through the training faster but the outline is shockingly the same!

Weekly Plan

Once you break down what needs to be trained on and your expectations the next step is to break down the plan. 

No matter if someone is brand new to sales or a veteran we HIGHLY recommend that the sales insurance agent has a weekly plan. 

In fact, we have provided our sample weekly plan for you to download:

weekly producer plan

Producers who come in on Monday with no plan will do the following:

  • Distract your team
  • Focus on service
  • End up putting out fires
  • Not prospect
  • Fail to hit their goals

When training someone in sales, they need to take your training plan and each week submit their own plans. They need to take the responsibility of maintaining and managing their destiny. 

Your job as a leader is to check the plan and provide feedback each week. As a new team member, this is the weekly check-in they have with their leader. 

Structure is not micromanagement. Clarity is kind. The more clear you are with your expectations and accountability the more everyone will thrive. 

Training Sign Off

There are 3 major components in training:

  • Clarity on what needs to be trained
  • A trainer that is a good communicator, allows for discussion, and is patient
  • A student that listens, takes notes, engages, and tries

Since there are 3 variables that always means there is room for a ball to be dropped. Often times the person with the most experience may actually be the worst sales trainer. 

Simply put, they forget what it’s like to be new!

We have created a training sign-off that you can use:


Position: Account Manager

Major Job Objectives Current Expectations Date Trained Carrier  Sign off By Employee & Trainer
Process Endorsements To process endorsements with accuracy within the same.  Follow up to make sure they have been processed. Enter information into the management system.
Processing Cancellations Handle processing cancellations and sending certificate cancellation letters. 
Call non-payments Call clients who will be canceled for non-payment three days prior to cancellation. 
Create Binders/proof of insurance Create accurate Binders/proof of insurance and send them to the clients in a timely fashion.
Accord Forms and Supplemental Apps Learn how to accurately complete supplemental apps and Accord forms. 
Billing questions and online payments To research and handle the billing questions for customers. Enter information into the management system.  
Confirm contact information On all inbound and outbound calls confirm the contact’s address, cell phone, phone number, and email address.
Use the Management System as directed  This includes adding memos, documenting all calls, and following the directed workflows
Learn the following carrier websites:


On the phone is critical to make sure that you are positive and listen to the clients.  


The office opens at 8:00 and everyone needs to be on time.

Management System

Everything needs to be entered into Management System, including information from claims, new business, and client info captured on a quote.

You can take this plan and modify it for any training. 

The goal is this: the Trainer and the Trainee both have to sign off that they are comfortable with the training. 

Throwback 3 Minute Video

The Real Secret to Training

Do you want to know the real secret to training? This is something that literally any size agency can do. 

Also the smaller you are the more you probably need this. Go out and invest $99/month and get an online training platform. 

We use Teachable.com. Record everything you do as a video. I know it seems like a lot but the next time you’re quoting – video it. 

For training to work, oftentimes people want to hear and see the interaction (especially salespeople) from start to finish. This shouldn’t take you too much time, it will take you way less time than writing out screenshots. 

Why video recording works:

  • Super time efficient
  • Available to see the process from start to finish
  • Recorded for future use
  • You can find the one-off scenarios

A place where you can record all the knowledge you’ve got!