Setting up your firm for success
This week, MarshBerry hosted our first ever virtual, but eighth annual, MarshBerry 360 Summit. The MarshBerry 360 captures the full view of the insurance distribution marketplace, from organic growth to Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”).
Today’s session elaborated on John Wepler’s State of the Industry from March 12 – specifically on the challenges and opportunities facing independently owned insurance agents and brokers in the upcoming year. For the better part of the past two months, its likely you and your management team have been solely focused on putting out fires and keeping the train on the tracks. That annual budget or five-year plan that you worked on last fall? It’s as good as rubbish…for now. So, what should you do in the next 90-days to set your firm up for success in order to grow organically, THIS YEAR, and consistently and predictably thereafter?
Get a Grip! (Days 1-30)
Evaluate your team’s talent and capabilities. Do you have the right number of producers and the right resources to support them to drive success? Is additional sales training needed? Check your prospect lists for quantity and quality. Take stock of your talent AND opportunities. Then, make sure you have regular team huddles and enough analytics in place to truly understand what activity is or isn’t happening.
Build Momentum (Days 31-60)
Focus on people and leadership development. A strong firm is built on the cornerstone of having a well-rounded sales organization that identifies prospects and nurtures relationships. There are many facets to achieving this. You need to develop the individuals on the sales team and the leadership within it. Your organization will need to rely on performance data to reinforce positive behaviors, recognize success and to identify problem areas for course corrections. All of this builds a culture of accountability. There are other nuances in the current sales environment that will require organizations to adapt. How does the sales process change in a virtual selling environment? How do you establish yourself, and your firms value proposition, as a trusted advisor in today’s market? You can’t afford to wait and hope to go back to your old way of selling with the same degree of success. Remember, “Hope Is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.” (James Cameron)
Sustain Momentum (Days 61-90)
To make the momentum you’ve developed sustainable, the process must be repeatable. With enough repetition and consistency, it becomes muscle memory for your producers. Surround the production team with support and resources. Where do your salespeople add the most value? Selling! What can you take off their plate that will make them more efficient? Lead generation? Presentation building? CRM management? Are there others you can reallocate or add to support the sales team in these areas?
Predicable Growth (Day 91+)
Predictable, profitable organic growth. This is what every organization strives to achieve. If you set-up the roadmap properly, through deliberate planning and focus, you can accomplish this outcome, and it doesn’t have to take five years or a year to get there.
We know there is a lot on everyone’s plate right now, both professionally and personally. But can your organization afford to just tread water for the next 60-days? 90-days? Or longer? As the Chinese proverb goes: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.
As we keep our eye firmly focused on the industry and actions within it, we are eager to know what you are experiencing. Take a quick 3-minute MarshBerry Pulse survey to help us gauge the industry’s response and outlook as the country moves towards “open for business” from the anticipated loosening of stay-at-home orders.
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