Things have changed in insurance with the advent of inbound lead generation. We previously hired producers to go hunt and kill new business. The service team took care of them, and the sales team brought them to the door. Those were the days of cold calling, liquid lunches and car phones. I’m not saying the producers aren’t a valuable part of the insurance sales equation, but for many, they are either focused on large commercial (which needs a hunter), or they are designated to smaller inbound leads. The newer role that is present in agencies is the hybrid sales/service agent. They take the call-in business when it arrives, they quote it, and they bind it. This blog is focused around this role — that can often be the biggest profit leak in your agency.
Many of our readers may be aware that we conduct secret shopper calls. Even if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of secret shopping, the results are important for your agency to embrace. In 2020 we conducted 215 secret shopper calls and here were the results:
- 86.45% of the time the agent did not build value in themselves or why to do business with them personally.
- 88.32% of the time the agent did not explain what an independent agent is or how it benefits the caller.
- 54.67% of callers felt the call was a transaction rather than the opportunity to build a relationship.
- 52.45% of the time the agent did not ask why the caller was shopping their insurance.
- 38.32% of the agents asked how the caller heard about the agency.
- 75.23% of the time the agent kept the call at an engaging pace.
- 54.46% of the time the agent quoted exactly what was requested; they did not attempt a cross-sell.
- 48.13% of the quotes were emailed without a call to explain the quote.
- 29.44% of the callers NEVER received a quote.
- 38.39% of agents told the caller to think about it and let them know, with no additional call to action.
- 58.29% of quotes had no follow-up after delivering the quote.
- 65.88% of the callers would not have purchased from the agent.
Now, when time is the biggest challenge many agencies face, we can’t spend time on quotes we aren’t going to deliver or follow up on. While these numbers are concerning, we have to ask, does our team have a sales process to follow? And have we as leaders provided them any sales training?
With these stats, I’m sure we can all see the need for sales training, especially for the inbound service and sales team. So why hasn’t your agency invested in sales training for your team? We are all working too hard to stay stagnant.
- Everyone is so busy there is no time.
- My team doesn’t see themselves as salespeople; they would rather service, but they quote when needed.
- The team and agency are price sensitive; you win when you are the cheapest.
- You aren’t sure what training exists.
- Your carriers offer sales training webinars. The team sits in on those, but we don’t have a process.
One area in insurance that we are passionate about is tracking. Unfortunately, many agencies can’t get a handle clearly on this metric for the inbound team. Owners don’t know how many leads were generated, where they went and when they closed. We can look at a new business report monthly, but that’s after the fact, and it doesn’t clearly document what didn’t get sold. Imagine the goldmine you could build from unsold quotes!
With our AppX Sales program we come to you and install a sales process with tracking! If you need to grow in 2020, we recommend you look at this program to help move your team from thinking of sales as a burden to seeing sales as fun and an important part of your strategy.