12 ways to boost your team’s performance to sell more insurance

How can you increase your sales team’s productivity? If you’re a sales manager or agency owner, it’s a burning question that has probably cost you more than one night’s sleep, particularly as we head into the fourth quarter. No doubt you’ve spent countless hours looking at emails and online ads for new tools or products or incentives that might be the magic bullet for increasing sales. 

Training, teamwork, motivation, organization and use of sales data, communications within the team and with other groups - all are key in a successful sales group. Without knowing your particular organization, it’s impossible to pinpoint where the problem may lie. 

So we’re providing you with a checklist of ideas curated from the advice of multiple sales performance experts. Read the list and determine which best apply to you – and try out a few of these ideas. No doubt you’ll pick up a tip or two that will show you how to sell more insurance.

Related: How to create a top insurance agency producers want to work for

 

Establish a culture of continual improvement to sell more insurance

1. Always be training, not just in a classroom setting, but out in the field where they can rehearse and put to use the tactics they’ve learned. It’s easy to sit in a class or in front of a computer, learn new things, say “Yes, that’s a good idea” and then promptly forget about it. Practicing new techniques or methods is crucial. Every time you train on something new, spend the time out in the field observing your team members as they use those new tactics.

2. Brainstorm solutions and cross-selling opportunities regularly with your team. In a weekly (or regularly scheduled) brainstorm session, have staff bring their successes and challenges, then brainstorm on how to best meet and solve those challenges. What’s a better answer that could’ve been given? What was the prospect or client really asking for? What is motivating their hesitancy? Using Toyota’s Five Whys can help with uncovering underlying issues. What tips can the group provide as to how to sell more insurance?

3. Know your team. One team member may be a killer closer but have poor organizational skills. Another may have great relationship-building skills, but be weak at closing. Another may have weak phone skills, but be very effective in-person. Use the strengths of each member to build up the weaknesses in the others with an informal mentoring program.

4. Get referrals. “What if every time one of your reps closed a deal, they could get five more referrals?” asks Emmanuelle Skala, Influitive sales VP in a productivity blogpost. “The referrals would be high quality and the new customer would do a lot of the selling for you — it’s an immediate boost to your pipeline. Always get your reps to ask, ‘Is there anyone else in your network who would benefit from our solution?’ Every. Single. Time.”


Communicate, motivate, compensate to sell more insurance

6. Establish a clear commission plan that pays both on performance (they met their goals with regards to number of calls made, networking, lead generation, etc.) and also on results. That way they’re not focused on ticking the boxes, saying they’ve done all those things – but instead they’re focused on doing the things that bring in the most results – the sales – and pushing everything else to a lower priority.

Related: Juice up your insurance sales skills this month

7. Hold monthly one-on-one meetings, where you discuss challenges, achievements, failures. When meeting with each team member, learn what motivates them and reiterate their value to your team. Reserve a half-hour for each:  ten minutes for their agenda, ten minutes for yours and ten to talk about the future. For new team members, start with weekly sessions for the first six months.

8. Display sales figures and competition standings in your office. Everyone loves competition and wants to see where they’re ranked.

9. Celebrate successes, no matter how big or how small. These celebrations keep you human, rather than an automaton focused only on numbers.


Provide structure and tools to sell more insurance

10.  Provide time management training and set performance objectives for each team member in terms of number of calls to make, emails to send, networking, lead generation, etc.  When team members start the day without a firm plan, it’s easy to get distracted by low priority activities that won’t earn them any money. 

11. Streamline other tasks. Don’t demand so many reports that you’re wasting valuable sales time. Do demand that everyone use your CRM or sales management tool, if you have one. If it’s not in the CRM, it doesn’t exist. That’s the easiest way to referee potential clients that multiple people are calling on, for you to follow up to see if calls and emails are being completed at a proper velocity, and for you to take note when a prospect languishes without follow-up, so that you reassign the prospect.

Keep your team meetings short and to-the-point.  Hold them only when you have something specific that needs to be addressed, rather than scheduling them at regular intervals and then trying to decide on what to say.

Related: Top body language mistakes insurance agents make in meetings

12. Provide necessary tools. Whether it’s an updated version of a CRM, call tracking tools or marketing, lead gen and email tools, allot a percentage of the agency’s budget for these items. Test them with a couple of your organized and not-so-organized staff to ensure they’ll work for everyone. Tools should be simple, intuitive, streamlined – not a place to get bogged down. Carefully train everyone when you implement new ones and provide immediate access to help when it’s needed.

Continual training on how to sell more insurance: new products and sales techniques, setting sales goals linked to compensation, clearing the decks of unnecessary time-wasters and providing the tools so that salespeople can do what they do best – sell – is the way to raise productivity of your sales team.


Additional resources:

6 Secrets to Improve Insurance Agent Productivity
12 Tips to Improve Sales Performance  
3 Leadership Strategies That Increase Sales Performance